Discover more from Life According to D
The Anatomy of Decisions
Bad Decisions make Good Stories
Living According to D is sort of like a compass. If a bit hazy about where I am on the journey, I review the D’s until I understand where I am and why.
Recklessly making decisions is risky when money, credibility, or time is to be lost. Unfortunately, I experienced the pain of this many times.
Complete the due diligence, and a reconciliation or a resolution is next.
Now there is a fork in the river with signage. One sign says Yes, pointing to one stream, and the other sign says No, pointing to the other.
If choosing no because of fear is a mistake, and the consequence of regret will haunt you.
Our business was thriving, and the local college asked if I would speak at a graduation ceremony. It was exciting and a pleasure talking to eight hundred graduating students and their families, and when the ceremony was over, I headed to my car.
On the way to my car, I heard a voice calling after me, saying, “Hey, what you did was no big deal; I had that idea years ago.” I turned to see a man with his wife and two graduating daughters.
I said, “That's great,” and continued toward my car.
He continued his line of thinking by adding F-bombs. His daughters pleaded with their Dad to stop, but he continued his rhetoric. His drunkenness was evident and embarrassed the family.
Growing up in an alcoholic home contributed to my losing patience. So, I turned hard and angrily made my case nose to nose, “Sir, there is a difference between you and me.”
“Oh yeah, how’s that?”
“Sir, I decided to do it; you decided not to.”
His bravado subsided, and his ego went quiet as his embarrassed children directed him to the driver's seat of their car.
Here was a man, I assume, living with regret.
"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable." - Sydney J. Harris
Below are a few decision-making models that may help make informed and effective choices.
The Rational Decision-Making Model involves gathering and analyzing data to make a logical and informed decision. The steps in this model include defining the problem, identifying the criteria, evaluating alternatives, selecting the best option, implementing the decision, and monitoring the outcomes.
The Bounded Rationality Model: This model recognizes that human beings have cognitive limitations that prevent them from gathering and analyzing all available information before making a decision. Instead, individuals or organizations use heuristics or shortcuts to make "good enough" decisions, given the time and resources available.
The Intuitive Decision-Making Model involves relying on gut feelings, past experiences, and mental shortcuts to make quick decisions, used when there is not enough time or information to use a more rational approach.
The Collaborative Decision-Making Model: This model involves working with others to reach a consensus decision. This approach is when multiple stakeholders have different perspectives or goals.
The Political Decision-Making Model recognizes that power, politics, and social dynamics influence decision-making. This approach is when multiple stakeholders have different perspectives or goals.
These models can be adapted and combined to suit different situations and preferences. The key is to choose a model that fits the decision-making context, consider all available options, gather as much relevant information as possible, and carefully evaluate the pros and cons of each option before making a final decision.
"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing." - Theodore Roosevelt
I have not always been a journaler, but I learned the hard way thinking and recording your thought process on paper can be very helpful.
When journaling your decisions, it can be helpful to include information such as:
The decision you made
The reasons for your decision
The alternatives you considered
The expected outcomes of your decision
The actual outcomes of your decision
Your feelings about the decision and its outcomes
Journaling your decisions and their consequences can be valuable for personal growth and development. It can help you learn from your experiences, make more effective decisions in the future, and achieve your goals.
Ben Franklin says it well, "If you don't have time to think, you don't have time to make good decisions."
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