Hey there, it’s Aaron!
Making decisions can feel like navigating a maze, even when it’s about seemingly small stuff. Ever noticed how we tend to blow things out of proportion? It’s like we’re stuck in a decision-making quicksand, stressing out more and deciding less. 🤷♂️
But here’s the fascinating twist – let’s dive into the rich tapestry of
In this blog post, I’m excited to blend the best of East and West. We’ll explore cutting-edge research on decision-making, sprinkled with ancient traditions and rituals that have stood the test of millennia. Get ready to unlock the secrets to better decision-making! 🚀💡
TL;DR – Aaron’s Summary
Decision-making energy: We all have a daily budget, and it doesn’t roll over.
Bushido principles: Learn from Samurai values like courage and respect.
3 golden mindsets: Set your intention, embrace change, consider perspectives.
7 steps to decide: From understanding the issue to confirming your choice.
10 decision-making skills: Understand impact, avoid fatigue, make informed choices.
Embrace imperfection: Accept that not every decision will be perfect.
How to Make Better Decisions in 2024 (Image created with Midjourney)
Why Is Decision-Making So Hard?
Making decisions costs us energy – and every decision counts. Getting up or hitting snooze? 1 decision credit. Making the bed? Another decision credit. What to wear? At least 3, on some days it could cost me 5 credits. And the list goes on and on, throughout the day we are spending decision credits until none are left. And this is the brutal truth: the decision credit bank does not allow you to withdraw then you have stored – and it only has a set budget every day. So how can we make better, easier, faster, and more decisions in a day?
What Does The
Japanese Philosophy of Bushido Tell Us About Decision-Making?
Bushido is a
To implement a better decision-making process, you need to start by grounding yourself on these core principles. Take time to think through how each value applies to your decision-making process:
When making a decision ask yourself if it is just? Make sure that it benefits all stakeholders involved, not just yourself.
Is this decision one which you are willing to face the consequences of? Consider whether it is a brave enough choice to make and if you have the courage to see it through.
How will your decision effect others? Will it be beneficial for those around you or hinder them in some way?
Have you thought about how the outcomes of your decisions will affect yourself and others? Be mindful of other people’s feelings and respect their opinions when making decisions that involve them in any way.
Are you honest with yourself about what kind of outcome you want from this decision?
Will this decision be one that honors your values and commitments?
Is the decision you are making in line with who you want to be?
By following these principles, you can make better decisions in 2023 by being mindful and taking into account how your decisions will affect yourself and others around you. With this newfound clarity, courage, composure, respect, and honor for yourself as well as those around you, it’ll be easier to make informed decisions more confidently.
Finally, keep in mind that there is no ‘perfect’ answer when it comes to decisions; take time to evaluate all of the available options and choose the best one for you! Making mistakes is part of life so don’t let fear hinder your decision-making process. Indeed, it is helpful to develop the 3 golden mindsets a successful decision-maker has:
There is no ‘perfect’ answer when it comes to decisions (Image created with Midjourney)
3 Golden Mindsets of a Successful Decision Maker
1. Set Your Intention
Before making any big decision, set your intention. This will help you stay focused and consistent. By taking the time to clarify what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it, you can make sure your decision is in line with your values and goals.
2. Embrace Change
Decisions often bring about change, so try to embrace it rather than fear it. This will help you look at the decision objectively, without being overwhelmed by the potential implications of it or getting stuck in analysis paralysis.
3. Consider Different Perspectives
When making a decision, try to consider different perspectives and opinions. By doing this, you’ll be able to gain a more complete understanding of the situation and come up with a better-informed solution that takes into account multiple angles.
The first step in making a decision is recognizing your intentions. Knowing what you want and why you want it will help you assess the situation more objectively.
There are 3 Golden Mindsets of a Successful Decision Maker (Image created with Midjourney)
What Makes a “Good” Decision Maker?
