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How To Make GREAT Decisions

Common Sense = Knowledge + Experience – Emotions

It is easy to get lost in our emotions when we have to make a decision, as emotions often dictate our state of mind and make it difficult to think logically when we need it the most. Are emotions bad? Should they be fully discarded? Should we follow our heart rather than our head?  This becomes apparent in relationships more so than in business but at some point or another, the two mix-up and require your thinking to be aligned.

So how do we make a good decision?

Making a decision comes in three parts and despite looking simple at times, your heart will complicate it.

Knowledge: Knowledge is power and it does apply here to. The more you know about the variables involved, the more likely your decision will be based on facts rather than assumption. Knowing and understanding. A simple example would be that if you are purchasing a car, you have an understanding knowing about car itself, the car market, car values and your purchase options such as financing. This knowledge would enable you to recognize good VS poor deals and would allow you to keep the upper hand by not feeling pressure while being sold the car. The power of knowing the reality from the fictional truth you are being fed or told about gives you the power to act accordingly. This may also apply to business decisions such as buying an existing restaurant and what you are told sales might be VS what sales have really been forcing the owner to sell. The real figures would help you negotiate an appropriate price based on factual info, rather than a high price based on assumed or inflated numbers. Don’t just take people’s word, investigate the facts on your own and become as educated as you possibly can on the topic.

Past experiences from multiple perspectives: Past experiences say a lot about traits and as you may have heard history does repeat itself and should be accounted into your decision making process. Taking in consideration your past experiences in dealing with the topic, and understanding why past outcomes have been favorable or a loss would be helpful in understanding possible outcomes. Understanding even others perspectives or experiences around the topic is often very good information to factor in as well and might help bring to light a few doubts that the research you’ve done arose. Take in consideration any factual information you are given but make sure to take out people’s opinion and consider actual facts. Ask for more specific information if a vague and inconclusive answer is given. If someone says “I wouldn’t do business with so and so, I hate them.” Don’t take that as experience, ask your source to go in details about their experience and why they feel so strong.

Emotions: Emotions are the tie breaker here, as your emotional connection to the outcome will heavily weigh in on your decision. Let’s look at several examples here that can help you understand what I mean. If we use the car buying example, you might know you are overpaying for a car, and even that its not the right car but your desire (emotion) and your impatience (emotion) will make you buy it regardless instead of potentially searching from longer. If you are dealing with buying a business, your hate (emotion) for your current job could make you decide to buy a business that may not be as profitable as you might think. Another wonderful example would be having to fire someone at work but the fear (emotion) that they would lose their job and not be able to support their family would keep you from acting on it. You see emotions defy what we consider logic because emotions are not always logical, they are how we feel, not think. For an emotion to not intrude with a decision, it must be put aside and only factored in if the logic simply cannot give you a good idea of direction at which point it will be up to you to use the way you feel towards something as the ultimate tie breaker.

Ultimately, a good decision is one that has consequences you can accept and feel like will positively impact your life on the long run despite not having a favorable immediate outcome at times. Sometimes or should I say most times, this decision may result in our emotions taking over in a sense but must be controlled for the right decision to be made. Decisions are after all a fight with yourself and the greater good.