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How Successful People Make Decisions Differently

https://www.fastcompany.com/40444808/how-successful-people-make-decisions-differently

fastcompany.com

How Successful People Make Decisions Differently
"Decisions are forks in the road," he says. "Life doesn't happen to us; we are an active participant. We get out of life what we choose." More than just a choice in the moment, good decision-making takes discipline, says Whitaker.

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Life doesn’t happen to us; we are an active participant. We get out of life what we choose.”

Mike Whitaker

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All Decisions Are Not Created Equal

  • Small decisions: Impact you for a day, such as what you wear and what you eat.
  • Medium decisions: Impact your life for a year or so, such as deciding to go back to school or take on a roommate.
  • Big decisions: These are made once or twice a year, and successful people use their goals to navigate to the right choice.

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Decision making using goals

Successful people have 4 strategies that help them clearly define what they want:

  • They keep 5 prime goals and stay focused on them.
  • They identify the top priority and give it favorable treatment when making decisions.
  • They look for goal and decision overlap, treating this decision with more care.
  • They appreciate momentum, identifying the benefits of continuing to move in the right direction.

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Deal With Bad Decisions

We all make bad decisions, but successful people course correct more quickly.

When successful people have enough evidence that they’ve made a bad decision, they don’t look for more. They fail fast, move on, and then they don’t talk about it again. They also fix fast.

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Avoid Pitfalls

Successful people know when they’re not in a good place to make a decision and the consequences that might lead to.

Recognize when your ability to make good decisions is vulnerable, such as when you’re in a hurry, prideful, angry, lonely, rejected, inebriated, or tired. 

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Turn Small Decisions Into Routines

Decision-making works like a muscle: as you use it over the course of the day, it gets too exhausted to function effectively.

One way to avoid this is to eliminate smaller decisions by t...

Make Big Decisions In The Morning

Save small decisions for after work (when decision fatigue kicks in) and to tackle complex decisions in the morning, when your mind is fresh

A similar strategy is to do some of the smaller things the night before to get a head start on the next day.

Pay Attention To Your Emotions

...and you'll able to look at decisions as objectively and rationally as possible.

Strong decision-makers know that a bad mood can make them lash out or stray from their moral compass just as easily as a good mood can make them overconfident and impulsive.

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Our emotions are short-term biased

Our emotions are obsessed with the present moment because it’s difficult to look past our immediate fears and anxieties. And this prevents good decision-making.

The sweet spot in de...

“Risky” behavior you should consider

  • Propose “moonshot” ideas, knowing that 90% of them will get shot down, but that if one of them gets accepted, it will be a huge boost to your career.
  • Be excessively bold in your dating life, stating exactly who and what you want.
  • Buy difficult books expecting that most of them won’t be useful to you, but also that, occasionally, one will completely change your life.
  • Say yes to every invitation knowing that most of the events/people will be boring, but that occasionally you’ll meet someone really interesting.

Optimizing life for fewer regrets

Most of us are afraid of messing thing up. But we rarely ask, “Would I regret that failure?” If the answer is “no,” then that is absolutely a risk you should pursue.

Sometimes, the right decision becomes crystal clear when put into these terms.

What Self-Reflection Is

What Self-Reflection Is

Is the process of thinking back on previous events and interpreting them through your experience. 

It’s about taking a step back and reflecting on your life, behavior and beliefs....

The Importance of Self-Reflection

  • It improve self-awareness.
  • It allows you to understand and see things from a different point of view. 
  • It allows you to respond, not react.
  • It facilitates a deeper level of learning.
  • It improves confidence.
  • It makes you challenge your assumptions.

The Process of Self-Reflection

  • STOP: Take a step back from life or a particular situation.
  • LOOK: Identify and get perspective on what you notice and see.
  • LISTEN: Listen to your inner guide, the innate wisdom that bubbles up when you give it time and space to emerge.
  • ACT: Identify the steps you need to take moving forward to adjust, change or improve.