Home » The Progressive Professional… A Guide for Quality Living – April 2019

The Progressive Professional… A Guide for Quality Living – April 2019

In Cincinnati we are starting to see the signs of Spring. The daffodils and hyacinths are getting ready to bloom, the trees are starting to bud, and the ever spreading honeysuckle is again trying to suck the life out of everything else. If you don’t believe me, check out Rob Daumeyer’s rant on it by scrolling to the bottom of this article.

In the last issue, I discussed Eight Effective Ways to Deal with Challenges. With a yard that is just under two acres, there are lots of challenges and many decisions that need to be made to balance yard care with the rest of life. At times, I’m convinced that yard care can easily take over every waking minute at certain times of the year. All this made me think about how I make decisions every day. Decisions often determine our success or lack thereof and often come with consequences.

There are dozens of approaches out there for making decisions – models with 8 steps, 7 steps, 6 steps, 5 steps, 4 steps – lots of models. So what do they all have in common?

They all start with the realization that a decision needs to be made. There’s a trigger – a problem, a situation, a conversation, an intersection, or an event – something dictates that a decision must be made.

Once we come to the realization that a decision is necessary, our brain (because we are human problem solvers) starts to gather data – observations, experiences, knowledge, resources, options, etc. Our brain is the fastest data processor around. It can take in massive amounts of information in a split second and then quickly process that information to provide us guidance. It takes into consideration our history (experiences), our values, our morals, our objectives, and possible consequences of the situation at hand. The Ladder of Inference describes this process much more eloquently!

Next, our brain compares the gathered information to the options available at the time. For example, if I’m driving in an unfamiliar area and come to an intersection (and don’t have my Waze app giving me directions), I have to decide what direction to go. If I’ve scoped out the trip, I’ll know if I need to head North, South, East or West and can use the sun to decide which way to turn. I can also determine how far I would go before turning around if I’m wrong because I’d have a sense for how far away I am from my destination.

Our brain then sends out a “call to act”. Whether that’s making the aforementioned turn or making a decision on what to do with my time, how I want to spend the rest of my life, if I should accept a job offer, or what I want to eat for dinner, it’s time to make the decision.

Being a huge proponent of keeping things simple, I think we often create our own dilemmas because we overthink things. I am a very logical, fact-based thinker, yet I feel that many decisions can be made quickly without dragging things out through any number of steps. Trust your intuition and your brain, and you’ll have more time to do the things you love!

I hope you find this reflection on decision-making to be helpful. I’d love to hear your views on decision-making.

Until next month, make decisions quickly and effectively and keep moving forward!