How to Make Better Decisions That Influence Your Business & Your Life?
What is that one thing that each individual does and that happens every day and sometimes every minute of our lives? Decisions they are, where there are some decisions that are pivotal for the wellbeing of our existence and some small incremental ones that we make every day all day long. Such as, thinking a night before that I will go to the gym tomorrow and then deciding whether I am going to the gym or not the next day. So, we even make multiple takes at decision making for majority of the things that we can’t fully decide on.
It is no surprise that the kind of lives that we have are the reflection of the kind of decisions that we have taken in our lives. Hence, we all agree that decision making is one such skill that only gets better by taking many decisions that do not only make our lives and businesses improve but also are taken at the right time.
In order to understand decision making better, Ylemer invited one of our esteemed serial entrepreneur Eli Harrell to talk about ‘How to Make Better Decisions That Influence Your Business and Your Life’ in its Inspire, We Inspire Global Entrepreneurs Online Roundtable on the 5th of September 2020.
Here’s the recap of the event.
Pleasure versus Pain
We all know that decision making is everywhere and how the quality of our lives really depends on the quality of the decisions that we take. Eli talked about a book called “Incognito” that really made him aware about decision making in a truly new sense. He talked about how most of what we think, feel and do is not under our conscious control and the “I” has little presence in transpiring our brain to take decisions and do things consciously.
Eli talked about how whatever we have been doing and plan to do is all because of the feeling that we are going to get, and that is between pain and pleasure. We always weigh our decisions in the form of these two results that whether a particular decision has brought pain or pleasure in our lives and this is an underpinning truth that helps us understand things better.
Two Major Types of Decisions
Going further into the discussion, Eli talked about his sense of two major types of decisions, which are:
- To make a choice from the available options — this is the most common definition of decision making in which you have a few options and you have to choose any one.
- To set an intention to commit to creating a new reality — this calls for disrupting yourself and creating something new, for example, I will lose weight or I will become an entrepreneur. So, this is where you set an intention and then take a certain action on that intention.
Decisions — What You Don’t Want to Feel About Them
Now that we are aware that there are two states of emotions which we feel with decisions, namely pain and pleasure. What are those feelings that we don’t want to feel that are related to decisions? Here’s what Eli had to say.
- We don’t want to feel indecisive, stuck or conflicted — this happens when you don’t know what to do or how to act. When you take too long to take decisions and find yourself conflicted between a yes or no. Eli recommends to build a values hierarchy for solving indecisiveness. This is your foundation, and the stronger the foundation, the easier it will be to come out of other problems related to decision making. You must really know what values rank in what order for you, so that you’re able to deal with any situation accordingly. He also strongly suggests to understand your belief system and truly unlock what is it the really matters to you and what is it that you should get rid of.
- Worrying about making the wrong decision — when you’re doubting yourself or fearing that you may make a mistake and that you will regret later. This happens when you have already made up your mind that there’s something as a perfect choice and something that you ‘should’ do. Whereas, in reality this is not true and whatever decisions that you have made in the past are the reason for what you have become today and that is enough to celebrate. Eli summed it up by saying, “Don’t fret what you can’t control and don’t fret what you can control”.
- Lack of clarity or purpose for the future — when you’re stuck repeating the past and don’t have enough clarity about what you’re working towards then sometimes your decisions may feel a little bit aimless. Having a vision that is very clear and well-defined is not an easy goal. In fact, it may take an entire life to really know what you truly want in this life.
But what you can do to make it easier to understand your purpose is to schedule your calendar for trips out of town where you’re alone and can reflect your learning, what you’re happy about in your life, who you’re becoming or who you aren’t yet that you aim to be. Eli recommends to keep improving the quality of your questions to help you refine a values hierarchy that will help you achieve where you want to see yourself in the future and craft a clear vision.
Framework for Decision Making
Eli shared a framework that he uses quite often while making decisions that may take a lot of time and raise questions that only become a cause of an extended hindrance in achieving your objectives. He emphasized to completely disallow yourself to answer the ‘How’ in any situation and focus on the ‘Who’ and ‘Why’ first. Then once you have figured out the answers to these question with full clarity then answer the ‘What’ and ‘When’ before taking any decision. It is only in the end when you consider answering ‘How’, because if you start think about it in the very beginning, it will only create too many challenges that you are not ready to solve at that moment.
So, keep disrupting and reinventing your next version. You don’t have to repeat your decisions just because you have always done it this way. You are more powerful than you know and there is no limit to human potential!
If you like this topic, feel free to check out Eli’s workshop:
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Sadia Mehfooz Khan
Chief Copywriter | Ylemer