How You Make Decisions Makes All the Difference

There are two ways we make decisions:

  1. Unintentionally either out of habit or out of emotion
  2. Intentionally through a pre-designed filter (still out of emotion, but with predetermined structure)

Your decisions might be good either way. You might have good habitual decision-making proclivities, not naturally moved by emotions such as jealousy, fear, frustration, and anger.

You also might make decisions intentionally yet do so with revenge or greed as the filters of choice.

Most of us, though, would admit that our decisions suffer if we make them willy-nilly out of blind habit or emotion.

Conversely, when we make them intentionally – through a filter of wisdom, logic, love, and discipline – that we fare much better.

Decisions determine our future, so how you make decisions means everything.

I recommend this decision-making filter (a filter I’ve been working on and often fail to apply but believe to be a wonderful starting point).

  1. What does love require of you?
  2. What is the wise thing to do based on your history, current reality, and future goals and dreams?
  3. What is the disciplined thing to do?
  4. What is the courageous thing to do?
  5. What story do you want your life to tell?

These questions overlap, but that’s okay. It’s on purpose. The overlap helps close various loopholes we can create if we asked any one question alone.

Give this filter a shot. See if it works for you.

To give credit where credit is due, you can find a more fully fleshed out discussion of decision making filters in Andy Stanley’s Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets. The ‘What is the disciplined thing to do?’ comes from Jocko Willink’s idea of ‘unmitigated discipline in all things.’

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