When stuck with the question, “What should I do?” don’t stay stuck. Don’t fall prey to the temptation to blindly asking someone else what you should do. Instead, ask yourself — and answer — the following questions:
What are my options in this situation? (If there is only one option, your question is already answered. If there are two or more options, then proceed to the next question).
What are the likely immediate and longer-term consequences of each option? (Make a list of each set of consequences and confine the lists to one page).
Which options are the most desirable and the least desirable, and why?
What is my final choice? (If you cannot answer this yet, then first develop the top 2 or 3 finalists. Then go to a final judgment).
Take as much time as you need, no more and no less. Do the best you can. Don’t expect easy guarantees of always being right; life isn’t like that. Do expect to improve in your decision making over time. Thought increases the chance of being right tremendously; so does eventually taking action, since inaction is never right.
This exercise is an example of using your own rational judgment instead of letting others tell you what to do. It’s the alternative to both do-as-I-say dogmatism and do-as-I-feel subjectivism. It’s called being objective. Some don’t like the idea of objectivity because it seems too cold or harsh; others feel it’s too hard, or too much work. What’s the alternative? Self-defeating impulsivity? Doing what a dictator tells you to do? Praying to the skies and hoping for an answer in code? Get real!
Is it wrong to ask others for help? Of course not. However, you ought to give this exercise a try first. Then, instead of asking someone else what you should do, you can ask them: What do you think of my reasoning process? Is it logical or flawed? Is there anything you can see that I’m leaving out? This is the rational way to get help.