For Those Tough Decisions; Make It About What’s Important To You; What You ‘Value’

So I was sitting in a coffee shop with one of my favorite people, who is in my inner circle. To be in my inner circle, you must have integrity, loyalty and I must truly trust you with all aspects of my life. The friend that I was meeting with, as a little background, has about 15 years of additional life experience on me and has always been someone that I look up to.  Informally, she has been an important mentor to me in my personal and professional life; always providing solid, objective feedback and being a great, supportive person in my life.

This coffee sharing time however was different today. My friend REALLY needed me to be there for her and I was honored to do so. My friend was in a state of confusion about a big decision she needed to make in her life regarding her career.  As a side note, I think it’s important to say that my friend is highly successful by many people’s standards and can pretty much get her pick of many high-level positions out there.  But one thing that I have learned through the years, is that it doesn’t matter how successful you are.  We all have big decisions to make and no matter where you are in life, you can still feel at odds with what decisions you should make.

So, back to my friend.  She came to me indicating that she’s got a very big decision to make and wasn’t sure what to do.  She’s presently in a high-ranking position with a great salary to match. Fortunately, this position gives her Live a balanced lifethe flexibility in hours so she can have quality family time. However, on the flip side, she admits that the other people that she works for are sometimes very hard to take.  They are negative and instead of working with each other, they work against each other.  She then told me that just the other day, she had been offered back a position she had years ago in a field that she is super passionate about. In this job, she was able to be creative and make decisions on her own. However, the salary is significantly lower and it’s one of those 24/7 positions that she’s on-call all the time and there would be very limited flexibility with other aspects of her life.  What a decision to make! As she discussed with me, and I totally agreed, many decisions we have to make in life have positives and negatives on each side and it’s sometimes really hard to determine the best decision for our lives.

I could tell she was exhausted about thinking of all of this and felt pressure to make a decision from outside influences that were communicating their opinions to her. As I was talking with my friend, I thought about how each one of us has our own story and what decisions we make sometimes involve other aspects of our life.  Because she was asking for my advice, I did what Values are keywas natural to me – to be ‘real’ and just say what I use every day of my life to make those tough decisions in my life.  I didn’t tell my friend what decision she should make. What I did tell her was, trust her gut instincts and go with what’s really important in her life. I felt like she needed to do what’s going to make her happy in life.

I keep referring to the person in this post as ‘my friend’ because she is currently in the decision-making process!  I wish the very best for her and know that if she follows her gut and what she values in her life, she will make the VERY best decision in her life!

We’ve all got big life decisions to make in our life at times!  When they come to you, take some time by yourself, preferably in a relaxed setting, and ask yourself these questions below:

  • What are the REALLY important things in my life?
  • Are my decisions aligned with who I really am? my values? what I truly believe in? … Are they best for my life?
  • What is my gut instinct telling me about the decision(s) I need to make in my life?
  • Am I doing what I am passionate about?  Will the decision I make, contribute to happiness in my life?

So is there a big decision you need to make? Or have you made a big decision recently in your life?  Other than the questions above, what other things do you think about when you’ve got a big decision to make?  I would love to hear from you!


2016-11-11T11:55:58-07:00By |Inspirational Articles|39 Comments


  1. Alli Polin September 9, 2013 at 5:08 am - Reply

    What a tough and wonderful situation your friend is in! To have a choice… between two opportunities each with strengths and challenges. You give some great advice… to go with gut and look to our values. I’ve also found that when I turn to a friend in a situation where I’m faced with a difficult choice, it’s rarely because I don’t know what to do. I’m GREAT at making lists and that only adds to my turmoil. When we really need to decide, it’s about putting all of those lists aside and tapping into our inner-knower. Sounds like that’s exactly where you pointed your friend too. Hope you’ll write a post with an update ~ curious which choice is the right one for her…

    • SmartChic September 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm - Reply

      Thank you Alli for sharing your thoughts! Yes, sometimes making those lists can make things even more challenging! But relying on gut instinct is so powerful. You are right, many times we already know the answer. I think a follow-up post will be done!