Decision-making is 90% practice and 10% natural skill. That being said, there are many things you can do to become a better decision-maker. People tend to think that someone good at making decisions ALWAYS makes good decisions. But that is not the case. They have just gotten better at pattern recognition, which allows them to categorize an issue to be decided on based on previous experiences. Is it something we have decided on before? Then most likely our brains will suggest to take the same path taken before. (This would also explain why the decision wether to eat or not eat another chocolate cookie almost always leads me to munch on “just one more”Are big decisions needed? Better to consult various sources, like guidelines, asking friends and family members, or hiring a professional consultant. An urgent decision is best taken quickly and without too much time-costly deliberations. Is it a life-or-death matter? Then better to put the maximum amount of effort into the process.
A Modern Take on Decision Making
While reading about Bushido and Samurai and Ninja is surely entertaining, you might wonder if those rather ancient comparisons are all-so-relevant. And what the real-life application of all these decision-making strategies could be.
Let’s turn to more modern military tactics, we can still learn the same core rules. I strongly recommend you learn how to apply these military tactics to successfully build your own business.
First deeply understand the issue to be decided upon (Image created with Midjourney)
The Best Decision-Making Process
There are seven steps to effective decision-making. Each of the steps is crucial to make a good decision, so don’t skip and of the seven steps!
Step 1: Understand the issue to be decided on.
And by that, I mean the real, underlying issue. Not the obvious, perhaps misleading symptom. You never find time to read your favorite book. On first glance the problem seems you don’t have enough time, so making the decision to read seems to come at a time-trade-off with other things you might need to do in the time you have. But what if the real problem is lying deeper? What if it is about you not feeling able, smart enough, or mentally prepared to read this book? Understanding the problem or issue you need to make
Step 2: Identify the decision criteria.
Identify those! For example, if you want to buy a new skin tag remover, list out the criteria you care about. The price, the availability, the speed you can have it delivered, where it is produced, and so on.
Step 3: Weight the criteria.
Weigh each of the criteria you’ve picked in step 2 according to its importance. How much does it really matter if the product is produced in China? Is it more important than price?
Step 4: List the options.
Make sure to capture all the different potential options that are in your solution space. Be really broad here and don’t sort out options already here. That is what your criteria are for and the prioritization later. For now, everything goes!
Step 5: Evaluate the options.
Now it is time to filter out and sort based on the criteria you defined in step 2 and weighted in step 3. Gather facts about each of the options. Unless there is time pressure, it is better to spend enough time in this step to ensure you cover all your basis. Don’t forget, the more thorough you are here, the more likely you are to make good decisions and avoid bad decisions further down the line. Having all the facts will help you make a neutral, balanced judgment.
Step 6: Choose an option.
Make sure to take your time with this decision, especially when dealing with bigger life choices! The decision might not be easy, but make sure to take the decision when you feel ready.
Step 7: Confirm and implement your decisions.
Make sure to follow up on the implementation of your decision, double-checking that everything is going according to plan and all steps have been taken as planned.
Carefully confirm your decision (Image created with Midjourney)
Learn These 10 Decision-Making Skills
Making good decisions is not a trait that only naturally gifted people have, but one that everyone can learn. There are different skills associated with good decision-making, and learning these will help you excel in all areas of life whenever you need to decide on the next course of actions. Here are the most critical 10 skills you should be aware of, practice, and even go through in your mind every time you need to make a choice:
1. Understand the decision impact
Not all decisions are life-or-death decisions and will have negative consequences. Indeed, we tend to overestimate the short-term consequences of our decisions and underestimate the long-term. This is why it is helpful to always start out and evaluate how critical the decision is. Is it a 1 or a 10. Spend less time and energy on decisions of categories 1 to 4.
