Life is full of decisions. Most of us make more decisions in a day than we likely realize. I had a situation this week that made me stop and think about one aspect of decisions that sometimes gets overlooked, consequences. My experience this week wasn't a major issue, but it reminded me that every decision has consequences and those consequences should be thought through before a decision is made.
In one of my other lives, I teach an early morning Spinning® class. It's great exercise, and my morning class is amazing. I've met some of the greatest people at 5:30 am. We'd likely meet later in the day, but we're all taking a nap then. Anyway, we decided to create a cycling jersey that is specific to our class. We wanted a way to connect us when we're out of the studio and on the road during events. So, Cyberhorse Sportswear (an awesome company) created a sublimated jersey for us, and it is perfect!
The problem is with one decision I made. Some of my cycling buddies asked if we could have a longer zipper on the jersey. That might not sound very important, but if you cycle and you are on a 7-10 hour ride, having that jersey unzipped at times can be the difference between over heating and being relatively cool. It's nice. This is where the decision came in. Our jersey has "Studio B" across the front. That's not the problem. The problem is that the zipper goes right through the word and distorts it a little on the front of the jersey. If we had left the jersey alone, it would have been fine. Consequences.
Every decision has some consequences. I think this is where our government gets in trouble. It makes decisions and implements policies that ultimately has undesirable consequences. We, as individuals, do the same thing. Many decisions need a weighing process before we make them. For instance,
- Who will this decision impact?
- Does it have the potential to impact beyond the intended target? My wife and I have a local restaurant we frequent. The other day, one of our servers told us that one of our favorite servers got mad and quit. No big deal, right? Well, maybe, but we are in a bad economy with high unemployment. Also, her partner will have his contribution to expenses increased. So, her rash decision impacts him. What if she can't get a job right away? She has car insurance, taxes, gas, etc., that needs to be kept up. Who pays that now? Consequences.
- Is this decision reversible? A wise decision-maker has a back-up plan. If this decision has the wrong impact, can you return to the previous place and situation?
- Is there a possibility that this decision will hurt me? Maybe. I know a lot of Realtors who left a 9-5 job to become a Realtor. It can be scary. It might even cost more money than expected in the early days. But, the question begs for an answer, "Why would you do this?" If feeling like a hamster in a cubical is not for you, you may need to find something more entrepreneural. There are consequenses.
- What will the long-term impact of this decision be? Divorce is one of those decisions that has long-term impacts. I've worked with a lot of people in a divorce support group I've led, and I can promise you that there were a lot of people impacted by the events. Sometimes, divorce is the best decision. Sometimes, it isn't. But, no matter what the situation that brought it about, people will be impacted, and for some people it will be for decades. If kids are involved, the impact will be felt longer than you can imagine.
- Always remember, every decision has consequences. Good and/or bad.
My jersey decision took an amazing jersey concept and knocked it down a peg. I was disappointed in the outcome. It wasn't because the company did a poor job. No, they did an awesome job. But, that one minor change, changed everything. Think your decisions through, because every decision has consequences.