  2. Dan Forbes September 9, 2013 at 5:10 am - Reply

    Your friend is fortunate to have you to lean on in times like this. And good for you, in refraining from trying to tell her what to do. She just needed you to be a sounding board. It will help her make the right decision.

    • SmartChic September 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for your comments Dan. I really appreciate it. In all my work that I’ve done, I have learned that we can support, we can provide the tools, but the decision needs to be made by the person themselves. It’s all about taking responsibility for your own life!

  3. Chery Gegelman September 9, 2013 at 7:54 am - Reply

    Cynthia – Great post! I love the quote that it’s not hard to make decisions once you know your values! (I’m with Alli – I’d love to know the outcome!)

    • SmartChic September 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Thank you Chery for your comments! I will have to do a follow-up post on my friend’s decision! And yes, once you know your values, you know yourself and decisions seem to get much easier to make!

  4. LaRae Quy September 9, 2013 at 8:20 am - Reply

    Your friend is lucky to have YOU as a friend! Listening to our gut will lead us to make the right decision for us, because it is in tough with raw emotion…not the filtered emotion that goes through the logical brain or the part of us that worries what others will think. The gut is the most place in our body to tap into…great advice!

    • SmartChic September 9, 2013 at 1:17 pm - Reply

      Thanks LaRae for sharing your thoughts. I totally agree that the gut is where we need to tap into when we make big decisions in our life. Our instincts are SO often right! Have a great week my friend!

  5. Geoff Conn September 9, 2013 at 8:56 am - Reply

    My current job placement is the most recent big decision I have made. Sometimes you have to look at circumstances as to whether you should move forward on things. That was the case with me. Phone call for the job offer came totally out of the blue; unsolicited. I’m a religious person and believe God had a calling in this. Honestly it kinda pained me to think about moving to a smaller market, but after saying “yes,” everything has been a blessing. From my apartment, all the way to my cable/internet service. I had other offers out there back home, but my friends also encouraged me to come here because radio is what I am passionate about and it’s what makes me happy. I guess what I am offering Cynthia, is faith in God played a large role in my choice. I’d encourage any and all to do the same in weighing any decision of your friends magnitude. Thanks for the post friend!

    • SmartChic September 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Geoffrey for sharing your thoughts! I love how there was a calling for you to make your big move…. I appreciate you so much and I hope everyone reads your comments!

  6. Linda Mastroianni September 9, 2013 at 10:43 am - Reply

    You gave her perfect advise. She is blessed to have a friend like you for support and guidance. Gut instinct, or intuition is always relevant. You should always listen to that inner voice.Great post Cynthia!

    • SmartChic September 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Linda for your comments. I really appreciate it. Listening to that inner voice has always been so important in my life. Your gut instincts are usually right! Thank YOU again. I appreciate you!

  7. Terri Klass September 9, 2013 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    Great post, Cynthia and I too think your friend is so lucky to have you!
    You did her such a service by not telling her what you think but allowed her to roll out all her pros and cons.
    We do have all the decisions within us and we sometimes just need to take the time to reflect and be honest with ourselves.

    • SmartChic September 9, 2013 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      Thanks Terri for your comments! I greatly appreciate it! I agree with you that sometimes the answers to the decisions are within us. We just need to really take a look within and go for what we know is right for us.

  8. Anthony Steinberg September 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    I totally agree with everything that you’ve said so far Cynthia. The most important thing in any decision, be it major or minor, is how it makes you feel. Aside from fiscal issues, the day to day finances of living in the modern world; our inner peace is paramount. In fact in reality, happiness outweighs all other problems. Your friend is actually in a very fortunate position. I hope her instincts take her on the correct path.

    • SmartChic September 10, 2013 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Anthony for your comments…I agree that our inner peace in life is paramount. I appreciate your wisdom as you and Jeanne live out your dreams. I am grateful to know you both!

  9. Terri B. September 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Great post Cynthia. You gave her great advice to assist in her decision making. I’m sure she appreciates your guidance on finding her path. Often times friends and family want to make the choices for us. Unfortunately, what we really need is a sounding board. I really believe if we trust our gut and hearts we will make the decisions that are best for us. That’s the most we can hope for. Great advice as always!

