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How to Make Smarter Decisions


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Have you wondered why some of your relationship, career and life decisions did not turn out as well as expected? Did you know that your physical, mental and emotional state combine forces with how your brain is wired to affect the outcomes and quality of your decisions?

We make thousands of “mini-decisions” continuously during our waking hours. Most of them are unconscious and automatic, like dressing, eating, driving, communicating and performing work activities. Our daily “auto-pilot” decisions come from trial-and-error life experiences that form our memory and behavior programs. We usually don’t think about these seemingly small decisions as long as they provide reasonably good outcomes.

Decisions involving career planning, long-term relationships, investments, children and parents, business strategies, buying a home and solving major life challenges, however, require a diligent and thoughtful approach. These areas have long-term impact on your life and the lives of other people. Three levels of decision-making are shown to explain the reasoning behind the popular warning not to “make long-term decisions based on short-term criteria.”

Do you recognize your decision-making style in the three levels shown below?

Level I: Letting others make your decisions for you

This is the least reliable method, unless you are physically or mentally unable to make your own decisions. Letting other people make your decisions robs you of freedom-of-choice, dignity, self-esteem, and growth potential. If you are cognitively fit, you can make your own good decisions with input from advisors you trust.

Level II: Making decisions based on your emotional state

This is a dangerous approach to decision-making. Yet, many people make important decisions based on their emotional state during the decision making process. An example of making a potentially bad decision is meeting someone you are attracted to and taking the first flight to Las Vegas to get married before getting to know one another. Another example is walking away from an attractive and lucrative business opportunity because you are in an upset or anxious state. The bottom-line is to avoid making decisions when in an emotional state because charged emotions short-circuit your more reliable and dependable cognitive thinking abilities.

Level III: Using cognitive strengths

The highest level of making decisions is using cognitive strengths. These include yours and those of your trusted advisors. Following these steps will help you make smarter long-term decisions.

Step 1: Collect current information

You may not have sufficient knowledge to make a good decision on an important matter. This is the time to gather current information from reliable sources and seek advice from your knowledgeable, trusted   advisors.

Step 2: Define the desired outcomes

It’s important to know what outcomes you want from the decision. Be as specific as possible including things you can measure and experience. As an example, home purchase outcomes may include $25,000 down payment, $1,500.00 monthly mortgage payment, $200/month average utility bills, 20 minute commute to work, top-ranked school district, low maintenance, safe and secure neighborhood and a home where you can experience fun and peace-of-mind.

Step 3: Cognitively process information and desired outcomes

You are ready to process your knowledge including current research on the topic, advice from trusted advisors and your desired outcomes from the decision. Merely look at the decision options and ask yourself:

  • What looks best?
  • What sounds best?
  • What feels best?
  • What seems to be the most logical, practical and realistic?
  • What has the most potential, options and possibilities?
  • What choices yield the best outcomes for me and others?
  • Will any harm be done to others by my decision?

The seven questions naturally engage your brain and caring nature to evaluate what you know about the situation and the outcomes you want to experience. Being able to answer all five questions, strongly and affirmatively, increases the probability of a reliable and dependable “whole-brained decision.” Consider asking your trusted advisors for their feedback to the five questions. This will strengthen your knowledge and confidence before moving forward with important life decisions.

In conclusion, making good decisions is easier using your and your trusted advisers’ knowledge, brain strengths and caring nature.

Author Message:
You may not be aware that our organization is a trusted and respected source of reliable practical neuroscience solutions for personal and organizational development.  We have been creating and delivering brain-based human development solutions, since 1992. The message that follows directs you to a quick, easy, and low cost solution you may be searching for.

You can make smarter and more accurate decisions by connecting your brainpower with your caring nature. I believe that people give too much power to their brains and put their caring nature on the “back burner.” A powerful next step in your journey of self development is discovering how your brain is wired for success; you already know what your heart wants. Your personalized Brain PathWays report gives you practical neuroscience tools, based on your brain strengths to “be the best you can be” and, of course “making smarter decisions.” The on-line process takes less than 15 minutes, the results last a life time. Click to purchase your Brain PathWays online self-assessment and download your report today.




One comment on “How to Make Smarter Decisions

  1. Pingback: Who Can You Trust in These Troubled Times? | Brain PathWays Blog

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