As a mindful leader, one of the most common things you likely find yourself doing is making decisions. Everything in life requires you to make decisions, whether you’re figuring out which shoes to wear or what the scope and budget of your next project looks like. In a leadership position, you’re also in charge of making decisions for other people, whether you’re an executive, a coach, a teacher, or a parent. People entrust at least a part of their lives to you, which means you have to excel at making good decisions not only for yourself but also for others.
Because you make so many decisions on a daily basis, you know that some of the bigger ones require research and learning about what it is you might be getting yourself into. However, when it comes to keeping your eyes open for opportunities, your everyday decision-making process may not be enough to push you in the right direction long-term. This can be especially true if you know you need a change but aren’t sure what you’d like to do next.
While there is no set way of weighing each potential choice or making a decision, you may have figured out a system that works for you most of the time. This is a good place to start, but it may not be the most complete way for you to figure out if you want to take on a new opportunity or not. Also, what you consider an opportunity may be different from what someone else would consider an opportunity. For example, while a broke single mom might not be actively looking for a new stove to replace her old one with two broken burners, she would probably jump at the chance to take an older but functioning stove for free from her local church. This probably wouldn’t even be on the radar for an upper middle-class family who can afford to buy a new stove of their choice, but that’s the beauty of opportunity: not everyone is seeking (or needs) the same things.
So how do you decide whether to jump on an opportunity or leave it alone? There are no clear cut answers to this, but if there’s something you’ve been considering or wanting and a chance to go after it arises, it’s definitely worth considering. Here are some things to think about when faced with an opportunity that could potentially change your life for the better.
1. Does this opportunity line up with something you’ve been wanting or needing in your life? Maybe you’ve been needing a pay raise and were just offered a completely new job with your company’s competition that happens to pay significantly more than your current job. Yes, it would mean adjusting to a new work environment and co-workers, but could this be the answer to your financial needs?
2. Does the timing of this opportunity seem almost serendipitous? That might be an indication that it’s something you should invest yourself into. Coincidences are strange anyway. Do you believe in coincidences?
3. Did this opportunity fall into your lap unexpectedly but line up perfectly with something you need (maybe even more than one something) such as a change of pace or more physical activity? If so, that could be an indicator that taking this opportunity could put you on the right track for whatever you want to accomplish next.
4. If you take this opportunity, will it simplify or complicate your life? If it would simplify your life, there’s a good chance you’re on the right track. However, if it would complicate your life, it may not be the right thing. That also depends on how well you function with a complicated or stressful life.
5. What does your instinct tell you about going for it versus not? Trust your intuition.
Some people have such interesting luck that it almost seems like everything they need magically falls into their lap out of nowhere. However, chances are that they literally ask for it by thinking about it and then keep their eyes open for the opportunities that are bound to follow. What about you? Do the things you need in life seem to appear in the most unusual ways or places? As a mindful leader, how do you make the decision to go for it or not?