I recently read a message along the lines of 'should I take this job offer..' and one of the comments was 'if you applying for new jobs in some ways you have already left the current one' and the other was ‘tell your boss and perhaps there is a counter offer’. The writer of the message decided to talk to their current manager.

This got me thinking about an article I had read about how we can ask five questions when we might be struggling to make a decision.

If you need to decide under emotional circumstances, ask yourself:

How will I feel about this in:

a day?
a week?
a month?
a year?
5 years?

The reason why this question is helpful has much to do with the way our brains process emotions. When we feel some type of emotional threat, another part of the brain known as the amygdala "hijacks" the brain, often resulting in a fight, flight, or freeze response. Emotional hijacks can be useful in certain situations. But they can lead us to say or things we regret.

By breaking down the decision making into questions we are switching our brain to our logical part.

In other words, you "hack" the hijack.

For example, let's go back to the scenario at the beginning. If you tell your boss you have another offer and they offer a counter, ask yourself:

How will I feel about this in...a day? 

Pretty good. It's nice to know my work is valued around here.

...a week? 

Not bad. This is working out, even got a pay raise.

...a month? 

Hmm. The extra money is nice, but I'm not even sure if it's worth it.

...a year? 

Ugh. I hate this job.

...5 years? 

I can't believe I never started that business. Where would I be by now if I did?

The beauty of this questioning technique is that it gives you a glimpse into the future...so you can have a "second" chance at the present.

So, the next time you're faced with an emotional decision, use the golden question to: manage the initial emotional charge and work logic into your decisions.