We think that cell memory is stored in our DNA,
the culmination of the experiences of our ancestors. As we have
our own experiences, what we learn is translated into unconscious
decision making triggers that are stored in this same DNA we pass
along to our ancestors.
Enough you say. I can handle the easy day to day
decisions like what to fix for supper and I really could care less
about the unconscious decisions. What I really want to know is how
to make the really gut wrenching decisions.
The Trick To Making Decisions
Ah, but there's the trick. All types of decisions
are the same. A decision only has three possibilities. I will define
these as "win", "lose", or "tie".
Thus there can only be two expected outcomes "Tie or
Lose" or "Tie and Win"
The next time you are faced with a hard decision
ask yourself, "Can I tie or win or can I only tie or
lose?". You only
proceed with decisions in which you can tie or win and leave
the ties and losses for others or at least know the outcome of
your decision will not be winning.
Making Decisions Examples
Lets Look at a few examples:
In the early 80's IBM, the most
powerful computer maker in the world, was faced with a decision as
to whether to write their own operating system for their new IBM
PC or license it from then unknown Bill Gates and Microsoft. This
should have been an easy one. But their belief that profits would
be from hardware sales chose to license from Bill Gates. Thus
making one of the top ten mistakes in the history of American
business and making Bill Gates the wealthiest man in the world and
his company bigger than IBM in 15 short years. (They could only
tie or lose by licensing)
Running behind for an
appointment, the traffic light changes to red. If you stop for
the light you might not be late. If you run the red light you
might get a ticket or have an accident. Stop or try to beat it?
Easy ( You can only tie or lose by running the light.)
Your goal is to be happy. Your
present job makes you unhappy, but the falling behind on your
bills also makes you unhappy. If you change vocations, you may
fall behind on your bills. ( You're situation is you have 1 out
of 2) If you stay in your job you can only "tie or
lose'". If you switch jobs, you can only "tie or
win". What to do? Change jobs.
As President of The United
States, you want to see that the Albanians in Kosovo are treated
humanely. You decide to act. There are three possibilities that
might work. Non-military intervention (tie or win), bombing the
infrastructure (tie or lose), military action to immediately
remove Milosevic from power (tie or win). By choosing number
two, Nato and the Clinton Administration was either not thinking
or lying about their motives.
The next time you are faced with a really tough
decision, reduce it to "tying or winning" or "tying
or losing". You'll find that 80 % of your decisions will come
easier and you will be happier with the outcomes.
jennings is co-publisher of InnerSelf
Publications and webmaster of InnerSelf.com. Originally a Democrat for
many years, he moved to the Republican party in the mid 1980's. He
now supports common sense initiatives from all parties, but is a registered
Green Party member. He is an ex-Army officer and retired small business owner. He was born,
raised, and educated in the "Old South" in Northern Florida.
More articles by this author.
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