Emotional Stimulus, OMG

I broke my own rule this week. Too many factors came together and I didn’t make time to read nor listen to anything new or noteworthy. Here’s “re-share” of some thoughts on big decision making from last year. Back to the routine next week!

 I was contemplating a tough decision to make last week and went back to some notes I had on making “big decisions”.  It may sound obsessive that I have a notes to consult and maybe that’s not for everyone but it does light up the analytical side of my brain and helps me break something down.  If you’ve never studied the physiology of psychology, part of the challenge we face is that all stimulus comes in through our senses and has to pass through our limbic system (where emotions happen) before it gets to the higher-order thinking part of our brain.  So, this framework is a set of steps/questions to ask that help make better decisions:

  1. Find expert advice (reference material) on the subject – it’s foolish to simply think we “know it all”.
  2. Get the facts or due diligence – uninformed optimism isn’t good for your marriage, personal or professional relationships.
  3. Ask for advice – it’s wise to learn from experience but wiser to learn from someone else’s.  Life’s too short for you to make all of the mistakes.  Last week I wrote about humility allowing us to put the ego aside to seek learning – same concept here.
  4. Set a goal.  Likely you’re making a decision about something you picture in your future – this is the dream.  Dream + Date = Goal and helps you not stay in this analysis stage too long.
  5. Think about the “cost” or cons of the decision and remember this: It is ALWAYS easier to get into something than to get out of it.
  6. Plan for problems or consider them.  At the summit this year the former Navy seal talked about preparation and that’s where this comes in.  You can’t solve tomorrow’s problems today but if you’re prepared you have a better chance.  You can’t solve for everything up front or you would never make a decision.
  7. Be a little braver than you think you need to be – our fear of something is almost always worse than the thing itself
  8. Step out in faith.  Courage is the ability to move ahead despite fear.

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