There is a question we can use to make decisions that is incredibly helpful in almost every area of life.
The question is this: Is it beneficial?
This is a question I was first introduced to shortly after college and I have referred to it countless times—not just in big decisions, but also in smaller ones.
It is very easy in life to choose the things I want to do, to choose the things everyone else is doing, or to choose things simply because they are available to me.
But there is a wiser way to make decisions than simply thinking, “This is something I want to do.”
Adding a further question, “Is this beneficial?” forces greater intentionality and better decision-making into our lives. It invites us to think through our decisions in terms of how they will impact ourselves and if they will impact others in a positive way.
There are any number of things I can choose to do on a given day, but the reality is that not everything is beneficial.
Is it beneficial? is a question that can be applied to almost every decision in life:
- How we spend our time.
- How we spend our money.
- Where we focus our energy.
- The words that we use.
- The work that we take on.
- The possessions we keep in our home.
- The habits we seek to develop.
- Even the choices we make when resting.
I can do anything I want today, but what is beneficial?
I can choose to spend my money any way I desire, but what is beneficial?
I can say anything I want, but what is beneficial?
I can eat anything I want, but what is beneficial?
I can fill my calendar with anything and everything, but what is beneficial?
I can post (almost) anything on social media today, but what is beneficial?
I’ll be quick to admit that there are no perfect human beings on planet earth. Learning to ask this question consistently and choose appropriately is a lifelong quest.
But our world would be a better place—and our lives would be more fulfilled—if we thought to ask it more often.