Beware of the Choices you make, for they become the Determinant Matrix of your Life.
Life generally is all about CHOICES and DECISIONS; we’re often faced with decisions such as financial, academic, family, marital, career, business and what have you. We make choices every day whether consciously or unconsciously; reflex decisions that we don’t even give much thought about. In fact, where you are today is the product/consequence of the decisions you took and choices you made in the past, beginning from your conception till date. It even spans to the decisions your fore-parents made before you were even conceived into this world. In essence, decision-making is inevitable and as well, risky and delicate.
Vagabonds on streets today becoming terrorist and constituting nuisance and dangerous threat to the world today didn’t just choose to live their life that way because they wanted to; many times, they were influenced by factors probably beyond them; these factors includes our environment, values, exposure, experiences, values, faith, education, mindset, etc. Our choices are mostly influenced by these factors.
“Too often, all the information we’ve been given, all the risk we’ve encountered, all the warnings we’ve received from so many different sources actually combines to skew our perspectives so that, effective risk analysis and decision-making becomes more difficult rather than less. “
Knowing that the choice we make will either make us or mar us,
- How then can we make right decisions when we are faced with situations and unpleasant choices?
- Are there rules we can follow to guide us from making avoidable mistakes whenever we are poised with unfavorable options to choose from?
These and many more are questions I seek to address so we make best choices in the course of our day-to-day decision-making processes.
Find as many downsides (as possible)
Finding the downside entails considering everything that could possibly go wrong before going undertaking any activity or forge ahead with a decision; you must weigh every choice and carefully look at all the possible risk, making sure, all lose ends – the downsides that comes along with the decision-making process are properly sealed. We must begin every Decision-making process by asking the following: –
- What is the worst thing that could ever happen if I take this decision?
- What is the worst thing that could ever happen if I don’t take this decision?
- What is the best thing that would happen if I take this decision?
- What is the best thing that would happen if I don’t take this decision?
Someone puts it this way:
“Nothing is perfect, so work at uncovering whatever hidden warts the thing might have and by removing them, you’ll only make it better still.”
Protect the downside
At this point, after you’ve identified the downside, your next move will be to protect the downside, every possible lose ends that may limit you achieving your purpose for making a decision, taking every possible precaution so as to achieve your result with minimal or no risk/downside.
In the American Tv series titled “SUITS”, the featuring characters, Mike Ross and Harvey Specter were both involved in a career-shifting law suit and Mike asked Harvey: “What do you do when you have a gun pointed to your head?” and Harvey response was: “You’ll take the gun and point back”. That is what it means to protect the downside. You don’t dwell on assumptions but facts. You cover all lose ends that is capable of drifting you from off your goal.
Don’t act on emotional response.
It’s bad to act on impulse or rashly act on a positive emotion; acting on impulse most times can be very dangerous; it makes you wrong choices. You don’t make decisions when you’re angry or under duress or possibly any other influences. You give any decision you’re considering adequate time so as to lose the influences of your first impressions and make sure you’re leaving nothing out and nothing clouds your sense of judgement in the course
Look at the bigger picture
Look at how the decision would affect other projects and priorities in both short and long term; Look at how it affects your results in the long run.
- If now isn’t the best time to do something what risk (If any) are there in putting the thing to hold for a period of time?
- If you cannot manage the project in addition to another that is waiting in the wings, you find out which one gets the nod (yes) and why?