Zero-Based Thinking: Principles For Making Better Life Decisions - Deepstash

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Zero-Based Thinking: Principles For Making Better Life Decisions

https://medium.com/personal-growth/zero-based-thinking-principles-for-making-better-life-decisions-286c1d202b14

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Zero-Based Thinking: Principles For Making Better Life Decisions
Almost all difficult decisions are basically about weighing the long and short term values or benefits of options. Some people consider the financial value first. Others take into consideration the emotional and social value, and so on. To make better decisions, you have to weigh them appropriately.

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Zero-based thinking

It gives us the rare opportunity to ask ourselves if there anything in our lives that we should do more of, less of, start or stop.

It is a decision thinking technique developed by Brian Tracy.

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Difficult decisions

Difficult decisions are mostly about weighing the long and short term values. Making objective decisions is difficult because we are biased towards short-term rewards and pre-existing beliefs.

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Optimal choices

Ask yourself, knowing what you know now, is there anything you are doing today that you wouldn't do again if you were able to?  

Be willing to stop doing what no longer works. Sometimes it is best to cut your losses and try something else. Be prepared to take risks and understand the potential failure that goes with a new course of action.

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Question everything

Zero-based thinking opens up a world of possibilities that you might not otherwise consider. It helps you to think hard about your choices.

  • Applying ZBT to your budget: Carefully decide how you would like to spend or invest your money as if you are starting from scratch.
  • Applying ZBT to your schedule: What if you had no time commitments? How would you spend your time that you find enjoyable, exciting, and fulfilling?

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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.

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“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.