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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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Management Skills Training - How to Make a Decision

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Posted 04 April 2014 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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Management skills - How to make a decision

Your life proceeds according to the decisions that you make.

  • If you make good decisions, your life goes well. You make progress.
  • If you make bad decisions, then your life does not go well. You make no progress, or worse, you go backwards!

You have to make decisions at every moment of the day. You need to decide when to get out of bed, what to wear, what to eat, what to do, what to say, what is important and what is not.

  • If you get all the above decisions right, then the day goes well.
  • But if you get up late, skip breakfast, do all the wrong things, say all the wrong things, and forget to do important things, then your day will be a nightmare.

You need to make good decisions.

But how? When you were at school, nobody ever gave you one lesson on decision making strategy.
You probably have never read any books on how to make good decisions.
Consequently some of the decisions you make are poor decisions.
And it is possible that one poor decision will be enough to ruin your future.
You need to know how to make good decisions.

How to make good decisions.

A decision is the mental act of choosing one option from many options.
And when making a choice you must use criteria, a set of benchmark standards, which you use to compare the options against each other.
The criteria you use will alter the decision you make.

When making decisions you need to use the right criteria, (the right benchmark standards).

  • If you use the right criteria, then your decisions will be wise decisions.
  • If you use the wrong criteria then your decisions will be terrible decisions.

And it is possible that one terrible decision will be enough to ruin your chances.

What are the criteria for wise decisions?

You should make decisions according to the following two criteria.
Measure each option according to its 1. Long range- 2. Value.
Do not measure each option according to its 1. Short range-. 2. Pleasure.

Let us look more closely.

Decide according to "Long range value" not "short range pleasure".

Example 1. When deciding on a pudding, should you have the fruit salad or the cake?

  • Long range value would suggest the fruit.
  • Short range pleasure would suggest the cake.

Example 2. When deciding whether to get an early night before the conference, or go out on the drink, with the gang

  • Long range value would suggest the early night.
  • Short range pleasure would suggest go drinking with the gang.

Example 3. When deciding whether to shout and swear at the guy who cuts you up in traffic

  • Long range value would suggest not to shout and swear.
  • Short range pleasure would suggest shout abuse and to heroically blow your horn for an extended period.

Example 4. When deciding whether to study and prepare for the exam, or to watch more TV

  • Long range value would suggest study and prepare for the exam.
  • Short range pleasure would suggest more TV. And whilst you're at it, have a beer. Order a pizza. Relax. You can study extra when you're more in the mood.

Example 5. When deciding whether to get revenge or try to negotiate a solution to the conflict

  • Long range value would suggest try to figure out a negotiated plan of action.
  • Short range pleasure would suggest another revenge attack. At night; when the enemy is least expecting it.

These examples and others like them are repeated a zillion times a day, by billions of people.

Decide according to "Long range value" not "short range pleasure".

Are you going to live your life chasing long range values?
Or short range pleasures?

The wise people live life chasing long range values.
The losers spend their time chasing short range pleasures. (This philosophy of chasing short term pleasures is called hedonism. It is the sex drugs and rock and roll lifestyle.)

It kills people who do it.
Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston are examples of victims of hedonistic lifestyles.

Be a wise philosopher and choose options, NOT upon their short term pleasure quotient, but rather upon their long range value.

Then you will live long, and prosper.

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