making the important decisions…

The other night I had a hot date with two of my Godchildren – Charles, who is nine and his sister Abbie, who is ten.

We had a great time – pizza, playing games, swapping stories,  going to the State Park to learn more about ducks, then back to my place for hot chocolate and chilling out.

I love being with kids.   They always teach me something new about how I complicate the simple.   Last night’s lesson was about marshmallows.

It was a no-brainer that we’d go with the big ones.  My main question was HOW MANY to put in each cup.   That’s when I found out that “it doesn’t really matter how many – it matters how long the chocolate will stay hot (so you can keep putting them in).”

hmmmmmm…

When I think of all the times in my life I’ve based my important life choices on the wrong question, I’m stunned.

A few months ago I was revisiting my business plan – tweaking, adjusting and reassessing.   I was asking myself the usual questions:  what product changes are needed?; what are my customers saying?; how’s the profit margin?; to what charities shall I contribute this year?; and so on…

Then I realized I’d forgotten to ask the most important question – “Do I still LOVE doing this (is the chocolate still hot)?”

duh…

The answer, of course, is YES.  So I proceeded answering the other questions.   What if I’d forgotten to ask that one, though?

Thanks to Charles and Abbie, my decision-making process has now changed forever.   When I have an important decision to make, the first question I’ll ask myself is “What’s the most important question I need to be asking?”   Until I know THAT answer – I’ll wait.

How about you?  How do you decide the important stuff?