Life is an offer. Living is a choice. To live a successful life with less regrets, we should be able to make good decisions, like how to invest your money or even simple decisions like what to wear to a job interview could be the key to living your best life.
This article is going to make everyone fortunate enough to become better decision makers. If you are badly in need of making your life worth living, incorporate the daily habits I am going to tell you, in to your life.
01: Taking note of your over confidence
Overconfidence can easily steal your happiness and make your judgement go awry. It has been consistently proved by studies that people tend to overestimate their performance as well as the accuracy of their knowledge.
Perhaps you are 90% sure that you know where the office is that you are visiting. Or maybe you are 80 % certain that you can convince your lecturer to give you a good grade. If you are over confident about those, your plans are likely to go awry. It’s specially important and mandatory to consider your confidence level in terms of time management. Most people tend to overestimate how much they can accomplish in a certain period of time. Do you think it will only take you 2 hours to finish that assignment? Do you predict you’ll be able to pay your online bills in 30 minutes? You might find you’re overconfident in your predictions.
Rather than being overconfident, take time every day to estimate the likelihood that you will be successful. Then, at the end of the day, review your estimates. Were you accurate as you thought? Good decision makers have the ability to recognize the areas in their lives where overconfidence cause problems. Then, they adjust their thinking and adopt their behavior accordingly.
02: Frame your problems in a different way
The way you face a question or a problem plays a major role in how good or bad you will respond and perceive your chances of success.
Imagine two doctors, one tell his patients, “90% of people who undergo this surgery has the ability to survibe” while the other says, “10% of people die”. The same fact is presented in two ways. But research shows people who hear “10% of people die” perceive their risk to be much greater.
So frame the issues different before you make the decisions. Spare a few minutes to identify how a slight change in wordings affects the way you view the problem.
03: Stop overthinking about the problem
When you are given with tough choices, like whether to move on in a relationship or change your career, you might spend a lot of time thinking about pros and cons or the potential risks and rewards. While science shows there is plenty of value in thinking about your options, overthinking your choices can actually be problematic. Weighing the pros and cons for too long may increase your stress level to the point that you struggle to make decisions.
Studies show that there’s a lot of value in letting an idea “incubate”. Non- conscious thinking is surprisingly astute. So consider taking a nap before tying to solve the problem. Or, get yourself involved in an activity that takes your mind off a problem. Let your brain work through things in the background and you are likely to develop clear answers.
04: Identify the risks you take
Familiarity breeds comfort. There is good chance you make some poor decisions simply because you have grown accustomed to your habits and you don’t think about the danger you are in or the harm you are causing. For example, you might speed on your way in to lectures every day. Each time you arrive safely without meeting accidents, you become a little more comfortable with driving fast. But clearly, you are jeopardizing your safety and taking a legal risk. Or maybe you eat Kottu for lunch every day. Since you don’t suffer any immediate signs of ill health, you won’t see it as a problem. But over time, you may gain weight or experience other health issues and consequences.
Identify habits that have become common place. These are the things that require little thought on your side because they are automatic. Then, take some time to evaluate which of them might be harmful or unhealthy, and create a plan to develop healthier daily habits.
05: Acknowledge your shortcuts
We all are based in some ways, even though it’s a bit uncomfortable to be admitted. Being completely objective is a “mission impossible”. Your mind has created mental shortcuts that make your decisions faster. While these mental shortcuts keep you from foiling for hours over very little choices you make, they can also steer you in the wrong path. This involves biased decisions, examples set by others and information that immediately spring to mind. So if you watch frequent new stories featuring robberies, you are likely to overestimate the risk of experiencing a robbery. Make it a daily habit to consider the mental shortcuts that lead to bad decisions. One should acknowledge that the assumptions he or she make at first glance or through emotional shortcuts may go wrong. If you acknowledge this and think beyond you will end up with a little more objective oriented decision than a subjective decision.
06: Label your emotions
We often prefer to say things like, “I have butterflies in my stomach” or “I had a lump in my throat” rather than use feeling words, like sad or nervous to describe our emotional state. Most adults are not comfortable talking about their feelings. But, labeling emotions can lead to making better decisions.
Your feelings play an important role in the choices you make. Even though we see only the negative impact of anxiety, sometimes anxiety too let people make some safe decisions. It all depends on how you look into it. For example if you are to face a singing audition but there is a choice to be made from the genre and also if you have stage fear, apprehension, your anxiety will direct you towards the most safe selection for you. (Weird, isn’t it?). Excitement, on other hand, can make you overestimate your chances of success. Like for example gambling. Even if there’s only a small likelihood you’ll succeeded, you might be willing to take a big risk if you are excited about the potential payoffs.
Make labeling your emotions a daily habit. Note what you feel and when. Then take a minute to consider how those emotions may influence your decision.
07: Talk to yourself as a friend
When facing with tough choices, ask yourself, “What would I say to a friend who undergo the same problem?” You’ll likely find the answer coming to you more readily when you are imagining yourself offering wisdom to someone else. Talking to yourself as a trusted friend takes some of the emotions out of the equation. It will help you gain some distance from the decision and will give you opportunity to be a more objective.
Developing a kinder inner dialogue with yourself takes a considerable effort. But when you make self-compassion a daily habit, your decision – making skills will improve.
Being able to take those decisions in the correct time and place, and feeling confident about your decision making skills could save you a lot of time and could set you free from hassle.
Cheers to your decision of reading this!
Rtr. Sakuni Galappaththi