Discretion: 5 steps to making good choices

It’s guest post Monday!!! Today’s post is by Chris Vonada who is a blogger at I’m Just Thinkin’, make sure to check out his blog and follow him on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to be featured on the guest post Monday please click here.

Discretion… using good judgment. The freedom of choice. Showing Discernment. Discretion is a virtue that we can… and should apply in everyday life.

I’ve made some pretty silly mistakes in the past. I’ve stated foolishness has been my greatest sin. I’ve also been pretty gullible in the past. Another no no.

So I put some thought into this and came up with the following 5 steps to making good choices:

1. Think clearly and objectively. At times, you may have to try and take your own personal feelings out of the picture. This can be extremely difficult, especially if you already have made up your mind one way or the other. Thinking clearly and objectively is the starting point for exercising discretion… and, unfortunately, many times discretion ends right there as it’s also where we fool ourselves into acting hastily.

2. Apply experience. Remember, all those things that happened to you in the past happened for a good reason. If you’ve really chalked the past up to experience your heart should be healed and in the right place to be able to apply experience constructively.

3. Ask for advice from wise counselors. If you’ve done a good job of surrounding yourself with solid people, their advice may be invaluable. Always remember they’re just people too… with their own experiences, opinions and values.

4. Pray about it. You have to be careful on this one as many times we think we hear what God is trying to tell us, and, again, hastily make poor decisions. Not having a very clear direction is often a call from God to be patient… so sit back… think… pray some more… and savor the good life!

5. Make your own decision. We should always make our own decision… that’s what discretion is, right? When it’s all said and done, some of the choices we make have a significant impact on our lives. Live it… and live it well.

No guarantees in life… still… I have to use discretion… make good choices… and at the same time be willing to take a risk. Remember, The greatest risk is not taking one. Also, remember to use the 5 steps in making good choices. And always remember to live it… and live it well.

Question: What steps do you consider when using discretion to make good choices?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I pretty much use your steps. I also spend time reading the Bible. I have a tendency to rush things, so this is an area I know God is working on in me- waiting with grace!

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts TC!

      Love this one…

      “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

      • That’s a great quote! Thanks for sharing.

    • I also have a tendency to rush things forward before really seeking God’s face about it, I’m glad God shows me mercy though. Thanks for sharing.

      • I agree- thank God for mercy!

  • Think you pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one – I for the most part follow along the same set of things to do.

  • Good advice. I also look to other peoples scenarios that closely resemble what mine are, even if I don’t know them. Other times it takes trying to get the other people that might be part of the reason to have to make a decision to recognize their emotions or weaknesses to the whole affair. In the end, we do the best as you stated, none of us make the right decision every time…

    • Excellent Floyd, we need to be open to learning from others experiences too. Thanks!

  • All really great steps to take to make a good descisions…

    but sometimes…you gotta just pray and cast lots, and let God take control…just like the disciples did when they picked a new disciple to take Judas place…

  • Great steps in making a decision, Chris.

    The two I tend to focus on the most are getting wise counsel from those I respect and trust, and spending plenty of time in prayer. When I use those as the basis of my decisions, even if the decision turns out bad, I can still stand in the knowledge that I made the best decision I could given the circumstances.

    • That’s always a good feeing knowing that you’ve given it to Him and done your best, thank you Jason for your thoughts :-)

  • Carol Peterson

    Really good advice, Chris. Part of #1 for me is looking at cost. It’s part of weighing the negatives vs the positive.

    When it comes to money I head straight for the least expensive and I’m sorry to say I’ve made some big mistakes by choosing the least expensive alternative. For me, part of thinking clearly and taking my feelings out of the picture is trying to set the price tag to one side. Or just glance at it rather than holding it next to my cheek and letting it whisper to me.

    This post is a great reminder of good decision-making steps.

    • Thanks Carol, check this one out…

      “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” –Albert Einstein

    • Carol,

      It’s wise to look at both the positive and negatives within the decision. Thank you for taking the time to read and share.

      Do you have a blog? Hopefully we can connect more.

  • This is ALL great advice! Also, I weigh the pros and the cons – what is good about this path, what isn’t? And, do the heavenly rewards outweigh the earthly rewards – this is a big one for me. It has also been my experience that when consulting others, I must also weigh their advice very carefully – is their advice more about their opinion and their agenda, or is the benefit more well-rounded, i.e., for all involved?

    • Excellent point Susan, sometimes I know I think too much about the immediate. Thank you!

  • Great advice Chris. It starts with prayer for me, then I ask the advice of a close group of friends I have. Thanks for adding some great elements for us to use when deciding.

    • It sounds like you have a great method Kimanzi. Every leader should pray and seek wise and trusted advice.

  • Chris all of your advice is relevant to Leadership today. I especially like numbers 3 and 4 because I do them also myself. In any Leadership position asking for advice and praying for guidance are two factors I don’t go without.

    • Lincoln Parks,

      So true about praying and asking advice, both essential and important. Thank you for reading and adding to the discussion.

  • I especially think that asking for advice from wise counselors is something that leave out too much. Maybe it’s just our private society or our proud nature, but I’ve found that wise counsel has made the difference for me so many times.