Using Values (and Google) to Inform Decision-Making

I am often faced with decisions about whether or not to take on a new challenge. I have been struggling with this kind of decision over the past week. There is an opportunity that has presented itself to me, and I am trying to decide whether or not to get involved.

My default answer is always YES. I always want to do the new thing. So, I always have to try to remember to stop myself before automatically saying yes in order to reflect on it and come to a more considered response. I may still say yes, but at least then I will have properly thought about the consequences, and maybe put some things in place to make saying yes the right answer.

I have been exploring my values lately. I came up with a list of values and put them in order, and the one that found its place at the top of the list was “peace”. This is an aspirational value for me, because I have not always sought peace in my life. A person who always wants to say yes to new things (especially work-related things) is not a person who has a lot of peace and quiet in her life! I chose the word “peace” to refer to peace of mind, serenity, calmness, and an easy and smooth way of going about things. Antonyms for this word as a value would be anger, aggression, conflict, uneasiness, and unrest.

Looking at this decision in terms of my (now explicitly stated) values leads me towards saying no to this opportunity. This opportunity would involve a significant amount of extra work, which is not a path to the kind of peace I have stated above as a core value.

But I still kind of want to do it.

So, I decided to ask the internet for guidance.

I asked Google: “Should I do the thing?” (I literally typed those exact words into the seach bar.)

And Google kindly responded with the following link.

Looking at this decision in terms of this pearl of wisdom from the internet also leads me towards saying no. This opportunity can wait, but it is worth doing, and it is worth doing by me in particular. All good up to that point. However, when I get to the point of answering “what will I stop doing to make room for the thing?” and it doesn’t accept “nothing” as an answer, I get stuck! And I don’t think there is a way to rescope / reframe / or reshape the thing to be more doable.

And finally…

I set aside time to work on something related to this opportunity yesterday, and I procrastinated the whole day rather than working on it, which I think should also lead me towards saying no to this opportunity.

I think I have my answer.

(But I still really want to say yes.)