Unlimited - Anything is Possible
Decision making wisely establishes the cornerstone for a successful life. All of us experience the joy and the pain from our past decisions. Therefore it makes sense to want to understand what affects our ability to make wise decisions.
Fear-based decision making
Emotions influence our decision making. Decisions made when fearful will almost always produce regrets. As a result, we want to avoid making important decisions when struggling with fear.
Having awareness of fear-based thinking can be difficult to identify. Awareness of fear can be especially difficult to uncover for the person who has grown up with living a fearful life. Fear distorts one’s thinking so what appears as a wise basis for a decision can actually be foolish. Wisdom for a person with that background would be to ask someone they trust for their opinion as to a particular decision. In addition, they should make a practice to ponder and consider their true motive for a decision.
I will give a personal experience. Some years I received a phone call from a friend who was all concerned, even fearful that I needed to lock in my mortgage rate as the rates were going up. I got caught up with the fear and decided I needed to move quickly. I had a variable rate mortgage, which was low interest. Given the high level of government debt in USA and Canada, it would not make sense for the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates, but some so-called experts stirred up fear about rising interest rates. So, I got caught up in a whirlwind of locking in my mortgage and paying significantly more interest. This resulted in thousands of wasted dollars on paying needless interest. This is a classic example of how fear overwhelms our sense of rational thought and motivates us to take steps we regret later. As the saying goes: Act in haste, repent in leisure. Fear does that.
Selfish motives decision making
Sometimes others with selfish motives can influence us to our detriment. They may seem like they have our best interests at heart, but truly they do not. When my parents went through a divorce, my father decided he should sell all his real estate. He had several rental properties he had acquired over a number of years. He showed great expertise and a willingness to be stretched financially to accomplish this. However, in a moment of vulnerability at a stressful time, he lost it. Yes, he got the money, but he lost out on future cash flow and the increased values of those properties. He often expressed regret at what he had done. For whatever reason, he never purchased rental properties again.
He had engaged a realtor to handle the sales. The realtor stood to gain significant commissions on the sales. My father shared with the realtor how he was reconsidering whether to go through with the transactions. He had initiated the divorce and now he had second thoughts about going through with the divorce. According to the realtor, my mother had shared with him some rather uncomplimentary thoughts about my father. When he said that my father went ahead with the transactions and the divorce. Even if what the realtor said was true, his motivation at that moment was his desire to make commissions. His selfish motive prevailed over an opportunity to encourage reconciliation between my parents.
Exuberant decision making
We must exercise caution when experiencing emotions of great exuberance and joy. It is easy to make rather risky decisions when in such a state. This results from a feeling of invincibility. The resulting belief causes one to decide they can handle whatever risks they feel good about in the moment. Prudence dictates waiting until one has come down from their emotional high before making a critical decision.
A state of high exuberance reduces the capacity to recognize the danger in making a decision at that time. This may in some ways seem hard to appreciate. But a person in such a good mood does not easily accept a cautionary warning. Wisdom says one should slow down and ensure one can make a wise decision. Asking the opinion of a wise friend or advisor can also aid in such a case.
I will share another personal experience. Some years I ago I attended a seminar in Houston. Lots of hype on the possibilities of their services. It required a very significant investment, and I decided to sign up. Then I discussed it with a friend who brought me back to earth about the risks and advisability of such an investment. After further reflection I decided my friend was right, and I chose to not make that investment. When I have thought about that later I am glad I did not pursue that so-called opportunity.
Wise decisions require awareness of one’s emotional state. Extreme highs and lows can lead to poor outcomes. Discerning the motives of others influencing us is also very important.
May your reading this blog create an increased awareness any time you are making a significant decision. Choose wisely!
wHY tHIS bLOG?
TO ENTERTAIN AND INSPIRE CHANGES LEADING TO A BETTER LIFE. MY HOPE IS FOR EVERY READER TO BE ENCOURAGED AND STRENGTHENED. ALSO TO INFORM ABOUT MY BOOKS AND RELATED ACTIVITIES.