How to create more options for yourself

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Most of the time, more options won’t make for a happier life.

But there are situations where it can help.

Let’s say you’re in a financial crunch. Would it help to have more options or fewer?

More would be better, right? Especially if there were certain options you didn’t want to take unless you absolutely had to.

But when you’re in that situation of needing more options, it can be harder to come up with them. This is because you’re under a lot of stress. You need the money, but you needed it yesterday!

Now, there is a lesson here in that it’s better to dig your well before your thirsty. The reason this is hard is because you aren’t necessarily expecting there to be any challenges ahead. You might be doing well right now, so you assume the good times aren’t going to come to an end.

Regardless, having many options in an instance like that would make you feel a lot less frazzled and worried. You could start going down your options list, actioning one or two items today, actioning one or two more tomorrow, and so on.

So, how do you create more options for yourself? Here are a few ways to beef up your options list.

Engage in Research

There are almost certainly options outside the most obvious ones you’ve already thought of.

I would contend that most people can only think up a handful of options in a crunch when there are dozens if not hundreds of options they could add to their list.

You may not be able to solve your challenge with your current level of awareness.

So, begin the process of research. Read blog posts, articles and books. Read the stories of those who’ve gone through what you’re going through. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Watch videos. Look into relevant magazines and other publications.

Broaden your list of options by studying the issue from a variety of angles.

Yes, this can be a real challenge if you’re stressed and under a lot of pressure. Again, that’s why it’s better to dig your well before you’re thirsty, but it’s easier said than done.

Talk to Someone Who’s More Knowledgeable Than You Are

Don’t make your options list all by yourself. Enlist the help of others, especially those who are more knowledgeable, or those who’ve been through what you’ve been through.

Again, you might be under a lot of stress, which really makes you the worst person to be making your list. You might feel like you’re in a do or die situation already. Starting your own list is not a bad idea, mind you.

There are those out there who know more than you do. Surprising, isn’t it? And, they can help you come up with options you knew nothing about or hadn’t even considered.

I have a friend who’s recently been having some cash flow issues in her business. I helped her create an options list because I understood her situation and was aware of many options she wasn’t. She was in do or die mode, and I helped her recognize she wasn’t at the end of her rope. She began to see that there were a lot more things she could do before calling it quits. So, she may have given up had I not intervened.

We should all be so fortunate to have friends who can help us in a time of need. You might need to do a bit of networking to find someone who can truly help. But it will be well worth the effort you put into it.

Consider Things You Aren’t Willing to Do

Don’t write something off just because you don’t want to do it. This is the biggest mistake you can make when making your options list.

As you go down the list, you should find things you’re willing to do, things you aren’t willing to do, and everything in between.

Now, I’m not saying you should have things on your list that would compromise your values or break the law. Far from it.

If you were going through a financial crunch, I would suggest things like selling your house, boat or car and downgrading your lifestyle. If you were trying to save a marriage, I would suggest things like giving up your hobby, going for counseling, or admitting when you’re wrong. You know, things you don’t really want to do, but you know could help the situation.

By the time you get around to these items, you might not have to do them. But they should still go on your options list. I had to sell my house to build towards my dreams, so recognize that there may come a time when you need to act on things you don’t particularly want to do.


Making an options list when you’re going through a challenging time will make you feel a lot less stressed. Getting someone to help you with it is even better.

Even if you think you know it all (which is impossible), there are probably options you have yet to consider. You don’t know they exist, so you haven’t considered them.

Don’t make rash decisions when you’re in trouble. That’s the worst thing you can do. The first option you come up with probably isn’t the best one and may even involve breaking some laws or compromising your values. Outside of that, anything is fair game.

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