you can learn how to make the right decision more often!
Do you know how to make the right decision, when the right decision does not seem obvious?
Good decision-making is an ability that can move you quickly toward your goals — when executed properly.
Life is a series of choices, and success is directly correlated to the amount of good decisions that you make.
The peculiar truth of modern life is that most of us live our day-to-day lives on a sort of autopilot, and yet autopilot is not the best mode in which to make important decisions about your life. There are consequences!
Making the Best Choices for a Great Life
Let’s face it: if you were to collect a small random group of people together, probably at least one person in that group has developed a reputation among her friends for making unfortunate choices (almost everyone has that friend who chooses the wrong mate, the wrong job, the wrong car, etc.).
Clearly, some of us are better than others at choosing. But is making excellent decisions a innate sense that we’re born with? Or, can we learn — over time — to make better choices in our lives?
Some people don’t seem to have an organic, common-sense knack for how to make the right decision — and yet good decision-making is a skill that can be learned!
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Pause and Breathe:
How to Make the Right Decision Most of the Time
Bestselling author Shad Helmstetter wrote a book about discovering the 100 most-important choices.
Helmstetter believes that it is indeed possible to become more conscious and careful in choosing, and it starts by increasing our awareness about the decisions we make in a typical day and that we develop the intention for learning how to make the right decision — that we approach the process with an un-rushed reverence.
For example, here just some possible choices you could make during your day:
- ⊙ how much time I will spend conversing with my spouse
- ⊙ what I will think about while I’m getting ready this morning
- ⊙ whether or not I eat breakfast
- ⊙ how much time I give myself to get ready before leaving the house
- ⊙ with whom I will spend most of my time today
- ⊙ if I will read from a book today and, if so, which one
- ⊙ how much television I will watch
- ⊙ the appearance of my home
- ⊙ the organization of my home office
- ⊙ how long something will stay broken before I fix it
- ⊙ how much time I will spend with my kids today
- ⊙ if I will invite a friend over today
- ⊙ whether or not I will have fresh vegetables with my dinner
- ⊙ how late I will stay up tonight
- ⊙ what I will think about just before I go to sleep tonight
- ⊙ how early I will rise tomorrow morning
These are just a fraction of the choices we make in a typical day. So often, we make our choices unconsciously, on default — by not choosing deliberately. What can be helpful is to do the opposite: to take a fresh, objective look at our daily decisions!
On a Jean Chatzky radio show, I heard Dr. Doug Hirschhorn expand on this even further, sharing a mathematical formula for determining smart risk.
Now, when I first heard this, I went, “huh?” My brain shut down after the words “mathematical formula.”
But last night, I was saying the formula out loud to myself, and suddenly I “got it.”
All you have to do is assign a probability, using a combination of your logic and intuition. Here is the formula:
Completing the formula, sounds like this: “There is an 80% chance that if I do this, I will have this outcome: [fill in the blank yourself].” And then say the opposite, “There is a [fill in the blank yourself] chance that if I don’t do this, I will have this outcome: [put outcome here].”
According to Dr. Hirschhorn, this simple process can be extremely clarifying when trying to figure out what is the best thing to do next — especially if you’re on-the-fence about something.
Making good choices consistently is a big part of being a highly productive person, and by playing with noticing how and when you make the simplest of decisions throughout the day, you will increase your awareness of the choices available to you each day, we start to make even better ones!
Yes, you can learn excellent decision-making! Making good choices takes practice, and it all begins with awareness.