    • SmartChic September 10, 2013 at 8:06 pm - Reply

      Terri, thank you for sharing your thoughts. They mean a great deal to me. You are so right, that many people want to try to make decisions for people. It is so important for the person themselves to make their own decision. And trusting that gut instinct is so important! I appreciate you my friend!

  10. Jandis Price September 9, 2013 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Thanks Cynthia for sharing your friend’s story. I am able to connect with her dilemma and believe in seeking first what matters most and ensuring your values and passions are aligned. Your friend is blessed to have you in her life and to be able to share her inner most feelings, fears and desires openly without judgement, being directed or “fixed”. Sometimes all we need is to be heard and to know that we are loved, valued and respected! The question I ask is, “Am I as happy, excited, proud, and passionate on Monday morning as I am on Friday afternoon?” I hope you will share her decision 🙂

    • SmartChic September 10, 2013 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      Jandis! Thank you so much for your comments. They really mean so much. How true that is: “Sometimes all we need is to be heard and to know that we are loved, valued and respected!” I will definitely share the decision once it is made. Thanks again!

  11. Brad Hanson (managementbrad on twitter) September 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm - Reply

    Hi Cynthia,

    Although my father has been gone for 15 years, you remind me of him.

    He was a great listener too. When you listen, you’re giving others permission to hear their own answer.

    Cynthia, you are not only a good friend, you are a wise one.



    • SmartChic September 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      Brad my friend, your comments brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for saying that I remind you of your father who was a great listener. I do my absolute best to be there for others and like you say, ‘hear their own answer’. I appreciate your wisdom and friendship very much…..

  12. Dana Helms September 9, 2013 at 7:09 pm - Reply


    Wow! Thanks for sharing this experience. Just coming fresh from the WithIt (Women in the Home Furnishings Industry) conference in August I see this a lot! First no matter someones rank, job title or salary. Each of us are value to each other. We all have things to offer each other and can mentor, support and be a shoulder. You nailed it, trust your gut. No one lives with your decision more then you do!


    • SmartChic September 10, 2013 at 8:31 pm - Reply

      Dana, thank you so much for your comments! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. EXACTLY! “Trust your gut. No one lives with your decision more than you do!”

  13. Karen Gronsky September 9, 2013 at 8:10 pm - Reply

    You are beautiful Cynthia, your friend is blessed to have a friend that listens with great love, compassion, and sensitivity. Yes, only she can ultimately make the decision but I am so sure that your support means the world to her.
    Blessing to both of you!


  14. Carla September 10, 2013 at 5:33 am - Reply

    Great blog as always Cynthia!!! Your Friend is a Lucky Gal to have you to lean on!! I loved the questions you suggested we ask when we have those important decisions to make. You nailed it Girl, sometimes I think we need to just get alone, listen to our heart, have a firm value system in place and don’t stray from that. Our gut, our heart, our faith & wonderful friends surrounding us ~ a winning combination for the decision making process!! Thanks Girl!! 🙂

    • SmartChic September 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm - Reply

      Carla! Thank you so much for your feedback and comments. They mean so much to me… You are correct that most of the time, we really do have the answers within ourselves. Sometimes we just need a listening ear and a little time to ourselves to really get to our gut instincts based on our value system. I appreciate you my friend!

  15. Sandra Griffin September 10, 2013 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Love it Cynthia, as always 🙂 You’re right on the questions and what we should be thinking about when making decisions. It also helps me to “think out loud” the pros/cons as sometimes we can answer our own questions by doing so.

    Follow your guts,always. Every time I have to train someone to work with me or to help me out, I always tell them: it has to feel right, it’s not about the money. When you do what it feels right, from your heart the money follows you.

    Cynthia, you are an inspiration to so many people. Never stop what you’re doing. I’m here for you, always.


    • SmartChic September 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Sandra for sharing your thoughts. I absolutely LOVE what you said about when you train people you say…”It has to feel right, it’s not about the money. When you do what feels right, from your heart the money follows you.” I appreciate YOU my friend!

