Our various cognitive biases make us behave irrationally, even though we believe we are acting logically. If we are tired, in a rush, or are distracted we tend to rush towards a bad decision. Other factors include working with an authority figure or in a group.
The rule to follow is to never make important decisions when one is emotionally weak, tired, distracted, or in a hurry.
The real problem is rarely visible in the first instance, as we only look at the symptom or the result. If we let someone else define the problem, we are far away from it. We might be too close to the problem and need an objective view.
The rule is to not let others define your problems
We normally trust people and believe we have the right information. The resulting outcome is akin to chinese whispers, the phenomenon when information is passed on to a lot of people in a chain, leading to distortion and falsification.
The thumb rule here is to seek information from credible, first hand sources.
Making mistakes is fine, but making the same mistake over and over is not. We need to make mistakes, and learn from it, or else we will keep living the same year in repeat mode. If we don’t analyse and reflect on our actions, we will never learn from our mistakes and will be unable to calibrate our decision making.
The thumb rule here is to be less busy, and maintain a daily journal to think and reflect on your past actions.
It is easier to portray being virtuous, to create the image, than to actually be virtuous. We are by default programmed to do what is easy and not what is right. If we get too focused on optics rather than outcomes or results, we will start being biased and selfish. We would then be away from our true nature, making decisions because of external factors.
The rule here is to act like you own the company.
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