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3 Reasons Why You Make Terrible Decisions (And How to Stop)

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https://markmanson.net/decision-making

markmanson.net

3 Reasons Why You Make Terrible Decisions (And How to Stop)
Making decisions in life come down to trade-offs. And it just so happens we're really bad at evaluating trade-offs.

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Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off

Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off

... and boils down to what we give up to attain something. Our mindsets are inclined towards pleasure and resistive towards pain. We normally like to think in terms of gai...

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Good and Bad Decisions

Decisions are a cost-benefit analysis of risking something small for the opportunity to gain something big.

  • Good decisions can be: Exercising, medit...

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Trade-offs and Life Values

Trade-offs are not something as simple as flipping a coin. Our values guide us towards what we want in life, and it is not the same for all. Example: Buying a house has a trade-off of mortgage for ...

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Our Emotions Hijack Our Objectivity

Humans are not good at impartially evaluating the risks and rewards of any decision.

Our ‘thinking’ brain loses out to our ‘feeling’ brain, that is our natural cravings, de...

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Temporal Discounting

It is a quirk which makes us value the present opportunity more than a future opportunity. This is known as ‘Present Bias’ in psychology.

Example: If offered a choice b...

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Our Minds Are Bad At Compounding Stuff

If we practice something (learning a new language for example) for just 30 minutes a day, we normally do not realize or understand that by practising daily for 365 days, we are better in th...

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Status Distorts Our Perceptions

Our perceptions and emotions get skewed when we are in the presence of extreme beauty, power and wealth.

People of status and power are constantly bending reality around us...

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How To Make Better Decisions

  1. Write down your thoughts. This helps in being objective and map out your decisions. This also brings clarity to the mind.
  2. Override your anxiety by doing wh...

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No Decision Is A Decision Too

Running away from decisions and being indecisive is also a decision. Action becomes your friend here, and it is good to get out of the comfort zone and take risks, instead...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Make Better Choices

  • Seek good information. Be skeptic and never just assume that what you’re being told is always true.
  • Avoid common pitfalls, like making decisions without enough time or in...

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

Mike Whitaker

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.

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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2,000 decisions per waking hour

Research has shown that the typical person makes about 2,000 decisions every waking hour. Most are minor ones and we make them automatically. But many have serious consequences.

That's why...

Decision fatigue

Our ability to perform mental tasks and make decisions wears thin when it’s repeatedly used.

Identify the most important decisions you need to make, and, as often as possible, prioritize your time so that you make them when your energy levels are highest.

A steady state of distraction

Our brains process five times as much information today as in 1986. Thus, many of us live in a continuous state of distraction and struggle to focus. 

To counter this, find time each day to unplug and step back from email, social media and news.

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