How to make decisions

prettyndsweet12 asks: Do you have any decision making tips for making decision in general situations?

Hi prettyndsweet12 –


I really have two tips about decision-making, and they directly contradict each other!


Let’s imagine that I see a squirrel leap off the roof of my house onto a bush, and climb down onto the ground and hop away.  I have to make a decision – should I chase him or not?


Well, my first tip is to not wait too long or think too much about it.  This is a very urgent situation.  The further the squirrel is from me, the less chance I have of catching the sassy little critter.  He also might see me if I give him time, and he’ll run away before I even get up onto my feet.  So my tip is – Choose Now!  Go For It!


My second tip, however, is the exact opposite.  What if that squirrel is right next to a tree?  My jumping up to chase him would be useless – he would be twenty feet up before I got to the trunk – and would tell all his pals that I was there, so none of them would come down to where I could get them.  I’d be better off waiting longer.  Or what if he is walking out into the street?  I might be able to catch him, but I wouldn’t have time to see if a car is coming, and I’d end up becoming the loser in this game in a Big Way!


So where does that leave you?  Have I given you a couple of completely useless suggestions, since they disagree with each other?


Not quite.


You see, the first thing you should do, in making any sort of decision, is to figure out what kind of decision it is.  If it’s the sort like I described above, then it has to be made very quickly.  If it’s another sort (such as “Which college should I apply to?” or “Where would be nice to travel next year?”), you can – and should – take lots of time to decide it.


It’s also important to judge how important the decision is at all.  Maybe you have trouble deciding between travel destinations, and eventually realize you’d actually be happier staying home this year?  You actually decide against making the decision!


And there’s another important part – to determine how final your decision is.  If I get up to chase that squirrel, there’s no point in my changing my mind – he’ll know I’m there and after him.  But if I’m running after him and I see a car coming, it would be really smart of me to change my mind at the last second and not run into the street.  Further information changed my decision.


So there are a lot of factors here.  But if you can keep yourself aware of what kind of decision you’re making, and how important it is, and how final it has to be, you can then move to that place of DECIDING between the two tips I gave you first!


Is your head spinning now?  Mine sure is!  So my decision is to leave you with all these ideas and stop writing…










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