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The Ultimate Guide to Making Smart Decisions - Thrive Global

You are the sum of your decisions

A few major decisions determine a good portion of how our lives, careers, and relationships turn out. The outcomes of these decision points will reverberate for years.

Even small decisions can matter as they accumulate over the years.

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The Ultimate Guide to Making Smart Decisions - Thrive Global

The Ultimate Guide to Making Smart Decisions - Thrive Global

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/the-ultimate-guide-to-making-smart-decisions-2/

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Key Ideas

You are the sum of your decisions

A few major decisions determine a good portion of how our lives, careers, and relationships turn out. The outcomes of these decision points will reverberate for years.

Even small decisions can matter as they accumulate over the years.

Why We Make Poor Decisions

  • We’re not as rational as we think. 
  • We’re not prepared. We don’t understand the invariant ideas — the mental models — of how the world really works. 
  • We don’t gather the information we need. We make decisions based on our “guts” in complex domains that require serious work to gather all the needed data. 

The World Is Multidisciplinary

We live in a society that demands specialization. Being the best means being an expert in something.  A byproduct of this niche focus is that it narrows the ways we think we can apply our knowledge without being called a fraud.

We should apply all the knowledge at our disposal to the problems and challenges we face every day.

General Thinking Concepts

  • Inversion — Otherwise known as thinking something through in reverse or thinking “backwards,” inversion is a problem-solving technique.
  • Second-Order Thinking — Ask yourself, “And then what?”
  • The Map Is Not the Territory —The map of reality is not reality itself. If any map were to represent its actual territory with perfect fidelity, it would be the size of the territory itself.

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Mental models

They are chunks of knowledge that can be simplified and applied to better understand the world, by identify what information is relevant in any given situation, and th...

Reasons we fail to make the best decision possible
  • We’re (sometimes) stupid: irrational, tired or distracted;
  • We have the wrong information;
  • We use the wrong model;
  • We fail to learn;
  • We go with what's easy over what's right. 
Use Habits to reduce decision fatigue

By building a habit, you avoid the decision entirely and you can save your decision making energy for other important things.

Use if/then thinking

For example, if someone constantly interrupts you, the rule might be: if the person interrupts me 2 times in a conversation, then I will say something. This technique can help streamline many typical, routine choices we face in our lives.

Save time by not deliberating pointlessly

If the issues on the table have been reasonably vetted, the choices are equally attractive, and there is still no clear answer, then admit that there is no clearly identifiable right way to go and just decide.

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...

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.

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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