  16. Al Gonzalez September 10, 2013 at 9:02 am - Reply

    Thanks Cynthia, As usual, you provide valuable and relevant content when we need it so much. The line that drives this home for me is:

    “Am I doing what I am passionate about? Will the decision I make, contribute to happiness in my life?”

    Tough decisions can be made when this is the guiding light!

    • SmartChic September 10, 2013 at 8:40 pm - Reply

      Al! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I am glad that this post resonated with you. And yes, it’s so true that tough decisions can be made more easily when you know what you are passionate about and if you know it will contribute to happiness in your life. I appreciate your comments!!

  17. Stephanie September 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm - Reply

    Hi Cynthia, everyone has decisions of some sort to make in one’s life. Your friend sounded troubled & confused in which way to go. She Needed a true friend to share her story with. You gave her awesome advice & all spot on questions to ask. I agree one has to put the pros & cons aside and go with her gut & what will make her happy. Take time alone and weigh it all out & listen to her inner voice. It’s nice she has someone like you to go to. Awesome friend! 🙂

    • SmartChic September 10, 2013 at 8:42 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much Stephanie for sharing your thoughts! They are so appreciated and I appreciate YOU! When making big decisions, we all need to take time alone and listen to our inner voice.

  18. Etiedidiong Davis September 11, 2013 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    The Best investment you can do is Invest in you ~Cynthia Bazin
    You are one of a kind Cynthia, You shine all around, you are a blessing, you reach out to many, you inspire, and you make life simply beautiful in a positive, and motivational way. We definitely have to make great decisions in our lives daily. We have lots of options to make, Especially when it comes to our personal lives, business lives, and social lives. We mostly have to think about things that makes us happy, time is one of the most important thing as well. We want to make decisions that will fit our lifestyles. Happiness is a priority in life. We must know our values, make smart decisions and be happy for a life time. I personally, am grateful for who are are, the sparkles you have brought to so many lives. your friend is blessed to have you, sometimes we need that voice that would just encourage us and move us steps higher to achieving our goals.

    Blessings to you Cynthia,
    much love and high fives. keep on being a blessing to many. you Rock.

  19. Dave Moore September 12, 2013 at 12:32 am - Reply

    It’s always best to have a great circle of friends around us but your friend is very lucky to have you in hers. I am sure it works both ways.
    You also exemplify the point I make about not listening to hear, but listening to UNDERSTAND.
    I too would like to hear the outcome.
    Great work my friend

  20. CompassAMG September 12, 2013 at 4:34 am - Reply

    Your advice was right on Cynthia! We should exercise that same wisdom on a regular basis, it would bring us greater happiness throughout our lives!
    Short story: A client of mine was in a well paid, well respected position for many years. Yet for some time, she nurtured a growing desire to give more of herself through non-profit work. Finally trusting her inner voice, she set plans in motion to right size her finances in a way that would accommodate the planned major changes in her lifestyle. Soon after, she was approached with her dream job, a rewarding position that matched her skills, provided limited travel and allowed her to give back. As she moved forward with the decision, the company she had been a part of for 25 years announced a merger which would likely result in the elimination of her position.
    The take away, align your actions with your dreams and the universe will conspire to make it a reality!

  21. Adam McGinness September 14, 2013 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Cynthia, your friend is very blessed to have someone like you in her life. I love the fact that you did not tell her which direction to go, yet you listened and advised her to do what is going to make her happy in life.

    I, like your friend, am going through the same type of situation right now. I am attempting to make some big decisions when it comes to a career move. I have also reached out to some people very close to me (in my inner circle) and just having them there to listen to me is such a blessing.

    I pray that your friend finds happiness no matter which direction she goes.

    Great work as always Cynthia!


  22. Michelle Krieger September 22, 2013 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Fantastic advice Cynthia!

    It’s so easy to have our decision making clouded by what other people want us to do and by what we think we SHOULD do that it easy to forget about factoring in what will really make us happy! That always seems to be on the bottom of the list when it really is the most important consideration in most cases!

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