Decision Making

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A good life is comprised of successive good decisions around life, however, we occasionally fail to accord the kind of careful attention required in making a good quality one.  Decision making requires a course of action taken among several alternative possibilities and is usually characterized by choosing to procrastinate or go with the easiest and even sometimes let others make the choice for us whenever our minds don’t want to make the decisions when required.

Our lives on the other hand are designed by the big decisions we make and built by the small decisions we take thereafter in our day to day lives.

A major cognitive dissonance always seem to challenge and affect the quality of our decision especially when we are not being able to associate our current decisions with the impact it has in our life. Whenever we are faced with decisions we tend to lack criteria or methodology of approach on how to go about it, I say this because we make decisions everyday but fail to take time and improve this repetitive back ground exercise yet the decisions we make shape our destiny, be it on a personal level, social, business, or even governments.

The good news is, decision making is a skill we all can learn and improve for a better quality life. Think of an important decision you made years ago, could be 5, 10 or 15 years ago, realize how important it could have been and the impact it’s had in your life, if you’d have taken a different decision, your life would probably right now be on a completely different path.

The secret thus for improved life quality is making good quality decisions, those that align to your goals and will propel you a few steps closer to that goal.

 

That does not mean that you are not going to make some low quality and wrong decisions somewhere along the way, you will, in fact quite a number, however what we want to do right away is learn to master the struggle of making a tough decision. Most people lack the guts to make decisions because they fear making the wrong decision and so end up making no decision, forgetting that not making a decision is a decision by itself.

Let’s take a look and see what happens in the process of making a decision, which occurs at every moment of our life.

  1. The decisions you make in life whether personal or one that involves a business is determined by what we choose to focus on. Whatever you focus on you connect with and what you connect with you realize. Focus in itself is a decision as it entails a choice one has to make. At times, we focus on what we can’t control leading to frustrations whenever changes are not realized, the good thing about focus is that it has a pattern we can learn and that makes it easier to correct and redirect as we wish once we have studied this pattern, note that at different points and stages, you have to change your focus and realign with the main goal and purpose.
  2. What does the focus identified in the first step mean, is it the end or the beginning of an opportunity, depending on how you read into it you are going to have different options and choices. Whatever meaning you read will control how you feel and act, reading a drop in the economy could mean realization of new opportunities or threats to affect operations and hence time to close shop, both of these are correct so long as it’s supported by other factual reasons. Read into the situation to decode if it’s a challenge, opportunity, threat or a punishment, and like I said, either one you choose is correct so long as it’s supported by facts you can build up on.
  3. The third decision we make is the move you going to make, do you take action and invest some more or pull back and withdraw investments?

The point at which you make a decision is thus the point at which one bears most power and must be improved to help make better the process output of the task. On the other hand, making no decision at all is by itself a choice that takes away your power to influence happenings there after and hence we can say the moment you fail to make a decision, the world makes one for you without fail only this time not one that favors your goal.

Another chief enemy of good decisions is lack of sufficient perspectives on a problem, when faced with a tough decision, we should systematically think through it from five distinctive perspectives, this goes a long way in stretching possibilities for a good decision, we later synthesize these perspectives which should realize your possibilities expand.

 

During decision making, we need to make choices depending on what is favorable to our goal, our decision making skills should seek decisions that contribute towards realizing our goals. This is working in synergy to ensure you align your day to day tasks to contribute towards actualizing our goals, any decision that does this can be said to be a favorable quality decision as compared to one that does not.

Remember, your choices and decisions should not be based on the mood you are in neither should it be based on the changing environments, these conditions can temporarily affect the timing of the decision but should not compromise on the reason for your choice.

Your decision should not be based on temporary realizations unless they are setting foundation to your larger goal, something to please you for the moment goes in vain in the long term perspective, avoid getting emotional with your decisions as emotions are temporary and frequently change to shift your reasons for any choice. It is ok to have emotions but dangerous to be emotional while at it.

Further to this energy demanding and tasking decision making exercise, decision making suffer yet another toll referred to as decision fatigue. This is the mental state our brains assume once hit by fatigue, we realize this at some point of the day once we’ve made a number of decisions, it is for this reason that some successful people whose work involve a lot of decision making choose to wear the same kind of clothes every single day to save on some of the mental energy drain that occurs with every sort of decision making, no matter how small the decision is. Our minds then begin to go for the easy options that don’t challenge much routines to deal with decision fatigue and try save on energies to be used elsewhere.

This perhaps has another way of getting around for those of us who do not wish to remain operational in the same dressing choice for the rest of our lives just to save on that extra kilojoule.

Advanced decision making.

This as an approach employed to avoid decision fatigue by pointing out decisions that can be made in advance prior to their time of execution, note that most of these are routine decisions that we get to make every day.  They have a tendency of increasing the probability of having the tasks done and with ease as opposed those that are made particular at the time and point when required.

Say for example making a decision to wake up at 4:30am the following day can be made the night before, this go a long way in preparing one to waking up to a less clustered decision making processes as opposed to having the decision made around the time it’s required.

Having your reading material laid out the night before or your gym clothes prepared in advance takes off a lot of weighty exercises in advance eliminating the need for debate with self and struggle with decisions during the time of play. Another good example is planning on saving money in advance bares higher chances of getting actualizing the savings as opposed to making the decision to make a saving at the time one receives some income.

Advanced decision making transfers more power to self whenever faced by challenges of making those little impulse and impromptu expenditure decisions as well as a reason to cut on a regular expenditure trait that otherwise goes unnoticed to make the saving possible.

When one practices advanced decision making, more get done, take some time through your daily activities and see some of those advance decisions you can make and take advantage to improve a number of things in your life, begin with those routines that align and contribute directly to your top ten year goals.

Make scheduled decisions the night before, those that recur and give more time to the bigger decisions that have to wait in the morning, Identify the tasks you do pointing out what you want to achieve for the day, those parts of your goal you are meant to handle, that which needs to be delivered or done in the course of the day, this give you the opportunity to allocate more time to those decisions that make a big impact.

Avoid making decisions based on your feelings, if you always make decisions out of your feelings then you will always struggle whenever the feelings are gone, bearing our feelings change depending on our environment, company, events or even where our thoughts are stuck at.

Make your decisions not when under pressure, duress, panic, stressed or fatigued, this is because you fail to base your choices on a rather long-term reason and get driven to satisfy the short term

Make your choices based on its positive contribution towards your goals rather than driven by fear or need to get immediate satisfaction.

It is said that a fool makes decisions that have “right now” kind of benefits which they almost always regret later on as opposed to the wise who act right now towards a course that actualize results much later.

Develop a mindset that will keep you disciplined in acting on “pay now play later” this way, you stand to realize much greater without the strain of caring emotional decision baggage that is not aligned to your greater goals, carrying with it a number of those items you have always found difficult to get done through discipline like making savings, weight loss programs, book reading exercises or even maintaining a healthy diet.

  • Good decisions crown leaders, it makes better the life of those led.
  • We are housed within bodies that are driven by desires and press for impulse decisions that discolor the quality of our lives at the end of the day.
  • We all have assumptions when making choices, most of which are based on temporary reasons that most times don’t last beyond the decisions made, we therefore have to be smart and structure our decisions to work hand in hand with the goals we have set aside.

 

Frank

Frank Odhiambo

Mind Grid perspectives

 

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