Here are the 10 levels of decision difficulty with explanation (level 1 is the easiest):
1. No real consequence if the decision turns out wrong
2. Minor annoyance or inconvenience
3. Slightly more serious issue but not critical
4. Reversing decisions is easy and doable without major issues
5. Reversible with some effort, cost, and/or time
6. Difficult to reverse; potential damage
7. Major impact on personal life/career/finances
8. Potential legal implications
9. Highly damaging consequences both personally and professionally
10 Extremely serious decisions that could potentially destroy someone’s life if made incorrectly
2. Avoid decision fatigue
Decision fatigue is the cumulative effect of decision-making. The more decisions you take in a given period, the less likely you are to make good ones as time progresses. Take breaks and avoid doing too much decision-making at once. Great if you can establish some habits that will remove the need for decisions when encountering the same problem every day: should you make your bed? Yes, make it a habit, not a choice that requires a decision, so your course of action is very clear. Implement a balance system where every day you only need to make 2 level 9-10 decisions.
3. Try to always make an informed decision
Decision-making involves understanding the problem fully – and gathering the information you need to comprehend what you are deciding on. Generally, it is best to avoid jumping to certain conclusions until you have finished gathering information, to avoid a biased decision. So whenever you encounter a problem level 6 or above, take a step back and first search for all the relevant information on the issue.
4. Reflect on alternatives
More often than not, there are multiple possible solutions. If we are under duress, stressed, or short of time, we often feel pressured to choose based on a smaller sample size of possible decision options. This is why it is important to follow the entire process with all the 10 steps we have outlined above. There is often more than one correct course of action. So whenever thinking of a problem and its solution, think of all the alternative solutions that could apply.
5. Leverage mental shortcuts
In the decision-making model, leveraging beneficial mental shortcuts is key. For example, try to pick and choose the most important factors associated with a problem and use those to make a decision. This is not about intellectual laziness, but rather about using your intuition to classify a problem as one of the levels outlined above.
6. Remove personal biases
Cognitive biases are those mental shortcuts your brain takes to make decisions faster. By becoming aware of those, you can spot them and try not to fall for them in order to make a better decision. A real-life example of a cognitive bias is for instance the availability bias, where you think something is more likely to happen just because it happened recently or you heard about it many times. Another example is the sunk cost fallacy. It means that you make a decision based on an investment you already made in the past and not considering new data or facts.
7. Focus on the most critical decisions
Focus on such problems that you would rate a 7 or above on the difficulty scale. Think of decisions to be made in terms of urgency and potential impact. Focus on areas where a wrong decision will have the biggest negative impact and try to avoid problems that do not require a decision in the first place.
8. Consult a person you trust
Research shows that individual decisions are often flawed and that problem-solving in a group of people is more efficient, especially if the group members have different backgrounds and experiences. Therefore, consulting a person you trust can yield great results in many scenarios. This could be a family member, a mentor, or even an expert on the matter. If you know someone who has faced similar problems and handled them well, try to learn from their experience as much as possible – it will help you make a better decision.
9. Embrace wrong decisions
Bad decisions are part of life and don’t let the fear of making them stop you from taking such decisions that might turn out to be wrong. The art of problem-solving is the art of accepting imperfection, and that a portion of your decisions will be wrong decisions. Best decisions can only be made when you are making choices fearlessly.
10. Take responsibility
It is important to trust the decision-making process, but not to put the responsibility on it. It is your new job to find possible solutions to the problems you have, ensure you have all the relevant information, reflect on potential outcomes and benefits, and decide decisively on the best course of action. The final decision is yours. You need to be the leader in your life, and that comes with also taking the lead in plowing through situations where so many choices stumble others.
Taking responsibility for your decision is the samurai-way (Image created with Midjourney)
A Final Thought on Decision-Making
What always fascinated me in Japan was the concept of accepting things for what they are, but not using it as an excuse for inaction. Following the way of Bushido for decision-making, with the right amount of courage, insight, and will you can make better decisions no matter how many options there are. So take a deep breath, focus on what matters most, and jump in!
Ready to scale your business and decide on the right AI tools? Check out Unlocking The Power Of AI: Best AI Tools For 2023.
Ready to finally get around investing the money losing value in your savings account? Read A Beginner’s Guide To The Stock Market.
Face the decision head-on and practice Bushido (Image created with Midjourney)
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