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Wise Words

Wise Words are those Snappy Sayings and Clever Quotations that give you Wisdom-in-a-nutshell: such as this one from Albert Einstein

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How to Make Better Decisions

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Posted 29 September 2014 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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You may find the following will help with the development of your Personal development skills training.

How to make better decisions

Imagine how wonderful your life would be if, in every single situation, you always made brilliant decisions.
Imagine what wonderful things you could achieve if you always made brilliant decisions.

And on the other hand, just think what would happen to the person who always made terrible decisions?
If he had to choose between two options, he would always, without fail, pick the wrong one.

Imagine how terrible that would be for the poor soul:
It would matter not how well educated he was;
it would matter not how very beautiful she was,
or how strikingly handsome; if a person always made disastrous decisions, then that poor person would never amount to anything.

Your life unfolds according to the quality of the decisions that you make

  • If you always made wise decisions, then you would achieve all of your goals.
  • If you always made Wally decisions then you would never achieve any of your goals.

Your life unfolds according to the quality of the decisions that you make.
Therefore, it would be a wise decision to improve your capacity to make wise decisions.

How to make wise decisions.

How can you, more frequently, make wise decisions?

You can take the following six steps.

  1. Make decisions consciously; reject the idea of snap-decision making, based on gut feel.
  2. Base your decisions on a logical analysis of all the available evidence.
  3. Think about the long range consequences of the decision, not the short term pleasure-pain balance.
  4. Recognise that all decisions have to be made in the face of uncertain and incomplete knowledge.
  5. Once you have made the decision, have the courage to act on it.
  6. Once you act on the decision keep your eyes and ears open and don't be afraid to reverse a decision if your original decision is proved to be an error. Don't be dogmatic.

Let us say a few words on each of the points.

1. Make decisions consciously and reject the idea of making snap decisions based on gut feel

Snap decisions based on gut feel are too unreliable for you to rely on.

Gut feel decisions are, in reality, a decision based upon a cursory evaluation of the unconscious knowledge that is tucked away in your subconscious mind.

Your mind is full of information, images, memories, feelings, fears and imaginations. A gut feel decision is a decision that , may be based on a set of unwarranted conclusions, false generalisations, slogans and sayings that have been thrown together by chance and evaluated quickly in the heat of battle.

The resulting decision is no better than a guess.
And nobody should guess.

2. Base your decisions on a logical analysis of all the available evidence

Your decisions need to be made by means of a logical evaluation of all the available evidence.
Your decisions need to be fully conscious, and as informed as possible. Your decisions need to be
UN-tainted by any prejudices, fears or guesses.

You need to make decisions in the most intelligent, objective, and logical a manner as your current abilities allow.
You need to be constantly improving your abilities to think logically and decide according to the evidence.

3. Think about the long range consequences of the decision; not the short term pleasure pain balance

Whenever you make a decision, please recognise that you have an option as to how you make the decision.

  • You can make a decision based upon an evaluation of the short term pleasure pain consequences that you will enjoy (or suffer) as a result of selecting each option.
  • You can make the same decision based upon an evaluation of the LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES to yourself and others as a result of selecting each option.

Wise decisions are made according to the second set.Poor decisions are made by using the first set.

For example: imagine you were trying to decide whether or not you should eat two helpings of cake.

  • If you judge the question according to the short range pleasure, then the answer will be; YES. EAT THE CAKE.
  • If you judge the question according to the long range consequences, then the answer will be; "NO. Don't eat the cake".

Always think about the long range consequences of any decision you make.

Don't be hypnotised by the apparent short term pleasures associated to a bad decision.

  • Pleasure is not the test of a good decision.
  • Long range value added is the test of a good decision.
  • Remember that many things that are valuable are not pleasurable. (Jogging).
  • Remember that many things that are pleasurable are not long range value adding. (Cream cakes).

4. Once you have made the decision, have the courage to act on it

Once you have made the decision, have the courage to act on it.
Once you have made a decision, don't delay, act today.

Procrastination is the thief of time. If you have made a decision, then have the courage to act according to that decision. Don't make a decision and then run away from the responsibility of enacting it.

Many people make a decision to lose weight and put off starting their diet until tomorrow.
Many people make a decision to do something about their poor maths skills, and then never do anything about it.
Many people make a decision to move out of an undesirable situation and then never make a move, partly out of fear of the unknown; and partly out of mental inertia.

To make a decision is supposed to be a decisive act.
Make your decisions decisive; follow through on your decisions.
Decide: Then ACT.

5. Recognise that all decisions have to be made in the face of uncertain and incomplete knowledge


6. Once you act on the decision keep your eyes and ears open and don't be afraid to reverse a decision if your original decision is proved to be an error. Don't be dogmatic

Once you have enacted your decision, then you need to keep your eyes and ears open. All decisions you make are made in the face of incomplete knowledge in a context that is constantly changing. And therefore any decision you make is contextual.

As the context changes, and as more information comes to light, it may soon become apparent that your original evaluation and decision was "wrong".
Under those conditions, don't be afraid to reverse your original decision.
Don't be afraid to admit an error and change your mind.

Be true only to the truth.

If your thoughts have deviated from the truth, then change your thoughts to correspond to the truth.

If it becomes clear that your original decision was wrong, don't be dogmatic and refuse to change your mind. Decide it is an act of courage to change your mind and reconfigure your mind to fit the facts.

This is how you can gain more wisdom.

  • You learn by observation.
  • You learn by logical thought.
  • And you learn by your mistakes.

Be prepared to admit a mistake and then learn from it.

This is part of your wise approach to decision making.
When you decide to make only wise decisions according to these principles then your future is secured!
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