General

Making Smart Choices Part 1

Oluwaseun Macaulay Written by Oluwaseun Macaulay · 1 min read >

 Decisions are a staple in our lives, with each having consequences. The challenges, uncertainties and opportunities of life are faced with the decisions we make. The decisions we make in the past determine some of the decisions we make in the future, as well as our position in society.

Making Decisions is a Fundamental Life Skill

We have some fairly obvious decisions ­­­– “no-brainers”. For this kind of decisions, the ideal solution / option in the decision is right at your face, although, no-brainers are an exception. The important decisions in your life are not as straight forward, they are tough and complex, affecting not just you but the people around you and the effect of that decision may be felt for years to come. Being able to make the best decisions at the right moment is hence, a fundamental life skill. It determines how we meet and achieve our responsibilities and professional life goals.

This kind of decisions are tough with high stakes and serious consequences, involving numerous and complex considerations. We generally don’t enjoy them. It is not easy mentally on us, we may get stints of confusion, doubt, regret and embarrassment. Living through the decision, we could suffer periods of alternating self-doubt and confidence in our choice, or procrastination or desperation. This leads us to making decisions too quickly, or slowly or living it to time or chance, resulting in a mediocre choice that we have to live with and sometimes, we regret the choice.

You can Learn to make better decisions

Most people don’t know how to make good decisions. We have to train ourselves in making them or learn from experience which is costly and inefficient. Each decision is different so past experience in making decisions does not carry much weight. Although there is quite a difference between what you decide on now and what you decide on in the future, you can still learn to make more decisions more successfully. We look at what we are deciding on and how we decide on it.

To adequately increase your odds of making good decisions, you need a god decision making process. It should provide the best solution in a timely manner, while saving energy and money as well as keeping allowing you keep your composure. An ideal decision-making process will fill these criteria:

  • It focuses on what’s important;
  • It is logical and consistent;
  • It acknowledges both subjective and objective factors and blends with intuitive thinking;
  • It requires only as much information and analysis that is necessary for the particular situation;
  • It encourages and guides getting relevant information to facilitate an informed opinion;
  • It is straightforward, reliable, easy to use and flexible.

A decision-making process covering these criteria should be used on both major and minor decisions and the more this approach is used, the better one gets at making decisions. As we practice and take heed of these criteria, good decision making would become second nature to us.

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