Making Better Decisions in Desperate Times

Maslow’s hierarchy of 5 needs maps out the most basic of our perspectives. We are either “surviving” or “thriving.” The fact of the matter is, we need to pay attention to where we are on that spectrum and how it affects us when making important life decisions.

Ok, here we are in times of recession. Could this be your scenario? After some time being out of work, you finally get a decent job offer but you don’t know if it’s the best choice. What’s more, you feel a little desperate since you are struggling to make your house payment and feed your family. This is the state many are in these days. How do you make the best decision? I have a few words for you below.

Decisions decisions
It is hardest to make rational decisions when you are desperate. Many people these days are out of work and that makes them desperate. When in a desperate state the whole world looks different. You might view one opportunity (job, housing …) as the answer to all your prayers when in reality, it has real potential for damage, long term.

Most people will not blame a desperate person for making a rash decision. In a way that’s unfortunate because the consequences of rash decisions can be far more painful than the rebuke of a friend. Maslow’s hierarchy of 5 needs maps out the most basic of our perspectives. We are either “surviving” or “thriving.” The fact of the matter is, we need to pay attention to where we are on that spectrum and how it affects us when making important life decisions.

Survival: Your Life
The popular reality television show Survivor takes place in a new location every season. In a similar way, we as people are often in varied places of survival. Survival is the bottom of the pyramid. It is the level many people are at when they are struggling so hard to do things like make their house payment or get food for their family. It is very important to remember that our perception of reality may be altered in this state. As a result, we will have a harder tine making a good life-path decision. It is very important that we work to get out of the “survival” mental state before making big decisions. In times of recession, it can be tempting to take a job we really won’t enjoy and feel justified because it bumps us up from this level into a higher state … temporarily.

When desperate, remain smart
If you are stuck in a place of desperation and just can’t seem to get up the pyramid, do yourself a favor and realize your mind is not always crisp and controlled. Our mental state can determine our decisions. Before you make huge decisions, meditate on your future and whether or not you really want to live with the consequences. Is your mental state affecting your decision? The truth is, there is no art of making desperate decisions. It is important to get your mind out of a state of desperation before you process such decisions.

Author: Damien Riley

I'm a blogger, film critic, & podcaster with an MA in English from California State University, Fullerton. I teach public school, 4th grade as my primary occupation. My views on films and life are usually headstrong and often 'left of center' on movies and life, but I have respect for the other side. I married my high-desert princess (now my queen). We have 3 children.