On Decision-Making Circles
Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Fede Wettstein ponders the impactful reality of one’s decision-making bubble brought about from our DCSC Formational reading, “The Defining Decade.”
On Tuesday afternoons, we have Franciscan Formation sessions with DC Service Corps. Throughout the year, these sessions have taken the form of discussions, workshops, or presentations with topics ranging from spirituality to direct service to professional development.
In April, we started reading Dr. Meg Jay’s book “The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most out of Them Now.” In a nutshell, the author explores the importance of your twenties in three key areas: career, romantic relationships, and cognitive / physical development.
One of the topics we discussed during our first formation session of the month was the complexity of making important decisions, especially when we weigh in the opinion of too many people. This got me thinking about something I had always taken for granted in my home.
For as long as I can remember, my parents have emphasized two big lessons on this topic:
First, clearly define the boundaries of whose opinion you will weigh in when making important decisions. In the case of my family, the people within these boundaries were a definitive five: my mom, my dad, my two younger sisters, and I. Depending on the nature of the decision, exceptions could be made and other people’s opinions would be considered as well: grandparents, aunts and uncles, family friends, etc.
The second lesson was regarding what to do with the opinions and advice from people beyond the established boundaries. The maxim was short and sweet: be a gracious receiver. My parents taught my sisters and me to always assume that these opinions and advice were given from a place of love. As such, we had to listen but take them for what they were: just opinions. At the end of the day, it was up to us whether we wanted to consider these opinions or disregard them.
I cannot stress enough how important these healthy boundaries have been throughout my life and how grateful I am to my parents for having been instrumental in teaching my sisters and me how to navigate decision-making.
As I transition into married life (I’m getting married on May 30th!), my “decision-making circle” will also transition from including my parents and sisters to only including Abby, my soon-to-be-wife. And God, obviously, in case that wasn’t already a given. But the role that God has played in important decision-making in my life could be the topic of my next blog, stay tuned!
Reflection Questions: How do you go about making important decisions in your life? Do you have a clearly defined “decision-making” circle? Who should and who shouldn’t be in that circle?