The feeling when it clicks.
There’s a point in decision making, probably quite a bit like reaching the summit of a mountain on a bicycle, when you feel relief. If the word relief doesn’t quite do it for you, let’s try:
Everything from letting go to joy. There are standard lines we hear when you feel relief. Any of these strike a chord?
I’m so glad that’s over!
I can’t believe that was all there was to it.
Whew. I never thought I’d get there.
I did it. I actually did it.
These are statements of relief. This is what happens when you decide.
This is an excerpt from a chapter of Bradley Charbonneau’s book “Decide: The science and art of decision making”
People ask all the time, “But how do I know when I’ve made the right decision?” Usually my answer is “You’ll just know.” or maybe “You’ll feel it.” But the word relief is easier to swallow, to comprehend, to really feel. People know the feeling of relief. You just avoided a car wreck. You finally got that project done by the deadline. Your spouse got the numbers back from the doctor.
But relief can be achieved, reached, influenced.
It doesn’t only have to be something we receive or react to. It can be something we can proactively make happen. Through deciding, through making a decision, we can build it to the point where we feel relief because we made that decision. In fact, that’s the trick, that’s the rub, that’s the big secret: we know we have made the right decision when we feel that relief.
It’s a gut feeling, a feeling thing. It’s not science, but more of an art. I know you don’t want to hear it, but you’ll just know. Once you get better at building small levels of relief, you’ll improve at sensing when you feel that relief, how much of it, the level of importance, and how to then take it even to the next level.
When things really, really get interesting.