The Art of Decision Making
What constitutes a good decision? It depends on the person(s) involved in, or affected by the decision. It can be very difficult to determine the best choice, and some decisions are not always popular. It is my belief, however that when making a decision whether it be which pair of pants to wear in the morning, or which car to buy we need to take into account all available information. Sometimes that means we need to do a little investigating; this might include research on the Internet or in books, looking out the window (in the case of which pants to wear), or asking other people for advice/opinions. There are times when we have to go with our gut instinct, but this tends to be in moments of high emotion or when we have little or no emotional involvement.
There are a few things I like to consider when making a decision.
- How important is this decision at the present time or in my future?
- How will the decision I make today affect not only me, but others as well?
- What is the price of the decision I am making (monetarily, emotionally, physically, mentally)?
- Have I gathered all pertinent information before making my decision?
- Am I making this decision based on want or need?
Not all of the decisions we make are popular or the best decisions, but if we take a moment and ask ourselves these questions, we are more likely to make sound rational decisions. This process is effective whether we are making decisions about what to eat for lunch, how to parent our child, how to run a business, or how to govern a state or country. Taking the time to think before acting generally results in a more positive outcome for everyone involved.
I recently wrote letters to my state senator and representative asking them to do some thinking and investigating before voting on a particular matter of concern to me. It is my hope that some of the information I shared will spur them to look further into the issue and at least make an informed decision, if not one that I agree with.
Some decisions are hard to make, but if we can at least say that we took sufficient time to think about the decision at hand, then we can feel confident that we made the best decision we could in that particular moment. Try asking yourself the questions listed above the next time you need to make a choice and see if you feel differently about the decision you make.