The right way to make good decisions often goes against what we’ve been taught as children and through advertisements.
For years I believed the best way to make a good decision was by getting as many opinions from relatives and friends as I could. Although their advice was usually well-intended, it was often not what was best for me. That makes sense because no other person has my complete history and list of needs than me. The same goes for you.
Looking back on some key life decisions I made based on relying heavily on the recommendations from others, many of them turn out to be bad ones. Here’s what I mean.
In seeking advice I usually relied on people who I saw as being intelligent, perhaps because of their advanced education. The problem was that I failed to fully consider their experience and knowledge in the area in question.
Looking back at some of the bad advice about important career and romantic decisions I choose to follow, the person I often listened to turned out to have zero common sense, zero street knowledge, zero employment experience (large inheritance only), nearly zero romantic experience, questionable intelligence, and questionable integrity. And I followed the advice of this idiot several times, which cost me dearly. Of course, we are no longer friends.
Before I get into my formula for making good decisions, I want to point out the benefits of making a decision. Once you make a decision, your…
- Anxiety decreases
- Confidence increases
- Determination increases
Here’s my formula for making good decisions.
- Clarify the decision and choices.
- Do research if needed until thoroughly understood.
- Come up with alternative choices and decisions.
- Present the decision clearly and concisely to “qualified” individuals.
- Consider each recommendation.
- Identify the best 2-3 choices.
- Refine questions and follow up with respondents.
- Allow your subconscious mind work on the problem for a few days.
- Let the decision go during this period.
- Strongly consider your gut or intuition — the voice of your subconscious mind.
- Your gut led choice may not be completely understood until later.
- Imagine how each choice will make you feel in the end.
- Make a decision based on all of the above.
There is no perfect decision. But decisions that are thoroughly researched are more perfect than those where no effort was put into it. Even still, if the choice turns out to be a bad one at least you know you did your due diligence. Then living with it and making adjustments to compensate are much easier.
Happy decision making.