How To Make Great Decisions

Life defining decisions always require a leap of action, we find it hard to take these actions as we move forward in life. The reason for this though not considered in this article, I will be taking time to take us through “how to ensure we are making a worthy decision in the light of three purviews.”

The purviews are not a guarantor nor would they be painted to serve as one, but they tend to reduce the probability of us making a harmful decision.

There is something we all know about making a decision: we all know it will either make or mar us depending on whether we make it, when we make it, and how we make it.

There is another thing about decision that is not always so obvious; it requires a LEAP, a leap of action. Life defining decisions always require a leap and many times the leap is demanding hence we fail to make it.

How do we ensure that we make the right decision at the right time and take the required leap per time? It remains a puzzling question and the answer I’ve come up with may surprise you.

The first thing I realized about this puzzle was that, while some decisions appear right on the go, some are contemplative, i.e. it’s a great decision to be educated no one will or should contend that (right on the go), on the other hand which avenue should I use in pursuing my education can be contemplative hence requiring a leap either of monetary investment or time investment.

The second is, the majority of our life-defining decisions are contemplative. Unlike should I sleep now or not, questions like should I marry, who should I marry, should I attend grad school and should I quit this job are highly contemplative questions.

Third, because the majority of our life-defining decisions are contemplative, we cannot always be sure whether we are right or wrong. To make all decisions on the altar of right or wrong will leave us in an undeserved perplexity, because it is neither right to attend to attend grad school nor wrong not to attend. It is much deeper.

If we cannot always be sure whether we are right or wrong on life-defining decisions, then I think it behooves us to conclude on another metrics beyond right or wrong upon which we can make contemplative decisions.

The new metrics I came up with are under three purviews.

Purviews because are not a yes or no decision metric but a metric that helps us reduce the confusion within our contemplative decisions.

The 3 purviews are:

  1. Second-Party Purview
  2. Self-Settlement Purview
  3. Sliding-Time Purview

Second Party Purview

Law of large numbers in mathematics tells us that “with an increasing sample size that tends towards meeting up the population size, we tend to have a true and representative global mean of a distribution.”

It’s not a complicated way of thinking, the law is simply saying with more opinion that you get from different people regarding your contemplation, the more you are able to access the veracity of your decision based on different idiosyncrasies.

These are sample opinions you should get.

  • Opinion from those who seem to be always antagonistic
  • Opinion of those who seem to be supportive
  • Opinion of those above you and that of those of your peer and when needed those below.

As much as possible get all second party’s view on a decision that you can get. The beauty of this is that they will see things differently from you and help refine your thinking based on their own experience. You will benefit from the wealth of knowledge and judgment of those whose opinion you sorted.

Don’t be afraid to ask others opinion I must add, a friend that went through the first draft of this article has this to say, “I have found that whenever we are reluctant to subject our opinions and thoughts to others to judge, it is because somewhere in our heart we know we are wrong and we know others will point it out to us – and we don’t want to face the truth so we hide away” – you want make sure this is not the reason for your hesitant to get a second party opinion.

Don’t be fooled though by the folly of the multitude, sometimes multitude can be wrong and that is why you have the next point which will be discussed.

Self-Settlement Purview

A decision whose upside and downside you cannot accept should hardly be considered at all. This purview is really about you, your experiences, idiosyncrasies, and judgement metrics. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s not about right or wrong, it is about your readiness for what you are considering.

All what you are made of plus the opinions you’ve sampled from the first purview come together at this point so you can think your decisions through and make a call regarding your leap.

I put this in number 2 because you really may not be able to consider all views/angles yourself until number 1 is done. With number 1 done, you tend to think more clearly about your options.

The self-settlement is about you being ready to take and accept the decision.

Sliding Time Purview

“Don’t make a promise when you are happy and never make a decision when you are angry” is still a valid caution. The tendency is there that your life-defining decision requires that they be made when you are not mentally ready to make such, as much as possible buy yourself enough time to think clearly without emotions on the decision. What you want now and in 3 hours you don’t want again is an example of decision that sliding time purview will greatly help to fix.

Let time slide and see if you still want to abide by that decision.

Sliding time purview is well known and can be a very useful tool. Remember an observer cannot truly understand a system of which he himself is a part, sliding time affords you the opportunity to separate yourself from the system for a while.

With this said, plus your careful consideration of the spirit of the word, you are on your way to living a life where you have less and less decisions to regret in life.

Ask another person about it, don’t take unilateral decisions, take time to consider all points of view before deciding, and after you’ve decided, before execution, allow time to pass if it’s possible. You should hardly go wrong. This is a needed loop as you journey on in life and make life-defining decisions.

Originally published here