Decisions: STOP Making the Really Dumb Ones
Maybe you've been "thinking about"....
Starting your own business...
Starting another small business....
Getting a new job...
Getting a divorce...
Getting married to that very nice woman you've met...(make sure you get divorced first)
Maybe you've been trying to decide about.....Having children...
Hiring someone... or Firing someone...
Buying a new home...or that cool new car you've been eyeballing.
There are a lot of ineffective ways to make a decision and there are only a few ways to make a good or "right decision."
See the girl above?
Should be a no-brainer of a decision.
But instant impulse can be decieving. Not always...sometimes.
Today I want to pull out 1% of what is in the Decision Making Online E-Course I've developed and I'd like to give it to you.
I'd like you to take a quick look at what a Good Decision is, then, I'm going to take you to the all important first step and show you just how to make the best decision possible in the least amount of time.
What is a Good Decision...what is a Bad Decision?
You see it all the time. (I do at least.)
I've only met a few people who can tell me what a good decision is,.. so let's start here. Now you'll know.
Read carefully with pen and paper in hand. This is easy and fascinating. You have two coins in front of you.
The first coin is fixed so it has a 60% chance of coming up heads when it is flipped.
The other coin is fixed so it has a 40% chance of coming up heads.
You bet a friend $100 that the first coin will come up heads.
You flip the coin.
It comes up tails.
Just for the heck of it you flip the other coin and it comes up tails.
He laughs as he snatches the $100.
Did you make a good decision or a bad decision?
Hopefully you said....
... that you made a good decision!
In fact it was the ONLY decision you possibly could have made if you were thinking clearly.
KEYPOINT: Decisions aren't judged on the result that you get from making the decision. It's a good or bad decision based upon the information you have at the time.
Bad luck happened. It so often does. And in this case you got a crummy outcome... but you made the RIGHT decision.
All Olympians, Professional Sports Coaches, Master Chess Players, Millionaires who remain millionaires...they all get this concept. And that's about it.
KEYPOINT: You must figure out what the chances of each outcome are in deciding what to do and all other things being equal, do that which has the best possibility AND value of happening.
Human nature, however, causes us to remember getting tails..."tails never fails"... and causes us to make bad decisions in the future about similar situations.
But a good decision is not just the decision that has the greatest chance of a positive outcome...because all other things are not always equal!!!
The next thing to think about is the VALUE of each result in a decision.
The Value of a decision is figured out by simply taking the possible outcomes and figuring the chances of each of those outcomes and then factoring in the value of each option.
Imagine you have one dice on your left. Six sides on a dice (die). 1,2,3,4,5,6.
If you roll a 1 or 2 you lose $100
If you roll a 3,4,5 you win $50
If you roll a 6 you win $1000
Write that information down.
You see another dice on your right.
On this dice, if you roll a 1 you lose $50
If you roll anything else (2,3,4,5,6) you win $100
You get ONE roll of ONE dice.
Which dice should you roll?
If you said the second dice (die) on the right, you are not correct. The decision was a *terrible* decision.
There are six possible results with each dice.
With the first dice, there is an equal chance that one of these results will happen:
---add all the numbers up and get a total---
TOTAL (potential) VALUE OF THIS DICE: $950
The second dice?
----add all the numbers up and get a total---
TOTAL (potential) VALUE OF THIS DICE: $550
It's not even close.
You'd be crazy not to roll the first dice. The first die is worth almost twice as much as the second!!!
And in life, we are faced with that kind of decision every day.
Your Decision Making Skills Put to the Test
People aren't coming to you with dice to roll every day?
Sure they are! The only difference in all the scenarios at the beginning of the article (home, car, married, divorced, etc.) is that in each decision the various possible things that could happen as a result of your decision are not equal.
In other words, if you get divorced, you get rid of one problem and acquire a dozen others. (Child custody fights, court, children become maladjusted, kids see the worst in their parents. Kids get an entirely new world view and develop insecurities that last a lifetime. Both live on one income instead of two. One typically becomes dependent on child support. Neither get a better job because you are now at the mercy of a child's schedule and not a family's schedule...develop new pessimistic views about marriage and life in general... etc. etc.)
