I’ve heard about this method from a few trusted friends and have used it myself to varying degrees of benefit. When a major choice crosses our path emotions may heighten, focus can be more difficult, and we can be blindsided. Giving structure to the decision making process can be helpful in these times. This is one tactic: take three days.
Day 1 – Take a piece of paper. Engage with everything that is good and exciting about the possibility. Let your imagination run wild with the benefits. Envision all the amazing things that would happen. Write everything down.
Day 2 – Take a new piece of paper. Engage with all the challenges of the opportunity. Imagine all the hard and difficult things you will face. Envision all the push back, obstacles, and grind. Write everything down.
Day 3 – Take the two pieces of paper that you’ve been writing on and compare the lists. Do the benefits and opportunities outweigh the obstacles? Would the push back and grind be too much for the opportunity? Settle on a direction.
Of course not everything is a cost/benefit analysis. The thing about this process for me is the slowness, the writing, and the sleep. Taking the time to sit with the upside alone and then the downside alone changes the way we see the landscape. Writing everything down goes us a feedback loop that is tactile. The thoughts no longer live only in our heads. And sleeping in between each session allows the thoughts to settle and process more completely.