Monday, October 20, 2014

Decisions, Decisions: How to Make Choices in Uncertain Times

Is a looming decision driving you nuts because making difficult choices seems too overwhelming?    
It happens to me, too! And I’m no stranger to making big changes. After an exciting, demanding and lucrative deal-making career I switched to a coaching career – teaching people how to master their own thinking in order to generate more success in their lives. Then I expanded into speaking, writing and teaching. Some days, I have so many irons in the fire and ideas swirl so fast that they actually clog my thinking and hold me back. Not helpful, brain!
In order to clear my own muddled mind, I like to use this framework to “test” each new idea that pops into my head and either pursue it, or trash it, quickly and without regret.
Here are the "Five P's" to help you choose what to pursue:
1. People - It is usually true that if you enjoy the people, you'll enjoy what you are doing. I seek out people who are thoughtful, creative, kind, prepared to take action, emotionally stable, interested in changing something, take responsibility, have a forward outlook, share truthfully, and want to make a difference in someone else’s life besides their own. What kind of people are your favorites? Focus on directions that place you amongst them.
2. Personal Power – Certain activities feed my creativity and ingenuity, two primary sources of my personal power. Where does your personal power come from? This is not about your power or authority over others, but your inner drive and fire. Pursue directions that provide energy, not those that sap it.
3. Profit - Profit takes many forms. Pursue directions that are lucrative, yes. But also those that bring you the profits of pleasure, intellectual stimulation, and outright joy. Jettison any thinking about directions that do not deliver an ample return on your investment – they are literally not worth it.
4. Passion – Following your passion is perhaps an overused phrase, but it does not necessarily mean drop everything and pursue your dreams of becoming an actress. In my former career, I used to love creating deal spreadsheets – not because of the mental gyrations necessary to put the monster together, in fact I disliked that part! What I loved was using a tool to help solve a problem, to test and maneuver and reveal different angles and results. I love figuring out a solution that no one else has thought of – that’s a passion! And I still do that today – create new ways of thinking that help people find solutions to their own roadblocks, take charge of their future and learn to generate amazing new outcomes for themselves. What’s your passion? Pursue opportunities that allow you to experience it often.
5. Peace – Let’s face it: Everything involves some angst from time to time. But if something is troubling enough to keep you up at night however, you have two choices – either get more involved and fix it, or move away from it. Pursue directions that bring you peace, at least most of the time.
There you have it – 5 simple tests to guide your choices and clear a muddled mind about what directions to pursue. Try them for yourself!


Linda Spevacek is a coach, speaker and author who helps you create prosperity from your expertise. Learn more at

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