Decision-Making 101

Should I or shouldn’t I? The decision-making process may take many forms: flipping a coin, rock-paper-scissors, or pulling a choice from a hat. What if the decision, however, is too important to leave up to chance?

Here are a few tips and tricks I’ve employed to help me make decisions.

1. Never, ever make a decision based on fear.

If we let fear drive our decisions, we are never going to feel pure joy. We won’t know if we made the right choice. Take emotions out and drive with logic.

2. Pretend you are advising a friend in your position.

What would you suggest he do? This can be hard because you have to step outside yourself and be nonjudgmental. Set aside some quiet time. Truly and carefully consider what advice you’d give to a friend.

3. Imagine you’ve already made a choice.

Let’s say you’re having a hard time choosing between job A and job B. Pretend for thirty minutes (and truly believe it!) that you chose job A. After the thirty minutes, what does your gut tell you? Write down what you’re feeling. Give yourself time to reset and recalibrate. Now pretend in the same fashion that you chose job B. What does your gut tell you? How do you feel? I find this an effective way to make a choice. Many times, you know inside what you need to do, but a variety of factors can cloud your judgment. This method goes right to your gut, which is usually dead-on.

4. List the pros and cons.

This is a typical way to reach a decision, but you can make it more informative by assigning a value to each pro or con. Use a number scale such as one (least impactful) to ten (most impactful) to weigh your pros and cons. Add up the scores, and see what they tell you.

5. Put it aside.

Yes, it seems counterintuitive to stop focusing on the decision-making process, but many times you need some distance from the problem. I’m not implying that you should procrastinate, but sometimes we need a clear mind to make our choice. Put the decision aside for a while and things will fall into place slowly and subconsciously. Once some time has passed, think through your options; the right choice may now seem clear.

You’ve got this:

Sometimes, many times, the answer is already inside of us. We just need to tune in to hear it.


Dina Mauro has worked in the technology industry for over twenty-five years, twenty with one of the largest IT companies in the world. Through her love for animals, Dina began rescuing dogs, volunteering, and, ultimately, writing.

Dina is the author of A Dose of Tia: How a Woman and Her Rescued Dog Embraced Life Through Volunteering – and How You Can, Too. Initially, as a personal, heartfelt gift to her sons, but later published for the public, Dina went on to pen You’ve Got This! The Grad’s Guide to the Big, Rich, Magnificent Life You Deserve.

She also volunteers at Denver Pet Partners, Swedish Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital Colorado, along with her three sons.

Dina lives in Denver with her husband, Bob, and their three sons, Owen, Ethan, and Aiden.


As a parent, author Dina Mauro was so hyper-focused on competing and comparing her children to other children that she almost lost sight of what they required to thrive. She realized that when they thrive, everything in their lives falls abundantly into place.

You’ve Got This! The Grad’s Guide to the Big, Rich, Magnificent Life You Deserve steers the reader through critical “markers” along life’s way: improving oneself, conquering obstacles, achieving goals, and cultivating relationships. Other stops on the journey include heading off to college, entering the work world, making decisions, managing technology, speaking in public, and many more.

You’ve Got This! is a long-overdue guidebook that illuminates forty-seven achievable strategies and real-world advice for not just living—but thriving! Now grads have the roadmap for facing challenges that left untouched can become big distractions to an exceptional life. 


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