M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.
All things going well, I’m 2-4 weeks away from becoming a dad and it’s already been an incredible journey.
But like most first-time parents, one thing my wife and I have struggled with over the last 8 months are the countless big decisions that need making.
Should we get blood/DNA tests? Does Erin need various injections? How often should we ultrasound? Does Erin want a medicated or unmedicated birth? Au natural or cesarian? At home? Or a birthing center? Or a hospital?
The list keeps on growing and growing. Even (/especially) after birth.
And with the wellbeing of loved ones at stake, it’s enough to make anyone balk.
Fortunately, though, Erin and I stumbled on a handy, 5-step framework early on in our pregnancy that’s helped us to stop, breathe and think clearly when facing new decisions.
In fact it’s so good, and generalizes so well, that it’s a crime that it’s only discussed in a handful of birth-related circles.
So here it is…
The secret to doing or not doing whatever it is that’s in front of you is simple.
The secret is using your B.R.A.I.N.
It’s to get clear on the…
- Benefits – What will you get, have or become?
- Risks – What could go wrong? How permanent and likely is that really?
- Alternatives – What other ways could get you the result that you want? How else could you invest the time and resources your about to commit?
- Intuition – What does your gut tell you? and
- Nothing – What would happen if you did nothing at all?
The short story?
DON’T feel pressured into making snap decisions.
DO take (or make) time to work through this checklist, in your head or on paper, with a partner, colleague or friend (even 30 seconds is better than nothing!).
DO ask the person who’s presenting you with the decision to go through each step of the framework with you (even if they’re wearing a uniform!).
Whether you’re having a baby, considering a career change, staring a new relationship, moving to a new country or even learning a new language…
Use your B.R.A.I.N.
Use it today. Use it NOW.
Ask the right questions even when you don’t know the right answers.
And the decisions will look after themselves.