That doesn't mean you should not get divorced, nothing of the kind, it simply means that each side of the dice has different values and you need to get the whole picture, not just what's there for today.
You eliminate a bunch of problems and get some good stuff, and, pick up more problems and hopefully get a bunch more good stuff.
Decisions are by nature, choices between trade-offs and unforeseen events on top of those trade-offs...and to make a decision you have to figure out what those unforeseen events are and the likelihood of them happening.
OK, you could go on here for quite some time in refining what a good decision is and all the emotional problems that happen in the process of making decisions, but I really want to give you a process that shows just how to make a decision.
Here's how to make a good decision.
Step One: FRAME YOUR DECISION
What is a frame?
A cigarette smoker asks his priest if he can pray in his moments of weakness...smoking a cigarette. "Of course you can, my son."
A man asks his priest if he can smoke a cigarette while he prays. "No, my son."
The answer you get is based on the "point of view" and phrasing of the question.
Here's another way to look at the same question.
"Father may I smoke while I pray?"
"Father may I pray when I smoke?"
"Of course, my son."
Same exact picture but seen from two very different points of view.
Years ago I spoke at various schools, always in the gym... to all the students. At some point in the presentation I held up a baseball with the ball between my thumb and index finger, my hand vertical, showing the ball to the audience but most could only see half of the ball because my hand screened one side or the other..... It was "painted" black on one side and the other side was still white.
(Remember Frank Gorshin in Star Trek?)
"What color is this ball?"
On the far left they said, "Black!"
In the middle they said, "black and white."
On the far right they said, "White!"
I then tossed the ball in the air and everyone saw that it was indeed black and white...that to some degree everyone was "right," but not everyone had the same information...and...everyone had a different frame...or point of view.
And it was dependent upon the information and point of view to whether they would be right or wrong and to what degree.
The same is true for most decisions.
Key Point: The frame you use and the "intelligence" you gather and analyze, determine in large part, whether you will make a good or bad decision.
So the point of view...the frame...makes a lot of difference. This was a headline that I'll never forget...The quote below is from the news story.
"U.S. Soldiers Kill 3 Women."
"3 Women with Bombs Attached to their Bodies, Hands on the Buttons to detonate...ran toward a pre-school children. 20 feet before they got to the school U.S. Soldiers Kill the 3 Women, saving the lives of 143 toddlers and their teachers."
It's the frame.
It's the information.
And you need both...
...and you have to carefully consider both...
Oh and by the way.
Without rereading the information about the event....
....Where did the event happen?
Did you think that happened in____________?
Go back and read it again.
It happened somewhere else.... but you thought it happened in Iraq.
Neither headline said it happened in Iraq.
And now you've just seen another HUGE problem that arises in decision making.
Your unconscious mind filled in the gaps to give it context and thus meaning..... Not consciously. Not "on purpose."
That's simply how the brain works to make sense of YOUR WORLD...which is completely DIFFERENT from someone else's world....
KEYPOINT: Your past experiences and memory influence your current thinking and decisions and lead you to incorrect conclusions, even though you are certain that you had the right information.
Now, back to our event.
The first rendition had us angry and disgusted that U.S. soldiers would kill three women.
The second rendition changed that picture entirely knowing that the lives of 143 preschool children were saved.
KEYPOINT: If you get too CLOSE to a picture all you see is the dots (pixels) that make up the picture. Stand back further and take in the CONTEXT and you see a more clear picture.
Many people look at a problem or dilemma too closely and so can't make a good decision. They think: "I need a new car." And they think about it when they are looking at a beautiful new car. That's a small picture! They didn't look at their checkbook, other major expenses that will be coming up, etc. to give a more accurate picture.
They looked too closely and got their feelings and emotions involved.
A man screams that he wants a divorce as he gets angry with his wife and storms out of the house. And he then leaves the context thinking only of his wife's face and the anger he feels. The kids, the financial picture, the meaning of the relationship, what it all means in the long term....etc. etc. Instead he let his feelings get involved of his pending decision. His anger got him too close to the picture...and he will likely make a poor decision.
Had he pulled away, and looked at the entire context he would never have stormed out. But emotions and gut instinct take over, and that is something that must always be kept in check when making a decision.
Next time, I'll show you how to Frame your decision greater precision and move even closer to making the right choice.