Decision Making


I have recently been thinking about some changes I want to make in my life and I tried to observe my decision-making process. I noticed a few things that I want to share.

How do we make decisions? One of the common ways is to write down pros and cons of each option and choose the option with more pros and less cons. It is objective and clear. However, it is also somewhat mechanical and does not take into account the fact that some pros or cons might have bigger weight. You might have many pros and just only one con for one option but that one pro might be so important that it would override the pros and make you not choose that option. For example, let’s say you have a good job, nice home, live in a nice city, are financially and physically stable. But you feel alone. In terms of numbers, there are a lot more pros than cons in this option. But the con can be so important that you might proceed to change everything so that you are not alone anymore, possibly at the extent of being less financially stable, having a worse apartment to live in etc.

Another way is to make logical versus emotional decisions. I will do what I deducted from my research makes more sense versus I will do what feels right. I always had issues with this approach because oftentimes, what we think is our objective research is affected by our emotions and perspectives and may not be accurate. There is not always a clear-cut line between logic and emotions.

How do you make your decisions? Let’s discuss.


37 thoughts on “Decision Making

  1. A thought provoking post, Betul.
    Personally, the method of my decision-making depends on a given situation. Sometimes, it is purely based on emotions if it concerns my dear ones. Most of the time, I try setting emotions aside, letting logic and my head rule my heart, and consulting my family. Sometimes, I make decisions of buying on impulse. Just because it is aesthetically pleasing and not need-based.
    But where important decisions are concerned, my husband and I always research, weigh the pros and cons and arrive at a mutually agreeable decision. Not always easy!!
    Best wishes.

    1. Hey, sorry for my late response! Having some diversity of methods is definitely good! Consulting family is a good one too. Other people can see things in ways we cannot. Thank you for sharing!

      1. No, I don’t. Because so far my decisions based on a gut feeling have been the right ones and have saved me a lot of heartache and regret.

  2. I read a book that argued that right brain big picture thinking should always be in control of left brain logical rules based thinking, harnessing it but not obeying it. I can see that I make left brain rational decisions and ignore hunches, and that hasn’t worked out well on many occasions. So… I think instinct should have at least as much weight as pros and cons listing.

    1. I have so far believed that too. But sometimes, I have difficulty differentiating what is an actual hunch or intuition and what is coming from a subconscious pattern. Do you have a way of telling them apart?

      PS: Sorry about my late response

      1. I have that difficulty too. But when I look back I do wish I’d listened more to my inner voice. Nothing supernatural about it, just my unconscious or whatever putting all the signs together rather than my purely logical self deciding how the world ought to be according to the rules.

  3. Thank you, Betul, for sharing another thought-provoking post!
    How do I make decisions? My way may seem very different to some approaches to decision making, but it definitely works for me. I just do my best to keep “Art” out of it and go straight to higher Self. If the decision feels “good,” and doesn’t seem out of line with the best that logic can offer, I go with it! 🙏

      1. Hello Betul,

        Your response time is all good. I know we’re all busy.
        Our higher (true) Self can be known directly through meditation. When we become “still,” as the Bible states (“be still and know I Am God), we realize that we, as basically a point of Awareness, are the witness of our body, and our mind (thoughts). From that vantage point, we are also aware of images, sensations, feelings, perceptsions, and we can realize that they are not “What” we are. In other words, through the practice of meditation, we open a greater dimension, that of Self. It is the eternal. The body-mind does, indeed, die, as we all realize; the Awareness does not.
        You might see at the bottom of my blog posts, that I share a link to my book on the topic, and also a link to my YouTube videos.
        I hope this has been helpful.

  4. Sometimes I solve a simple equation. Sometimes I’ll weight the variables based on how I feel. Sometimes it is spur of the moment based on a gut feeling. And sometimes it is a flip of the coin.

    The easiest is no decision – which is really the decision to let the flow of time take you where it will.

    I suppose each has it’s proper role in life but more and more I I put life on autopilot and let laziness carry the day.

  5. I use the SWOT analysis and I also encouraged my son to do it. Here in Europe they don’t teach in schools those kind of techniques that are very simple but useful at the same time.

  6. I am highly unusual in that I never learned not to trust my instinctive reaction to immediate circumstances. My instinct has modified itself since earliest childhood and it works well such that my decisions in life have carried me down a path that is worthwhile, Old age has revealed to me what has been going on since my first conscious thought.

  7. Great post. There is a line I like from the book “Stranger in a Strange Land.” It speaks to those times when just waiting and being patient also provides direction.
    “Fulfillingness is in waiting.” Although it starts with a made up word, I like the imagery. Take care of you.

  8. Regret. I ask myself, will I regret it if I don’t do it? This can apply to eating a slice of cake – am I too full and I’ll regret the over-indulgence or will I regret not eating delicious cake? – to will I regret not buying this house? It plays a bit with the pros&cons and emotional.

    Now, if I narrow it down to 2 choices and can’t come to a decision then I flip a coin and when the coin is in the air I’m either thinking “don’t come down on tails” or “please please please be tails” so my decision is made.

    1. Nice method! I think I can use the regret point specifically with a decision I am trying to make. I made a plan knowing that I will regret it because my current situation can’t handle it. Maybe I should look for solutions that does not involve regret.

  9. I use a combination of both. Usually inviting friends (never family) Tom play devil’s advocate. If the decision is significant enough research plays a more prominent part. My wife and I decided (on a whim) to move halfway across the country after a family tragedy using both methods and the disdain for humidity (lol).

  10. Interesting post! I usually start with weighing things up, using logic etc, but it’s not unusual to then at some point realise that even though I thought I’d made that decision, I still haven’t moved forward for some reason. If it doesn’t feel right, sometimes however great the decision-making method was, the decision remains as though it is still unmade. This is when you sometimes need to go a little deeper and look at values or uncover beliefs that you didn’t know you had but that are influencing you nonetheless, so that you can actually accept the decision you made, or make a new one based on the new understanding about your self.

  11. My decision to become a teacher was made using the two column “Benjamin Franklin” method you describe with the help of a man who became my husband a few years later. It was a decision that involved changing universities and finishing in three years rather than one year, but it was the right decision and led me to a fulfilling career.

    I have always tried to think decisions through logically and I still do, but I have found that, in the end, instinct leads to better outcomes than logic alone.

    I hope you are enjoying your new home and job, Betul. All the best! <3

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