Updated: Nov 29, 2021
Imagine how much different your life would be if you could go back in time to major decisions you’ve made in your life and make wiser choices. What would your life look like today? The differences may be staggering.
Wiser decisions lead to a more satisfying life; let's explore how you can avoid making decisions that are likely to negatively impact your life.
Primary causes for poor decision-making:
Not having pertinent information. While the opportunity to find out every relevant fact isn’t always a possibility, many people make rash decisions. A few minutes, hours, or days to ask the appropriate questions and do a little research can lead to much more effective questions.
Allowing fear to influence the decision. Decisions that are based on fear are often poor decisions in the long run. No one likes the physical sensations of fear, and many of us will do nearly anything to avoid them. The best decisions are made when moving toward something, not just avoiding something. When you’re in avoidance mode, any direction that moves you away from the fear is appealing. That’s like closing your eyes, spinning around, and randomly picking a direction to move.
Failing to define an objective. Wise decisions require an objective. For example, consider how you might choose your next meal. You can choose food based on a variety of goals. You might base your decision on:
● Convenience - What’s available?
● Cost - What’s inexpensive?
● Health - What would be a nutritious option?
● Appearance - What will help me to look lean?
● Comfort - What would feel the best?
● Taste - What food would give me the best taste sensation?
When you make a decision, ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish with that decision. What are the likely outcomes from your options? How do those outcomes affect your objectives? Will you be more likely or less likely to attain your goals?
Letting emotions take the helm. Strong emotions and skillful decision-making rarely go well together. Intense emotional states alter the way your brain processes information and makes decisions. It’s best to wait until you’re calm, cool, and collected to make an important decision.
Prioritizing comfort. Comfort is the natural target for our brains. We naturally gravitate toward delicious, unhealthy food, the couch, zoning out to the TV, hitting the snooze button, and surfing the internet. When comfort is your go-to goal, you’re more likely to be making poor long-term decision. Progress is rarely comfortable; when you explore testing the limits of your tolerance for short-term discomfort to achieve long term goals, the faster you’ll make progress in your life. Think about the highly successful people you know. They do things each day that would make the average person say, “I’ll pass.”
Failing to learn from past decisions. Every poor decision you’ve ever made can be used to make wiser decisions in the future. You can always learn something from a poor decision.
What is the worst decision you’ve ever made? What impact did it have on your life? It’s easy to see that a few wiser decisions in the past would have resulted in a different life than you’re living right now.
Luckily, it’s not too late! You can start making wiser decisions today and guarantee a brighter future by making beneficial decisions going forward!