Monday, March 30, 2009

The Value of Decisions

The ability to make good "value" decisions is one of today's most critical life skills. What we make of the future will depend on what we believe has value. How we spend our time, where we spend our money and what we do with our lives, are all directly influenced by our capacity to make clear, balanced and "good" value decisions. Our personal values affect what we expect of ourselves. Knowing yourself is the foundation of a wise decision, and is vital when taking the first decision making step. All of the effort and technique you employ will be wasted if thinking through the decision isn't done properly. A critical thinker observes his own thinking process and monitors himself for faulty logic, and this includes keeping your head to the sky. The value of making wise decisions ultimately falls on the shoulders of assured and logical foresight with objectives to think clearly through the best solution.

Our "values" influence our decisions and actions. Knowing what we value is the key to improving our capacity to make decisions that lead to better results and a more fulfilled life.

1) What Do You Stand to Gain?
When you've got more than one option to choose from, a great first question to ask of each one is, "What do I stand to gain from choosing this option?" If the rewards are big, you might be willing to withstand a bit of risk in order to benefit from the opportunity. Conversely, if the payoff would be small, you might not feel so confident about taking a chance right now.

2) What Do You Stand to Lose?
The next question to ask is, "What do I stand to lose if this option doesn't work out?" No one likes to think of the negatives in a potential opportunity, but you could save yourself a lot of heartache with a bit of foresight! If your losses could be huge with a particular option, you might decide to hold off for awhile to see if the odds improve over time.

3) What's the Worst Thing that Could Happen?
Finally, take it one step further and ask, "What is the worst thing that could happen if I choose this option, and would I be willing to accept those consequences?" It may seem like a very pessimistic question, but it's extremely effective at clarifying the situation! If you couldn't handle the consequences of making such a choice, then you know immediately that it's not the right choice for you at this time. If, on the other hand, the consequences wouldn't be so bad, you know it's a viable option for you.

What do you do if all of your options hold the same potential rewards and consequences? Go with your gut! Take a few minutes to think carefully about each possibility, and then choose the one you feel strongest about.When it comes right down to it, there are no guarantees in decision-making. You simply weigh the pros and cons, listen to your intuition, and do the best you can. In the end, there really isn't any such thing as a "bad" decision, because you do learn something from each one you make. If you keep that in mind you should grow more confident with each choice you make, which will help you make even better decisions in the future.

Here are a few guidelines on making decisions.

• Identifying your problem or the situation that needs attention.
Whatever you do in life, the first thing you need to do is define what it is that you want to achieve or solve.Write it down on paper. It gives you clarity. If you do not make it clear, you may end up overlooking the real problem or identifying it wrongly.And you will tend to make the decision swiftly and easily based on your past solutions even though it has not worked.

• Reframe the problem or situation.
Look at it from a different point of view. When you are having an argument for example, look at it as an observer and see it as though it is happening to someone else. What would your reaction be? When you see the problem differently you will create a different meaning and your experience will change. And you will create more choices when you see things from different perspectives.

• Ask good questions and gather information.
You need information to make new decisions. And asking the right questions gives you ideas and solutions. Ask yourself and others for views and that will spark your mind for creative solutions. Word your questions differently to further stimulate your mind. If you rely on your limited list of choices based on the familiar and the most recent events, you are limited in your possibilities of creating new solutions.

• List your alternatives.
Combine and associate all your ideas. Consider the risks involved and the possible gains. Look at the pro and cons. What are the drawbacks?
With more alternatives, you will have more freedom to achieve a desirable outcome.

• Know your values.
Knowing your moral standards will help you in making decisions without thinking of immediate gratification or relying on your emotions. Your values on what you believe in and what you stand for will guide your decision making process.

• Decide.
If you are still unsure and see several desirable options, trust your intuitions. Your inner guidance will lead you to the right decision.Toughen yourself mentally and remove any remaining doubts and uncertainties and make the decision.Of course there is a risk making mistakes or making the wrong decisions but you can rectify the situation and correct your course. We have been told many times that a wrong decision is better than not making any.

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mast@work said...

in making a decision, I learnt from the best -UDE!! yerp!! believe me.. he thought me the good way of making decision - same as what you mention in this entry..

however, I am still bad in choosing during shopping.. hahhaa..

Dr. Honey said...

Kembanglah hidung Ude kalau dengar ni..hi hi..! Actually, this posting is meant for my dearest Farah...I think you know why..? Tak nak cakap apa-apa sb kejap lagi mesti dia datang singgah sini... hu hu.... Kalau Kak Yong tengok semua posting ende memang ditujukan pada seseorang ch; students, Aizat, Farah, Ude, Fatin, kawan, dsb. Cuma Kak Yong kena guess ini utk siapa dan siapa...Utk diri ende pun ada!

mast@work said...

kalau dah namanya ibu, mesti bertindak macam ni.. biasa la tu.. tapi kyg agree dgn entry ni.. memang tepat dan padat.. hehe

Dr. Honey said...

Thanks, Kak Yong! My students love it too..! Tu yang hit list mencanak-canak naik dalam masa sebulan tu..! Tajuk paling scandalous : "Sharing A Joyous Moment with My Ex..." Hu hu hu...