How Do I Make Good Decisions?

I have 2 alter egos, the same as everybody else. I’m just the guy in the middle that has to sort through all their respective bullshit. Some refer to them as Angels and Devils. But it’s just our brain giving us options. However, we still have to figure out which of those 2 fools to listen to. You should be starting to realize by now, if you read any of my other content, that I like to be the devil’s advocate. I look at what can go wrong, before moving onto what I want to go right. I factor the human element into all my decisions.

There was a man who had three girlfriends, but he did not know which one to marry. So he decided to give each one $5000 and see how each of them spent it.

The first one went out and got a total makeover with the money. She got new clothes, a new hairdo, a manicure, a pedicure, the works, and tells the man, “I spent the money so I could look pretty for you because I love you so much.”

The second one went out and bought new golf clubs, a CD player, a television, and a stereo and gave them to the man. She said, “I bought these gifts for you with the money because I love you so much.”

The third one takes the $5000 and invests it in the stock market, doubles her investment, returns the $5000 to the man, and reinvests the rest. She says, “I am investing the rest of the money for our future because I love you so much.”

The man thought long and hard about how each of the women spent the money.

Finally, he decided to marry the one with the biggest breasts.

Generally, in most cases, we do what we want to do. Despite all the evidence.

Why Do People Make Bad Decisions?

There are many psychological factors that can lead to bad decision-making. Some of the most common include:

When we are feeling strong emotions, such as anger, fear, or excitement, it can be difficult to make rational decisions. This is because our emotions can cloud our judgment and make us more likely to act impulsively.

We all have biases, which are unconscious preferences that can influence our decision-making. For example, we may be more likely to trust information that confirms our existing beliefs, or we may be more likely to make decisions that are in our own best interests, even if they are not in the best interests of others.

Mental shortcuts
Sometimes we use mental shortcuts, or heuristics, to make decisions quickly and easily. However, these shortcuts can sometimes lead to bad decisions, especially if we are not aware of them. For example, we may use the availability heuristic, which means that we are more likely to choose an option that is easily available to us, even if it is not the best option.

Lack of information
If we do not have enough information, it can be difficult to make good decisions. This is because we cannot weigh the pros and cons of different options effectively.

Time pressure
When we are under time pressure, we are more likely to make bad decisions. This is because we do not have enough time to gather all of the information we need or to think through all of the possible outcomes.

When we are tired, we are more likely to make bad decisions. This is because our cognitive abilities are impaired when we are tired, making it difficult to think clearly and make rational decisions.

How Can We Make Better Decisions?

OK, so now we know about bad decisions, let’s go into how we can make better ones. It’s a process, step by step.

Take your time
Don’t rush. Gather all of the information. Think through the possible outcomes. But not too long… GET STARTED.

Get feedback from others
Get an opinion. Just don’t follow it because you want to impress someone. The fallout will be on you alone. Different perspectives are ok, but think.

Think About How You Think About Things
Your prejudices, fears, and bad experiences. Should they really factor into THIS decision?

Use decision-making tools
That’s a decision in itself. These tools can help you to weigh the pros and cons of different options. But you still need to think.

Learn from your mistakes
Everyone makes bad decisions sometimes. Be Honest. Learn, Train, Practice, and Drill the things you fail at. You’ll get it.

What Do We Need To Make Good Decisions?

It’s all in your head: Even if you get outside help… it’s ultimately up to you.

Be clear about your goals
When you know what you want to achieve with your decision you will focus on the relevant information and make a decision that is aligned with your values.

Being aware of your own strengths, weaknesses, and biases can help you to make better decisions. For example, if you know that you are easily swayed by emotions, you can take steps to avoid making decisions when you are feeling stressed or angry. Or going shopping when you’re hungry. You know you’ll regret it later.

Critical thinking
Don’t believe everything you see, hear, read. The ability to think critically and evaluate information objectively is essential for making good decisions. Identify and assess different perspectives. Get a second opinion, do lots of research. But ultimately it’s up to you to decide.

Problem-solving skills
The first step is knowing you have a problem. Then accepting the problem. Then we can generate some creative solutions, and think about the potential consequences of different actions.

This is the ability to bounce back from setbacks, accept responsibility for your decision and learn from mistakes.

People don’t change their minds, but they will make new decisions based on new information. Listen and evaluate before making snap decisions.

How Do Regular People Make Good Decisions?

Generally, we make decisions through a complex process that involves our thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Something like this:

  1. Identify the decision
    What is the decision that you need to make? What are the possible outcomes of your decision?
  2. Gather information
    What information do you need to make a good decision? Where can you find this information?
  3. Identify the alternatives
    What are the different options that you have? What are the pros and cons of each option?
  4. Weigh the evidence
    How likely are the different outcomes of each option? What is the value of each outcome to you?
  5. Make a decision
    Based on the information you have gathered and the value you place on the different outcomes, what is the best decision for you?
  6. Evaluate your decision
    How did your decision turn out? What did you learn from the process?

Final Word – Conclusion

Of course, this is just a general overview of the decision-making process. The specific steps involved will vary depending on the complexity of the decision.

However, these are the key principles that are involved in making good decisions. In reality, we all know that we don’t always have the time to go through this entire process. It’s a gut feeling, you’re on a deadline.

But knowing, and practicing these processes, let’s say on things that don’t matter so much to start with. Like training in the gym, your mind learns and grows with everything it does. Good or bad. So practice… and then, when it matters you will be instinctively better at coming to the most beneficial decision for you, more quickly, more accurately, and with fewer problems. Oh if this was a perfect world…

If You Build it, They will come… to your cave