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https://www.tonyrobbins.com/stories/unleash-the-power/5-factors-decisions/

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Decision Making Factors, Learn How We Make Decisions
Back to all stories Unleash the Power Within Identify what causes you to make choices Posted by: Team Tony We make decisions every minute of the day, from what we're going to eat to how we spend our money to what opportunities we pursue.

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Key Ideas

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Desire or Fear

When you consider your decisions, are you motivated by desire or fear?

  • If you are motivated by desire, you will tend to see the positive in every situation. You...

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Internal or External

When you consider making a decision, who do you turn to?

  • If you seek your point of reference internally, you will make the decision for yourself.
  • If you seek your point of...

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Possibility or Necessity

What drives you in your work?

  • If you are a possibilities person, you focus on the possible choices in a situation. You are likely curious about the potential your job has for grow...

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Matcher or Mismatcher

Where do you prefer to direct your focus?

  • As a matcher, you will focus on similarities and how they relate to something new.
  • You're a mismatcher if you focus on the differ...

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General or Specific View

Some people are motivated by the big picture, while others are driven by the details.

  • If you like to focus on the broad picture, you will consider how your decisions will affect the futu...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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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Decision-making errors

Most decision-making errors boil down to:

  • logical fallacies (over-generalizations, comparing apples and oranges, circular thinking)
  • limiting beliefs (underes...

Confirmation Bias

If you already have an opinion about something before you've even tried to figure it out, chances are you'll over-value information that confirms that opinion.

Think about what kinds of information you would expect to find to support alternative outcomes.

Attribution Bias

The “fundamental attribution error,” is when we excuse our own mistakes but blame other people for theirs.

Give other people the chance to explain themselves before judging their behavior.

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Default options

Deciding is too much effort so we’re likely to just stick with the default or safer option if it’s already been chosen for us. 

When we get offered too many choices, the same...

Best decision making happens in the morning

This is when serotonin is at it’s natural high, which helps to calm our brain. Thus, we feel less risk averse and so we can face risks and make harder choices.

The part our bodies play in decision-making

If we’re feeling hunger, thirst or sexual desire, that can actually spill over into the decision areas of our brains, making us feel more desire for big rewards when we make choices. 

This can lead us to make higher-risk choices and to want for more.

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The perfect nudge

Nudging involves gently coaxing someone into a decision or behavior. The successful nudge is one that results in the desired choice or behavior without the person realizing any external influenc...

Multiple systems of the mind

The mind seems to involve various simple systems throughout the body that are not always in agreement. Some systems are shortsighted, some care about relationships, and some prioritize the future of humanity.

We are not always aware of each mechanism. Sometimes we make decisions carefully and other times intuitively.

Nudging methods

  • Highlighting the decisions of others you consider influential. Reading “Most other guests staying at this hotel reuse towels,” may make you feel compelled to align your behavior with the majority.
  • “Injunctive norms” focus on how one should act in a particular situation. “Reusing towels meets a high standard for environmental responsibility,” highlights self-imposed standards. It involves a belief about right and wrong that consider abstract concepts.

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Default choices

Default choices

90% of your daily decisions happen automatically, many shaped by your environment. Thus, most decisions are a habit, not a deliberate choice.

To make smarter choices, design smarter...

Designing your life

Design your life like a choice architect:

  • Encourage smarter decisions you want to do by making them more accessible.
  • Add friction to habits you want to quit, making them less accessible, or remove the option to perform them completely.

Richard Thaler

Richard Thaler

“First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed.” 

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Not all decisions are the same

The decisions we spend the most time on are rarely the most important ones.

The Decision Matrix

This is a decision making version of the Eisenhower Matrix, which helps you distinguish between what’s important and what’s urgent, in a simple and easy to understand way.

The Decision Matrix

Decisions can be classified as:
  • Irreversible and inconsequential
  • Irreversible and consequential
  • Reversible and inconsequential
  • Reversible and consequential

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Milton Friedman

"The best measure of quality thinking is your ability to accurately predict the consequences of your ideas a..."

Milton Friedman

Think in Years, Not Days

Before jumping to a conclusion, think about the long-term consequences of your decision.

We may respect those able to fling themselves into a hard problem and make a quick choice with seemingly little thought, but making a meaningful decision needs to be done with care for the long-term effects.

Understand Decision Fatigue

It’s important to be aware of what state of mind you’re in before tackling a hard choice.

Decision fatigue happens when the mental energy required to weigh the tradeoffs of our decision becomes too much for us to handle. 

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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...

Not Making Good Decisions

We are exposed to biases that influence our ability to make good decisions.
  • We are quick to jump to conclusions because we fail to search for information that might disprove our thoughts.

The Four Villains of Decision Making

  • Narrow framing: The tendency to define our choices in binary terms. We ask, "should I, or shouldn't I?" instead of “What are the ways I could...?”
  • Confirmation bias: People tend to select the information that supports their preexisting attitudes, beliefs, and actions. 
  • Short-term emotion: When we’ve got a difficult decision to make, our feelings occupy our minds. And this doesn't add any new information that could benefit us. 
  • Overconfidence: People often think they know more than they actually do about how the future will unfold.

Defeating Decision-Making Villains

  • Counter narrow framing by widening your options. Expand your set of choices.
  • Confirmation bias leads you to gather self-serving information. Analyze and test your assumptions to overcome the bias.
  • Short-term emotion will tempt you to make the wrong choice. So distance yourself before deciding.
  • Prepare to be wrong. Don't be overconfident about how the future will unfold.

The rational manner

When faced with a difficult dilemma, we should carefully assess our options and spend a few moments consciously deliberating the information. Then, we should choose the best fit for our preferences...

The emotional system

It's only in the last few years that researchers have demonstrated that the emotional system might excel at complex decisions, or those involving lots of variables.

This would suggest that the unconscious is better suited for difficult cognitive tasks than the conscious brain, that the very thought process we've long disregarded as irrational and impulsive might actually be "smarter" than reasoned deliberation.

How emotional decision-making works

Thinking in a rational manner is more effective when there are limited pieces of information.  However, those focused on feelings prove far better in complex conditions

The advantages of emotional decision-making could be undone by a subsequent bout of deliberation, which suggests that we shouldn't doubt a particularly strong instinct, at least when considering lots of information.

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