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Why is It That Some People Won't Make a Firm Decision?

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Posted 13 March 2012 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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You may find the following will help with your Decision Making and Problem Solving skills training.

Why is it that some people won't make a firm decision?

Consider this:

Your better future depends largely on the quality of the decisions that you make.
You cannot always control what happens to you; you can't control circumstances, environment or other people.
But you can decide what to do about what happens to you.

"The Principle of Decisions" simply put, is this:

  1. Good decisions = good results
  2. Bad decisions = bad results

And (note this): NO decision = dithering = a bad decision = bad results

All of us need to learn to make good, quick and accurate decisions

Why it is that often, people don't (or wont) do that?
Why it is that some people dither i.e. won't make decisions?

These are good questions;
Let us answer them.

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First let us define what "a decision" is

A decision is "the mental act of selecting one option, from more than one option".

Obviously there has to be more than one option open to you; otherwise there is no decision to be made.

Example:
If you jump off a high wall you don't have to decide whether or not to obey the law of gravity.

There is only one option; you're going down!
So there is no decision to make.

However there are many cases where you must decide, because there are many options available.

There are three major categories of decisions for you to make:

  1. Yes or no: should you or should you not?
  2. Which one / what kind should you pick?
  3. What is the correct order?

1. Yes or no: should you? Or should you not?

Examples of these decisions are legion:

  • Should I buy one, or not?
  • Should we go there, or not?
  • Should I get involved, or not?
  • Should we do it, or not?
  • Should I eat it, or not?
  • Should we leave, or not?

You must make a decision!

WHY?

Because you cannot do both: i.e.
You cannot both: eat it AND not eat it/ go AND not go / do it AND not do it.

You must make a decision!

2. If you decide to say "yes" then the next decision is of the type "which one / what kind"?

Example if you decide "YES. I will buy a car." Then the next decision is "which one / what kind"?

And if you have a list of more than one thing to do, then you must make priority order decisions of the kind:

  • What is the correct order of importance?
  • What is the correct sequence of actions? I.e. which comes first, which is second

Decisions, decisions! You must make decisions

Why is it that many people avoid making decisions?

What is the remedy to this terrible affliction?

Here are the reasons together with the remedies!

Three main reasons for not making decisions

  1. Most people don't know HOW to make decisions: nobody has ever taught them about decision matrices and "decision trees".
  2. Many people are scared that, if they do decide, then they might make a wrong decision; so they dither.
  3. Some people think that they must gather ALL the information pertaining to the situation before they can decide.

Here are the Remedies for each reason

1. Most people don't know how to make a decision.
Nobody has ever taught them about decision matrices and decision trees.

Remedy
1. Learn about decision matrix and decision trees.
2. Buy a book on decision matrices and learn the methods. They are quick and easy to learn.
3. Attend our time management course where we cover this issue in detail.
4. Go to amazon.com and buy a copy of "the anatomy of decisions" by P.G.Moore:
5. Then when the book arrives, read it.

2. Many people are scared that they might make a wrong decision so they dither

Remedy: Recognise that this is a mistake.
Why?
Because dithering is itself a decision which is equivalent to deciding to do nothing.

Example
Carol is trying to decide whether or not to leave Swindon and go to live in London. She cannot make up her mind whether to stay or go.
She does not want to say "no" because she thinks London would be a better place to start her career. But she is afraid that it might go wrong and that she may regret the decision later: so she hesitates and dither's for weeks on end neither deciding to go to London or stay in Swindon.

But can you see that: not deciding "to go" is existentially the same as deciding "not to go"

Not deciding = stay in Swindon

Make a firm "yes or no" decision because not deciding is the worst decision of all because indecision burns out the soul circuits!

3. Some people think that they must gather ALL the information pertaining to the situation before they decide to make a decision.

This sounds good, but what is wrong with it?

What is wrong with the following statement?
"I will make a firm decision when I have ALL the facts to hand".

It SOUNDS good but what is wrong with it?

Answer

You can never know all the facts. You have to decide in the face of

  1. Incomplete knowledge
  2. Uncertain knowledge
  3. Errors in knowledge

It is the price you must pay for being a human; only the Gods have God-like knowledge.
You have to make a decision in the face of incomplete knowledge.

You must make decisions!

Learn to
Decide; act on the decision, observe the results of the actions and then make a new decision about that too!

Enjoy!

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