We are accustomed to making decisions and choices every day. However, it is not the proof that we are skilled and able to make the right decisions. One wrong decision can give you a disastrous result. That is why we need to know some effective decision-making techniques.

Let me share with you my personal story. Aftermath of passing 10th standard I was sure that I would not walk the path that is crowded such as engineering and medicine. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to take the less travelled path.

However, I did not know how to make decisions I ended up pursuing science. After 12th standard, I got the chance again to decide effectively what I wanted to do in my career. So, I used my little decision-making techniques and decided to become a journalist or writer.

However, since I was not aware of decision-making techniques fully I ended up pursuing Arts in my graduation. Thinking this education will lead to my decided career.

In the last year of my graduation, I came to know about the journalism courses. I then pursued journalism after graduation. That is where I took the right decision which helped me get motivated to do better in my career and got a job with India’s leading media company.

My story is a clear explanation of causes for not knowing effective decision-making techniques. If I had known the decision-making techniques when I cleared my 10th standard I would have pursued courses such as creative writings and journalism. Which could have saved me from irrelevant efforts and wastage of money on irrelevant education.

I know you can relate to my story. Promise yourself now that you will not repeat such mistake again.

Let’s learn the effective decision-making techniques with an example. For instance, you are at the stage where you have to decide your career and course accordingly.


Think and get help from past experiences

You are in the dilemma to choose your career. Avoid the dilemma by thinking and learning lessons from past experiences. Think about what do you like. What are you interested in. What are the things that you will do all your life without getting bored and thinking to quit.

After you list down the interests. Select one or two interests that you can pursue as a career.

Don’t forget to learn from past experiences. Experiences can be of your own life and others too. It will help you to reduce failure tendency.

This can be applied to every decision. For instance, you want to get married but confused about what type of girl/man you want. List down qualities you’re looking for in your spouse-to-be and find the spouse accordingly.


Research and consult people

This part is so crucial that if you leave this part in the process of making decisions you are in big losses. Research a lot after you list down your interests and select one or two interests for your career.

Research on what are the better courses, colleges and institution for better education. Nowadays, you have all the information at your fingertips. Use it. You can talk to experts too.

Talk to people about your interest and tell them you want to carry your interest as a career. Once you start talking to people they will share their experiences that will help you to learn from their experiences and failure.


Make the decision independently

Although, talking to people before making any decision is a part of making effective decisions but you should not be dependent or obey them.

Get the ideas and lessons from people around you and experts but when it comes to the final decision be independent. Because you are unique in your interest and skills.

“Never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place – that is, the unique you. Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have the perseverance to realise the great life.”- A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.


Consider some facts:

While you are in the process of making a decision for your career you will be demotivated as to whether you will succeed in your career or not. To avoid this do some calculation and consider some facts.

For instance, if you want to become a computer engineer and you doubt your success in the career. Your doubt can a be an evil whisper which wants to restrain you from success.

Do not get trapped in evil thoughts. Instead, think about whether you are interested in computer and it’s jargons. Do you really like spending hours on the computer? If yes then go ahead with your decision of becoming a computer engineer.

Narrated by Abu Huraira: The Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said, “Allah forgives my followers those (evil deeds) their souls may whisper or suggest to them as long as they do not act (on it) or speak.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

Seek help from Allah. If doubt does not vanish then figure out some other courses and careers.


Follow your gut feeling

Deep in your heart, you know where your heart is and how well you can do in a certain profession. Don’t ignore this feeling. Don’t underestimate it. Admire it because it might be from Allah who is the best planner.

For instance, if you feel like you can do well as a computer engineer go ahead. It can be an indication that you are capable of it.

“Leave what makes you doubt for what does not make you doubt. Verily, truth brings peace of mind and falsehood sows doubt.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2518]

The above hadith warns us to leave what creates doubt. Furthermore, it also suggests that we should follow the things for which we are sure about.


Don’t let one decision ruin another

Now, you are done with choosing your career as a computer engineer. You have also figured out courses and institutes for the education to do better in your career. It is time to abandon every other courses and exam that are not contributing to your decided career, a computer engineer. In other words, do not make your other decisions ruin your first final decision.

I know many who appear for many exams to get selected for some higher post and ended up getting nothing. This year I was attending a program in Delhi where one of the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) toppers Mohammed Nooh Siddiqui made an impressive statement.

He said, “Focus on one thing. If you want to clear UPSC exam prepare for it solely and the wholeheartedly. Do not appear for any other exams. It will distract you from your mission.” He further told that he did not appear for any other exams since he started his UPSC preparation.

This point is quite practical. I am 100% agree with him.


Practice Istikhara:

Although you did rigorous research and consultation nobody knows what is good for themselves except Allah. Might be you think computer engineering is good for you but it is not.

“And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” [AI-Baqarah, 2:216]

That is why Allah has given us a technique to know which is good for us.

In a hadith, Ibn ‘Abdullah said: “The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would instruct us to pray for guidance in all of our concerns, just as he would teach us a chapter from the Quran. He would say ‘if any of you intends to undertake a matter then let him pray two supererogatory units (two rakah naafilah) of prayer and after which he should supplicate:

‘O Allah, I seek Your counsel by Your knowledge and by Your power I seek strength and I ask You from Your immense favour, for verily You are able while I am not and verily You know while I do not and You are the Knower of the unseen. O Allah, if You know this affair -and here he mentions his need- to be good for me in relation to my religion, my life, and end, then decree and facilitate it for me, and bless me with it, and if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it, and decree for me what is good wherever it be and make me satisfied with such.’

After all the above techniques are applied it is suggested to get your final decision some rest. Afterwards, execute your decisions while believing in yourself and Allah.