How to Make Decisions

Steps to Make Decisions

We make decisions from the moment we wake up till we go to bed on a daily basis. Some of the decisions we make intuitively and some of the decisions we make by giving it a lot of thinking and consideration. Decisions have a huge impact on our lives. Some of the decisions we take can make the difference between being alive and dead within seconds (such as while driving) and some of the decisions can impact our life immensely after 10-20 years (such as investing in the right type of assets or getting married to the right person). Who we are today is based on the result of the decisions we made in the past. Who we will become tomorrow or in the future will be the result of the decisions we make now and in the future. It is important throughout our lives to make the correct decisions to increase our success rate of living a better life.

Decisions can be roughly categorized in two classes, regardless what sorts of decisions they are: Calculated decisions and non-calculated decisions. Let’s take talk about these two a little bit.

Non-Calculated Decisions – Emotional decisions, intuitive decisions, decisions based on past experience, and so on are all examples of non-calculated decisions. Most of the decisions we take daily are non-calculated decisions and we don’t think or spend much time on these types of decisions. Although non-calculated decisions seem to be not that important and we are in habit to decide on it fast, making the wrong non-calculated decision can ruin our life, just like calculated decisions.

Calculated Decisions – These are the decisions that are systematic, analytical, logical, and calculative. We take a long approach and do a lot of research and follow a step-by-step procedure to come to a conclusion. Most of the life’s big decisions fall into this class. Some examples are: Who should I marry? Should I quit my current job to accept another offer? Where should I retire? Should I be an entrepreneur or a 9-5 employee for life?

Now, is there any way to make a better decision? While there may not be a single, foolproof approach to make better decisions, here are some steps to consider in making good decisions.

1. Identify your decision or the purpose of the decision

2. Identify your objectives or what you are expecting from the outcome of this decision.

3. List all the possible outcomes that can happen due to this decision.

4. See yourself to the extent of each of these outcomes. Look at all the pros and cons that will come due to this decision.  Imagine yourself living with one or several of the outcomes that will happen due to your decision. You can add your past experience, knowledge, intuition, calculation, analysis, etc. to seeing yourself how things will be, how comfortable and happy you will be, and how better it will be for your future because of this decision.

5. Make the decision that you like best in number 4.

Sometimes decision making can be really tough regardless of how much thinking you put into it. Research has shown that it is incorrect to think that calculated decisions are always better than instant, snap decisions. There will be times in your life when you will need to make decisions beyond logic and calculation – based on your instincts or emotion. This is just fine. We humans are emotionally driven quite often and following logic or calculation will not simply make sense during those times. If you need to make a decision, whether it’s a calculated or an emotional one, make a solid decision, regardless of whether it makes sense to others or not. Stick to your concrete decision to the end – and if it happens to be a wrong decision, have no regrets. Just learn from it and move towards the future.