Facing a Tough Decision? Try Cartesian Questions!

Guest post by Jodi Dunell, Jumpt

Have you ever found yourself at a cross road? Faced with a decision to make but not sure which way to go?

Red_and_blue_pill (600x339)Should I take the promotion or stay in my current role? Should we holiday to Thailand or Disneyland? Should I do the bookwork for my business or contract it out?

Often we can become overwhelmed or anxious because we don’t want to make the wrong decision but can end up not doing anything at all.

I have been in many situations where I just can’t make up my mind. Sometimes I’d love to choose both options. When I find myself in this position I use a great tool called the Cartesian Questions.

Four questions that help encourage deeper thought, examine a situation from all angles and move past any perceived boundaries. These questions can be used to explore the many outcomes and consequences of a decision.  They are questions that are best done with a coach as the coach will be able to keep prompting you with the question “What else…. What else…. What else?”.  When answered by yourself it can be too easy to write down the first few answers and then move on. The best results are gained when you can go beyond the first few answers that come to mind.

I had a client who found themselves with a decision: Do I work on the content for a book for my business or do I contract the work out? We used the following Cartesian questions, in order, to get more clarity and my client was very surprised with their end decision.

Here’s an example

1. What WOULD happen if you DID contract the work out?

  • More time to work on other business tasks
  • Input from a third party
  • Other ideas possible
  • Get it done quicker

2. What WOULD happen if you DIDN’T contract the work out?

  • I would have included all of my ideas
  • Have to allocate hours to complete work
  • Be more busy
  • Would have less family time for a short while
  • Be creative with my ideas
  • Feel proud of completing it

Now this question gets a little more tricky:

3. What WOULDN’T happen if you DID contract work out?

  • Not as much creativity input from me
  • Wouldn’t feel like it is all my work
  • Wouldn’t have satisfaction of doing it myself

This question is designed to scramble your brain:

4. What WOULDN’T happen if you DIDN’T contract work out??

  • Not spend family time with kids
  • Get other ideas from third party
  • Get it finished quickly

These are just examples to give you an idea. It is OK if your brain feels a little jumbled and confused.

Embrace the confusion and even the possible frustration because this is when the magic can happen. Where decisions can be made more effortlessly and motivation to take action flows.

What decisions do you need to make? Why not give the Cartesian questions a try. If you need more help remember to ask a coach. They will be able to take you beyond the obvious, open your mind to new alternative and look at the problem / decision from a different perspective.


jodi-dunellJodi Dunell, Jumpt personal training & life coaching

Jodi is a Life Coach and Personal Trainer. She specialises in group training and life coaching. Helping people align their goals and mindset to be able to make exercise a part of their day, feel energised and achieve fitness and personal goals. Living your life to your full potential starts with a healthy mind and body.



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