Pros and Cons: evaluating choices and alternatives, weighing one against another, trying to choose the best
You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past. Richard Bach
Life is the sum of all your choices. Albert Camus
Weighing the pros and cons of our choices guides our decision making. Randall Burkhalter
Taking the time to decide and having a process for choosing between alternatives are fundamental aspects of good decision making. The concept of “pros and cons” is a decision making tool that can help to improve the quality of our decisions. It is a simple process and worthy of our time and effort.
Here is how it works. Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of the page. On the left hand side write the word “pros” on the right hand side write the word “cons”. It is okay to reverse the order of the words if desired. After the page has been lined and the words pro and cons have been written down, we are ready to start the deliberation process. Whatever the question is or the decision that needs to be answered is; this process provides a simple and effective way to decide. Let us imagine that we are tempted to stay home from work and take a day off, but cannot really decide if it is the right thing to do. We sit down with our piece of paper and ask ourselves this question and start thinking of all the pros and cons associated with whether or not to go to work or to stay home. Write down the “pros” (reasons for) under the pros column and write down the “cons” (reasons against) under the cons column. Keep at this until there are no more responses or there are enough accumulated responses that lead us to a decision. Mentally we have been considering all the reasons for and all the reasons against. We have been going through a process that will likely lead us into making a decision.
When we look at the pros and cons written down on paper, it is likely that one or the other, “pros” or “cons” will have accumulated more responses and perhaps better responses than the other. Between mentally evaluating the reasons for and against and also viewing the answers on paper, chances are we have arrived at the answer to our question. It goes without saying that we should be honest and sincere in our answers. Rationalization or self deceit will not help us in arriving at the best answer. We should let our responses flow and faithfully write them down. This is a very good process for helping us to arrive at an answer.
Challenge: Your life is full of decisions to be made. Sometimes choices are limited and sometimes they are many. Sometimes the answer is simple and sometimes it is difficult and complicated. It is good to be equipped with various tools to aid your decision making. You must live with the consequences of your decisions. Often the greater the consequences, the tougher the decision making process. Evaluating the pros and cons may help.
Wisdom: Your life is the sum result of all the choices you make, both consciously and unconsciously. If you can control the process of choosing, you can take control of all aspects of your life. You can find the freedom that comes from being in charge of yourself. Robert Bennett
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrew 11:1
To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness. Ecclesiastes 3:26
Sometimes it seems we have too many decisions to make. Making choices and deciding what to do can seem all but impossible and more than we can bear. We do not know what to do or how to go about doing it. We have a heavenly father who is always there watching over us. He knows what we are going through and is more than capable of help us make good decisions. He has given us free choice. If we want his help we must ask for it.
Prayer: Help me to make better decisions in my life. Help me to listen to your guidance and direction.