It’s time to say goodbye to How do you know? and say hello to Cyber Empathy (coming October 26, 2021).
This makes it a great time to reflect on the key leanings I’ve gathered in the past years of talking to people about how they make decisions – and why.
I hope these ideas enrich your own library of resources to turn to in times of need and exploration.
1. You can’t make a good decision without introspection.
2. Trust you gut but check for biases if you want to make a wise choice.
3. For life-altering decisions, seek to gain emotional distance and give yourself enough time to evaluate your choices.
4. Consider the best and worst outcomes of a big decision before you make one. Write them down for clarity.
5. Not making a decision is also a decision.
6. Small choices compound into big changes.
7. Building a process for decision-making is invaluable. Use it, improve it, and see how it helps you use your resources more wisely.
8. Challenge your own beliefs to expose your blinds pots and biases. (A documented decision-making process is key for that.)
9. Build the reflex to reflect and improve your choices exponentially.
10. Allow yourself to constantly become and to change your mind.
11. There’s nothing you have to do. Choose with this in mind.
12. Choose tiny hops over big leaps and use small experiments to reduce risks associated with big decisions.
13. Accept the reality of your life and decisions and optimize them for who you are.
14. Learn how to activate your knowledge, ideas, notes and resources to make better choices.
15. The quality of the reasons for your decisions is fundamental for your ability to follow through on them.
16. Be aware of the culture that shapes your decisions.
17. When it comes to important decisions, seek to maintain a balance between speed and sticking to your process.
18. Be aware of how you make decisions when you’re in survival mode.
19. Look at the gap between what you’s say and what you do. It teaches you about what you really value.
20. Include gratitude in your daily routine to make choices that serve you better.
21. Empathy makes you a wiser decision-maker. Cultivate it. Practice it.
22. Emotions play a fundamental role in your decisions. Accept it, embrace it, and learn how they serve you – and how they don’t.
23. Pull from all experiences when making a decision. Insight and wisdom travel across boundaries.
24. Make a decision for something, not against it. Decisions made out of fear, frustration, and anger may not serve you in the long run.
25. Differentiate between what you can and cannot control when reviewing the factors for your decision.
26. Commit to the decisions you make and find what gets you through the rough parts.
27. If there’s a sense of urgency about your decision, find its source and examine it. Analyze its impact before rushing into a decision.
28. You make the best decisions when you align your inner self with your actions – and do so consistently.
29. We all make mistakes all the time. Making good decisions is not about judging the outcome but rather about improving our process with constant reflection and learning.
30. Use your decisions to drop anchors as you go through life to help you stay the course you set for yourself and-develop a strong foundation to build on.
31. Moving from making impulsive choices to a more systematic decision-making process is not natural for most people. You’re building a system to help you through your entire life – it is worth the effort.
32. Nothing is absolute. There are no perfect decisions. Try your best and learn along the way.
33. A sense of purpose pulls you through the bad days. Make sure your decisions incorporate it and be clear on what it is.
34. Cultivate your ability to adapt because a flexible mindset and skillet makes you more resilient and a wiser decision-makes.
35. Define the core value that guides your decisions.
36. Make decisions with empathy for your future self. How can you give yourself a better, kinder future?
37. Seek to understand (yourself and others) before formulating a decision.
38. Speak to someone new and learn from them when you need to bake more perspective into your decisions.
39. How your family made/makes decisions influences your own method. Look for patterns and see if they serve you or not.
40. Boundaries are essential for better decisions. Knowing what you want to achieve is as important and knowing what you want to avoid.
41. Good people don’t necessarily make good decisions and that’s okay. Correlation is not causation.
42. Try to evaluate the decision, not the person who made it. (This applies to yourself too!)
43. Define and get clarity on sunk costs when making a decision.
44. Have meaningful debates with people you trust to find blind spots and gain extra clarity.
45. Be curious, learn, improve beat avoid over-optimizing your life. Be present and enjoy all of it. It is a choice that will always serve you well.