Making a Good Decision: An Insight

Decisions_2757851927_838e959e76_zBeing somewhat of a perfectionist, it’s always been important to me to be right when making a decision. It took some years for me to realize that the right decision was not always the correct decision.

That is, a decision I made in the past might turn out to have been an incorrect decision with hindsight, but it may still have been the right decision at the time.

Twisted explanation I know, but the point I’m trying to make is that we often must make decisions without all the information. Much of that lacking information will not be available to us until a future time. But when a decision must be made, I’ve learned to make one using every thing at my disposal: facts I’ve gathered, input from other people, and most importantly, my gut feeling.

This is, for me, the right decision, a decision which may or may not turn out to be the correct one as I look back at it with the benefit of hindsight.

Make the Right Decision

The best I can do, I’ve learned, is to make a decision at the time a decision is required. A right decision is one that is made when it’s needed and takes into account all that is known at the time: Facts, Opinions, Gut-feeling.

Working for many years in a corporate environment, I saw and participated in a lots of decisions—from poorly executed to perfectly executed. So many times decisions were delayed and delayed hoping for “more information.” We often ignored the fact that a delayed decision in itself was a decision—a decision to do nothing but wait hoping for clearer understanding.

I’ve learned to focus on making a decision when a decision is necessary, using all the information I can access at the time, and allowing myself to accept that decision as the right decision at the time. No second guessing, no blaming, no regrets.

Assemble the facts, do a pro/con list, but finalize the decision by checking my emotions. Assume I pick alternative A, how do I feel about it? Assume I pick alternative B. Now how do I feel?

Sources:

  • Image courtesy Flickr user Julia Manzerova, CC Attribution License
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7 thoughts on “Making a Good Decision: An Insight

    1. I messed up and in doing so I learned something. Without thinking it through I changed the date of publication to reflect when I actually published instead of when I started it. That’s a good idea, but only if done before publishing and social sharing. Live and learn.

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  1. Very true words! Sometimes we follow our gut feelings and our decision can appear like a mistake but after the experience is complete we will be able to look back and recall the lessons learned along the way. We really cannot predict exactly what we will be needing a year down the road because we go through many changes within that year =)

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  2. Jerry – I think it’s the gut feeling that puts the finishing touch on almost all our decisions. Apart from the few occasions when there really is only one sensible option – almost always emergencies of one sort or another – there just would not be the time, nor would one have the resources or even the staying power to assemble literally all the factors that could possibly affect a decision about almost anything. Try it out – you can go on forever it seems. So we assemble what we feel to be a reasonable amount – pros, cons etc. – until a sort of tipping point comes. At that point the gut, the instinct, the conscience (all the same thing really) comes in and says – ‘That’s it – decision made.’ And if our gut feeling is correct – which in my experience it almost always is – I suspect it’s because it springs out of something greater than the reason or the intellect.

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    1. Your last sentence: ” I suspect it’s because it springs out of something greater than the reason or the intellect.” is excellent. Yes. The gut feeling or intuition comes from a deep well of wisdom that reflects the wisdom of soul (and maybe centuries of experience).
      Thanks for your views.

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