One day before I was married I decided to join a singles website and meet people. What an experience that was. At first I was excited by the fact that there were so many potential partners. The site I used had millions of members worldwide. So I thought: ‘It should be easy to find someone’, was I ever wrong about that. Many dates later I was becoming discouraged. I was beginning to think no one on the site was serious about finding someone. One day I randomly messaged a woman and started talking to her. At that point I had become very indifferent and didn’t have any expectations of a good outcome. We agreed to meet, and to make a long story short, not even two years later we were married. The decision to meet her was very random and at the time I was simply bored and lonely. Amazing what that one simple decision to message someone on a single’s website did for me. That one simple and totally random act lead me to the happiest days of my life and the two children I love more than anything.
When decisions are important we need to be using a good decision making process. Knowing what decisions are important enough to take the time to follow a process can be difficult but when we do experts have laid out a few good methods we can use.
- SWOT Analysis: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. This strategy is commonly used by business and industry but can be applied to personal decisions as well. By analyzing our personal situation we can more objectively make a decision. Like this example of someone considering running for mayor:
- Cost-benefit analysis: Using the following chart you list the cost benefit of an action (or inaction) and then use a little math to see whether the cost or the benefit is higher. For example I am currently deciding whether or not to change jobs: I will then do a bit of math. I have 5 advantages and 4 disadvantages for a total of nine. out 100% that’s 11.11% each. So Advantages is 55.55% and disadvantages 44.44%. So, there is a greater advantage to changing jobs. Some people put greater weight on certain things such such as being happier. This one I would weigh as double because being happy in your job is so important. Putting greater weight on an advantage or disadvantage depends on our values.
These are just two of many ways to make a decision. This is a great list that includes decision trees, Pareto Analysis and t-charts. All these techniques, of course, are only useful for decisions that we have time to think about. For quick decisions we must rely on our intellect and experiences. These quick decisions are, of course, affected by out complex psychology. Our memory, experiences, unresolved issues, personalities, physiology, personal situations and many other things can help or hinder us when we make quick decisions.
Regardless of the decision we make whatever happens we must be prepared to cope with the outcome and deal with whatever consequences there are, which is what this site hopes to help people do.