Understanding the art of decision making for better future

Decision making is a common tool that is a part of every person’s life. The thing is that this tool is less thought about, less focused, less discussed and also less valued. Even when everybody knows the importance of making good decisions.                 

Decisions are like everyday tasks. We make decisions almost every minute of our life. For example, you made a decision by reading this article on decision making a minute ago. Yes, read that again. Now again you made a decision of reading that sentence again or ignoring it. The thing that I’m trying to explain is that we make decisions quite regularly. Either consciously or unconsciously, willingly or unwillingly.

Some of our decisions require very less thought process. We can say these are minor decisions of our life. For example, waking up at a particular time on a Sunday morning. While some decisions need to be reviewed and thought about before practically performing them. We can consider them as the major ones. For example, choosing a career that will feed us at the same time entertain us.

I have tried to write a few points on decision making. Which I’m trying to implement in my life. 

Hope this article helps you too.

We make our own decisions:

Once we start understanding things, get a ‘bit mature’. There is no chance that the things that happen to us are others’ fault. We are completely responsible for the things that we perform. The point I want to mention is that, “We decide for ourselves”. The results and situations that we face are because of our decisions and implementation of them.

Taking responsibility for our decisions:

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

-Abraham Lincoln

Responsibility is a thing that brings out the best in you. 

Taking the responsibility for your decisions will reduce the frustration and pain even in bad times. Like when your decisions have failed to give the necessary results, still take responsibility for them. It will not necessarily solve the situation, but at least will offer you a way to solve it. 

Taking responsibility is a practical thing that can only be experienced and then understood. It can’t be understood than experienced. Try it for yourself.

Not being emotional while making decisions:

Emotions are just chemical reactions in our body. But the funnier part is our decisions are majorly based on them. Why do I say funny? Because emotions mostly bring the worst out of us. 

The thing about decisions and emotions is that they are complete opposites of each other. Emotions fade one day or the other. But once you make a decision it mostly affects your life for a longer period. Deciding what to do when we are on an emotional ride is always risky. The reason is once the emotion fades; we don’t think in the same way. Once the emotional high is gone things change, not for the better. Everybody might have experienced this at least once in their life. Making a decision in a happy or sad mood and then regretting about the words uttered and the thoughts.

Typical example of this is “New Year Eve”. We are excited about the upcoming new year. We make progressive resolutions. But everybody knows what happens when the emotion fades. There is no real motive behind that resolution, it’s just a reaction in happiness. 

Being calm while taking decisions:

This is a practical part, which is similar to the above topic. Calmness is a state where you are free from emotion or any kind of agitation. 

Thinking calmly while making a decision will always help you to think straight and unbiasedly. Will help you understand the situation better and also help you in predicting the results.

Decisions made in a calm state of mind will always give you better results and less trouble.

Decide Bravely:

Courage is grace under pressure.

-Ernest Hemingway

Mostly bravery or courage is required in tense moments. Sometimes we also have to face such situations where we need to take decisions bravely. But we are so scared of the situation that we spend a lot of our time just thinking about what to do and what will results from my decision.

There is a saying “Luck favors the brave”. 

There are many difficult situations in our life which actually require some brave decisions. Leaving a job, changing your profession after investing many years doing something unrelated to your new profession. These moments are tense and can disturb your life for a long period.

But in these moments of life it is really very important to take that decision and change your life for the better. Usually these major decisions of life either change our life quickly and completely. Or we are stuck in the same old cycle with no growth and more stress because we aren’t actually making a single decision that offers us a lot.

The point I want to mention here is that you have to make a decision and act on it. You will search for options once you are put in a certain situation. Some things have to be performed practically to know their results. You cannot learn to swim without jumping into the water. You have to follow the whole process to learn to swim. 

Decide and act. Let the power greater than you take care of the results of your actions.

Think of long-term results:

If you think about the long term, then you can make good life decisions that you won’t regret later.

                             -Jeff Bezos

This is the last part of the blog but, I think might be the most important point. Many times we make decisions that have no sense of direction at all. That only gives us pleasure for a shorter period. For example, nowadays people are spending a lot of their time on playing games, watching videos and scrolling randomly on social media. This is not a productive habit, and their decision of spending hours just to get entertained will not give them any results in a longer period. 

We often make this mistake, make decisions without even thinking if it will really benefit us in the long run or not. Some decisions are like investing money in the share market. The profit of the investment is not great in the short term. But after years of keeping the investment untouched, we get great returns. Similarly, decisions always must be made with a vision. Will it matter 2-3 years down the road from now? Will it benefit me after 2-3 years?

One of the classic example for this is, we shout at people when we are stuck in traffic. If we are asked a month later about that incident, we would have definitely forgotten about it. As we travel almost 6 days a week. But still we waste our energy.

This aspect of decision making might be of no use in a shorter period. But in the longer run, this is a key habit that can help us achieve mountains. Again, this too is a practical thing or we can say it as a DIY.

So these are some points I am trying to implement. These are observations of my decision-making skills in my day-to-day life. Hope this helps you. Any suggestions are most welcome.

Summarizing decision making:

  • Decision making is an important tool that must be used precisely for our benefits.
  • Being emotional while making decisions is like kicking a stone, that too barefooted.
  • Decide calmly. Calmness is a state where you are free from emotion or any kind of agitation. 
  • Make decisions and act on them. Overthinking won’t help you while making decisions. Once you are put into a difficult situation, you will find a solution to overcome that situation.

Illustrations by: Prithvi Sawant.

Make decisions by keeping a vision. 

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