As a sister, a friend, and a collegiate ministry staff member, I am occasionally asked for advice. Sometimes I am not sure what to say at first, so I ask questions. On occasions when I know exactly what to say, I still ask questions. I have discovered that most of the time, people need to discuss it or figure out the answer to their dilemma on their own.
For instance, a common question is about whether or not to reverse a past decision. Whether you are reconsidering a relationship change, a job, a school, or something else, there is nothing wrong with reevaluating decisions, the key is to ask insightful questions.
When you think you want to change your mind about a past decision or begin to think you made the wrong choice, ask yourself these questions:
1. What were my reasons for making the original decision?
2. Are those reasons still valid?
3. Do I have new information that I didn’t have previously?
4. Does any new information outweigh the original reasons for the choice?
5. Does any new information reinforce the original reasons for the choice?
6. What would I advise someone else to do in a similar situation? (Sometimes this perspective shift can help me see around purely emotional reasoning. While emotions are valid indicators, mine are changeful and should not be the basis for decisions.)
What other questions would you add? How do you evaluate decisions?
Last night, I could not think of a low from the past week. I even scrolled back through my schedule but nothing came to mind. My high for the week was visiting Great Bend over the weekend. It was a terrific weekend full of quality time that involved yummy food, long conversations, relaxing walks, and a funny play (Lil’ Abner).
Explanation of lows and highs
On Monday nights, I lead a small Bible study for college students. As an icebreaker, we used to play a short game (which varied from week to week) at the beginning of each meeting. A couple years ago, I introduced the group to “lows and highs,” where everyone takes a turn sharing a lowlight – something they didn’t like – from the past seven days and then a highlight point – something they liked.* You have to start with low and end with high so you end on a happy note.
I like this way of opening our meetings because it lets each person share what has been noteworthy in their life lately and hear from each other. I like that its flexible structure gives us an opportunity to practice good conversation skills of listening, responding, and general turn-taking. (Carrying on a good conversation seems to be a dying art.) The students seem to like the way “lows and highs” lets them tell others about frustrations, problems, triumphs, and joys without complaining or bragging. It gives them a chance be heard on whatever matters to them this week.
Last night, the only low I could think of was that last week was our fiscal month-end at work, when I work longer hours to wrap up the budgets and forecasts for accounting period. Even then, the work went smoothly and I finished earlier than usual. My first high was the murder mystery party I had with some work friends on Friday (everyone wearing tropical costume, acting like silly characters, eating yummy food.) My second high (yes, we are allowed to have more than one!) was when one of the engineers at the party thought that I could not possibly be older than 27.
What are your lows and highs for this week?
*I got this idea from dear friends who share lows and highs at dinner each night with their three children and any guests who happen to be there. The idea to write about it came from a friend who did the same thing here.