How Do You Make Wise Decisions?

Consider the ultimate outcome over the immediate.

Summary
Transcript

In this backstage interview from Leadercast Live 2018, leadership communicator and author Andy Stanley explains that wise decision-makers put ultimate outcomes over what’s immediately in front of them. 

“Everybody ends up somewhere in life,” says Andy. “Some people end up somewhere on purpose, and the way you end up somewhere on purpose is you put labels around immediate versus ultimate, and clearly define what's ultimate for me.”

Watch the video to hear more from Andy about considering the ultimate over the immediate.

Every day of our lives we face this tension of deciding am I going to choose what I want to do, or what I will look back and wish I had done? Another way of saying that is it's the immediate versus the ultimate. All of us that live long enough to know we wish we could go back and make some decision that at the moment we even knew this wasn't the best relationship decision or financial decision, but again, we self-sold ourself into it.

Every day of our lives we find ourselves in this dilemma: Am I going to choose what I want, or what I will look back, and wish I had chosen? What I want and what I value are often times in conflict. What I want now, and what I will want later, or wish I'd chosen later whether it's a meal, whether it's dessert. Am I going to exercise? Am I going to make this phone call that I want to avoid, but tomorrow I'll wish I had made it? Every single day is the immediate, the ultimate, the immediate, the ultimate.

One of the ways to create some momentum toward ultimate versus immediate is to sit down and ask the question, "OK, again, what's the end game in terms of my self-leadership? Where do I ultimately want to be?" When a person asks that question they always end up in the same place. They end up with values. What do I value most? We end up valuing relationships. We value what people think about us, and that's not a bad thing. We value our reputation. We value our influence. We value having left our mark on the world. When you get there and begin to evaluate the immediate against that ultimate, it just makes it easier sometimes to choose the right thing. If a person never sits down and identifies, or discovers what the ultimate is for them, it's just too easy to have dessert after every meal.

I think it comes down to recognizing the tension, and then putting some words into that tension, and then again, establishing a clear picture of where do I want my life to go? As I say all the time, everybody ends up somewhere in life, everybody. Some people end up somewhere on purpose, and the way you end up somewhere on purpose is you put labels around immediate versus ultimate, and clearly define what's ultimate for me.
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Andy Stanley

Leadership communicator, best-selling author and founding pastor of North Point Ministries Andy Stanley inspires tens of thousands of people. Andy founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995, leading six churches in the Atlan...

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