A policy is a rule that helps govern varieties of different things. Governments can have policies, organizations can have policies and restaurants can have policies.  Any group can form its own policies, but something that might be overlooked is that individuals can form their own policies.

While it may not seem necessary, personal policies can be highly beneficial.  The best personal policies take the potential indecision out of encounters that might otherwise create a temporary confusion.  You may already have policies, but might not have thought of them as such instead just calling them "rules of thumb."  The problem with not officially labeling a policy as such is that it has to be redetermined on the fly and may change based on the situation.  If you take the time to think things through ahead of time, a lot of decisions become much easier.

I have several policies in place that make most of my decision making trivial.  I will never buy anything, or donate anything, to a telemarketer.  My thought being, that I do not wish to encourage this type of behavior, regardless of the organization doing the telemarketing.  Without such a policy, I might be inclined to donate money to organizations that I agree with, thus don't encourage them them to continue telemarketing. 

Another policy I have is to never make charitable contributions on the spot, but to plan them out privately and donate directly.  This makes it much easier to decide what to do when encountering the homeless, salvation army bell ringers, kids trying to go on some trip I don't care about but want me to pay for, etc.  It allows me to make meaningful decisions and budget appropriate amounts to give to charities that I would like to support.  It also alleviates any guilt I might have felt about not giving.  Now, I can simply realize that I am adhering to a previously thought out policy and not being stingy.  I have extended this policy to include salespeople who approach me in an attempt to push me into buying whatever crap they have that I don't want or need.

Routinely creating, maintaining and adapting personal policies can help make your life much simpler.  It removes the decision from the encounter, giving you the neccessary time to truely think through a decision.  So, create your policies.  And, then next time you encounter such a situation, you can say, "Sorry, it is against my policy."

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