One of the weaknesses people seem to have is not knowing how to make decisions. They have no method: it is not taught in school, and I had to learn the hard way, and I am still perfectly unreliable to make the decisions that serve me and my life best.
This series is as much for my benefit as yours: I am going to learn, test, experiment, and write about decision making methods as I happen to them. It is worth reading this blog just for that…
OK. Decision time… Gives you agita, doesn’t it? lol. Let’s make it easier.
Decision Method #1: Cost comparison based decision
A few minutes ago I had a choice to make: finish something or go to the bathroom and finish it when I get back.
It seems like a trite issue, but it shed light to a method I haven’t much used, to my own detriment.
The choice of doing one thing or doing another is posed to us many times in any given day, and we have no rule of thumb to base our decisions on: we decide based on how we feel in the moment.
Your feelings are directly connected to the mind that is a poor guide: it knows no logic, no reason, it just decides the way it has always chosen.
My thinking was: is there a cost associated with either decision?
- If I decide to finish the task, I may wet my panties… cost. Not a big one, but it’s a cost.
- If I decide to finish the task after I am back: is there a cost? No. No deadline, the “thing” will wait.
My mind/feeling said finish it, by the way. I am the one who has to undress, change my underwear, and waste 5-10 minutes and my self-respect doing that, not the mind. Hm.
Now, let’s look and change the setup a little bit, to see a little more:
You have a webinar in seven minutes with me. You have a choice to log on before you go to the bathroom or after.
- If you decide to go to the bathroom first, you may be late to the webinar
- If you decide to log onto the webinar first, you may pee in your pants.
Here you will need to decide between being anguished, afraid, anxious about being late (100% certainty) or wetting your pants (about 30% certainty)
decide… cutting away the alternative.
Here is a twist on the same theme: choosing to restart your computer before you come to the webinar or do more of something you were doing…
- If you don’t restart your system, your audio will cut out, and you’ll be frustrated for two hours at best, will have to restart your system when you find out, and miss 10 minutes of the webinar
- Restart the system and lose 3-5 minutes of doing what you were doing
decide. Cut away the cost of the alternative
An item you want is on sale, but the sale price will only last for another 10 minutes.
You are not sure if you really need it, if it will work for you, but your mind is screaming that you will miss out.
This is an old seller’s trick: the mind hates losing out, being left out, it reacts click-whirr like a machine.
I have bought a ton of stuff this way, and I regretted every one of those purchases. Every single one of them.
So here is the cost comparison
- buy the stuff and risk that you were taken for a ride, you don’t need it, you don’t want it, you can’t even use it… haste creates waste
- not buy the stuff and risk that you have to pay more for it when and if you determine, through unhastened thinking that in fact it is really what you want and need.
I have decided that I will ALWAYS use this second choice: the cost is much less than with the first: when I am taken again, my self-confidence, self-esteem suffers more than my pocketbook.
Next method will be choosing to do something or not… but before I’ll do the next method, I’ll bring some more, meatier examples for this method… like should D. lie? or should she try to explain the situation as it is? Controversial… Prepare to be surprised.