Good decision-making, a requisite attribute for living life efficiently and productively, can be daunting, difficult, or even painstaking at times.
Understand that making a good decision is important
Other than the minor decisions you need to make in your everyday life, all your major decisions are complex and multi-faceted. Major decisions have long-term ramifications that sometimes last a lifetime. Hence, making a sound decision is critical for your happiness and prosperity.
Clearly define what you desire to accomplish
Making a decision ? good or bad ? involves identifying the outcome clearly. You should define the objectives you desire to accomplish. If itís a major decision that has long-term implications, you should gather more information and evaluate the facts. Do your homework and assess all your options before taking a decision.
Brainstorm & analyze all possibilities
Brainstorm and arrive at the various possible choices you have. Consider only the best options that are wholly compatible with your personal interests, values, beliefs, and abilities. Weigh the diverse probable scenarios and think of the best, as well as, the worst outcomes.
Set down the pros & cons of your decision
You need to do this only for your most important decisions. Prioritize the considerations that are most significant to you. Most often, as you weigh up the pros and cons, you will discover how dramatically lopsided they are. If you put down your thoughts on paper, itís much easier to perceive the ďbig pictureĒ.
Solicit opinions & obtain valuable feedback
Consult trustworthy individuals who have had to contend with a similar scenario. They will provide you with valuable feedback on certain facets of the issue you may not have thought of previously. This will facilitate you in arriving at the right decision faster.
Make the decision and observe the results
After making the decision, you should observe the results. You must make an effort to obtain the desired result. If possible, implement minor changes to your decision and make certain that you succeed in getting the desired outcome. In situations where you cannot implement any changes, monitor your results constantly.
Acknowledge that there are no guarantees
Thereís no means of knowing beforehand whether youíve made the right decision. At times, a decision that seems absolutely perfect to you on a certain day may be totally impracticable or infeasible the very next day. Hence, you must be considerate and ready to take risks.
Be prepared to spot the opportunities
Whenever you make a faulty or wrong decision, you should not be dejected. Appraise what went wrong, and pinpoint the reason for it. Understand that many times your decisions can be reversed. At such times, donít hesitate to grab the chance.
Understand that itís easy to reflect in hindsight
On certain occasions, you might find in hindsight some situations that may have directly affected your decision if you had prior knowledge of them. You feel short-changed. This is quite normal. Nevertheless, this shouldnít hamper your decision-making process.
Avoid getting stuck & not taking any action
Donít worry needlessly about making the wrong choice. If youíve done your homework properly and done everything for arriving at the right decision, donít permit yourself to be bogged down. You should go ahead with your decision. Donít let fear stop you from making up your mind.
Avoid becoming fearful & indecisive
Occasionally, fear of making a wrong decision can literally paralyze you. You panic, become disoriented, and lose sight of what you truly desire to accomplish. This hinders your decision-making process greatly. Hence, you should avoid letting your fears dominate you and render you incapable of taking a decision.
Avoid second-guessing yourself
Second-guessing weakens what youíre striving to accomplish. Once youíve taken a decision, you should permit the chips to fall wherever they may. Adopting this approach benefits you as youíll learn a few important lessons.
Avoid becoming an opportunity miser
Thereís no significant difference between a money miser and an opportunity miser. Money misers hoard wealth, whereas opportunity misers restrict their decision-making process.
Opportunity misers select only one course of action and rule out the rest. Unfortunately, this tragic behavior of hoarding their freedom to choose invariably makes opportunity misers become prisoners of indecision. Even a slight unwillingness to explore your opportunities limits you from enjoying your life.
Understand that making a good decision is akin to gambling
Since life is unpredictable, itís impossible to rationally gauge opportunity costs. Hence, decision-making is inevitably a gamble. Gamblers attach great importance to their ďhunchesĒ and calculations and place their bets.
To make a good decision, respect your gut feeling
Never undervalue your gut feeling or the power of intuition. After weighing up all the facts and evaluating them, go ahead with your gut feeling. People have achieved great things by merely going by their gut feeling or taking the path their intuition led them.
Renowned strategists rely equally on both instinct and intellect; they collect as much information as they genuinely need before making a good decision.