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How Successful People Make Smart Decisions

Seek Outside Counsel

To avoid confirmation bias (cherry-picking only ideas that support your decisions), seek outside opinions and advice from people who bring different perspectives to your situation.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How Successful People Make Smart Decisions

How Successful People Make Smart Decisions

https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2015/10/07/10-tricks-successful-people-use-to-make-smart-decisions/

forbes.com

11

Key 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 turning them into routines.

For example: Steve Jobs famously wore a black turtleneck to work every day. Mark Zuckerberg still dons a hoodie. Doing so frees up mental resources for more complex decisions.

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.

Evaluate Your Options Objectively

Helpful criteria to consider:

  • How does this decision benefit me?
  • How does it hurt me?
  • Does the decision reflect my values?
  • Would I regret making this decision? Would I regret not making this decision? 

Sleep On It

Sleeping on your decision helps you clarify your thoughts for when you approach it the following day.

It also allows time for your emotions to run their course.

Don't Wait Too Long

Instead of waiting for the moons to align, successful people know that they need to have a timetable to follow in reaching their decision. 

Use Exercise To Recharge

When you find yourself stressing about a decision, try exercising. 

30 minutes of physical activity should be enough to increase your endorphins levels and return to mental clarity.

Use Your Moral Compass

Morals serve as trusted guides when your emotions are pulling you in a different direction.

Seek Outside Counsel

To avoid confirmation bias (cherry-picking only ideas that support your decisions), seek outside opinions and advice from people who bring different perspectives to your situation.

Reflect On Previous Decisions

Keep past decisions in your mind. 

Successful people are aware enough of past decisions to use them to their benefit when something similar comes up.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

“Good decisions come from experience, but experience comes from making bad decisions.”

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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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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...

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, meditating for 10 minutes daily, finding the courage and striking up a conversation with someone, applying for jobs that you may or may not get.
  • Bad decisions can be: lying or pretending to someone, driving unsafely, sending angry text messages, or staying up late drinking before an important meeting or exam in the morning.

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 the next ten or more years. This is subjective and depends on what we value in life.

Indecisive people suffer because they don’t know their inner values and what they care about.

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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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