I’ve been making a lot of decisions lately and having been all too preachy on this blog has made me think hard about how I make these decisions. They’re not trivial decisions, mind you. They’re very concrete, very real, and its consequences are life-changing. While I wouldn’t go as far as enumerating them, I’m sure that we all face these kinds of decisions once every so often. Career decisions, marriage decisions, financial decisions – these things we can all lose sleep with.
In the pursuit of something sensible to write, I decided to focus on the factors that often lead our decisions astray. While there are always probabilities to consider with these things, there are decision errors that almost always would really f*ck you up. Here are my picks.
Hasty decisions. There are times when we need to make decisions in a jiffy but what we refer to as “haste” is a different thing. More liked in the context of “rushed.” This is often committed when one makes a decision without any facts or exploring alternatives.
Deciding on the merits of the advantages… and only those. Sometimes, when we’re enthusiastic about something, we’re blinded by all the good things about it that we often lose sight of it cons.
Tunnel vision. Deciding with very limited perspective is a dangerous thing. There are instances where you just try to apply the same framework in doing all of your decisions. Go seek expert advice. Talk to a friend. But don’t decide without getting any other perspective on the matter.
Heuristics. While there are times when using rules-of-thumb do work, critical decisions shouldn’t be made based on a very narrow and very rough frameworks that these rules often are. Heuristics will only work if used in a coherent set.
Taking into account irrelevant things. Worry warts and paranoid people suffer from this decision making mistake. Even if some things can actually be really negligible, the paranoid in us can force us to worry about these things. And when we do, we end up not focusing on things that do matter.
Pride. Ah, to be swallowed by your own hubris. Many decision mistakes are made because of letting pride take over everything. This even leads one to commit all the other mistakes cited here. Sometimes, it would help not to think solely about yourself at times.