Decision-making can be stressful, especially when the stakes are high. Thankfully, Stoicism, an ancient philosophy with modern applications, offers some wisdom in this department. Below are some Stoic tips aimed to help you make better decisions, reduce stress, and live a more fulfilling life.
How to Make Better Decisions with Stoicism:
1. Know What You Control
Before making any decision, consider what is within your control and what is not. Stoicism advises us to focus our energy only on the things we can actually influence. Knowing this boundary makes decision-making easier and less stressful.
2. Weigh Your Options Objectively
Stoicism teaches us to distance ourselves from our immediate reactions and emotions. Take some time to consider your options rationally, without letting emotions cloud your judgment. Make a pros and cons list if you have to, but ensure your decision is rooted in reason.
3. Consider the Long-term Impact
In Stoicism, a well-lived life is one that is in accordance with nature and reason. Before making a decision, think about its long-term consequences. Will it contribute to your growth and well-being? Or is it a quick fix that may cause issues later?
4. Act According to Your Values
Stoics believe in living a virtuous life. When faced with a tough decision, consider what aligns best with your values and principles. Decisions are easier to make (and live with) when they fit into your broader ethical framework.
5. Be Prepared to Accept Any Outcome
According to Stoic philosophy, the only thing we can truly control is our own behavior. We can make the best possible decision and still not control the outcome. Prepare yourself mentally for any possible result, and you'll find that decision-making becomes less anxiety-inducing.
6. Take Responsibility
Stoicism teaches us to take responsibility for our actions. Once you've made your decision, own it. Even if things don't go as planned, taking responsibility empowers you to learn from the experience and make better decisions in the future.
7. Consult With Others, But Decide for Yourself
Stoics value wisdom and often seek advice from people they respect. While it’s wise to consult others, remember that the final decision is yours to make. Make sure you're not simply deferring to someone else's judgment.
Decision-making doesn't have to be a daunting task. By employing these Stoic principles, you can navigate the decision-making process with more ease and confidence. Remember, the goal is not to make the "perfect" decision, but to make the best decision you can with the information and tools at your disposal.