April 4, 2020
How to Make a Decision

How to Make a Decision


A good life is the fruit of a succession of
good decisions, especially around love and work. However, we seldom accord the business
of decision-making the kind of careful attention it requires. When faced with a large decision,
we lack rituals and procedures. We typically procrastinate, lean on the nearest person
or rush headlong into an unexamined solution. Fortunately, decision-making is a skill and
– like any other – it can be taught. The chief enemy of good decisions is a lack of
sufficient perspectives on a problem. We should systematically think through any issue from
five distinct angles: through the eyes of – variously – our Enemy, our Gut, Death, Caution and Courage. As we try out, juggle with and then synthesise these oblique perspectives,
we will feel our sense of possibility expand – and a tolerable way forward gradually
emerge from the present confusion. Enemy Our enemies have deep insights into us: they know
our frailties, they actively want the worst for us and they’re bringing a desperate,
mean intelligence to bear on our case. Thinking of them helps beautifully to clarify our thoughts.
It can be unfeasibly hard to be a true friend to ourselves, in the way we should be; our
minds may well go blank if asked to imagine what a sweet and well-meaning person might
advise us to do next. We’re so much better at getting into the heads of our bitterest
foes. They appreciate our weaknesses and temptations like no other. We can at last put these characters
to constructive use: by doing the very opposite of what we suspect (probably very correctly)
they might propose and say. We will be energised and focused by the haunting voices of those
dispiriting but very telling and mesmerising judges: those who refuse to believe in us. In a sense, we know the answer already
– or at least one version of it. We call it gut-instinct and it is there from the moment
a dilemma first appears. The Gut is the accumulation of all the decision-making lessons we’ve
ever derived across our lives, revealed unconsciously at speed. Most of us have become rather good
at not listening to the Gut. Probably it got us into trouble a number of times, maybe pushing
us into some crazy moments for which we paid dear. Now we pride ourselves on being thinking
people, who take their time, gather evidence and make full use of their higher mental powers,
as well we should. Nevertheless, we thereby lose a source of important insight. We should
be brave enough to invite our Gut to the decision-making table, not necessarily in order to follow
it but in order to know what it wants, and then submit its stubborn and impatient certainties
to gentle rational cross-examination. Death The largest, but always easily-forgotten certainty,
is that all our decisions are unfolding in the backdrop of a giant ticking death clock.
We should listen to its beat and take its daunting messages to heart. The thought of
Death has a habit of highlighting our responsibilities to ourselves and of weakening our concern
for living according to what is expected of us by society. It is a terrifying agent of
authenticity. Death may lend us a perverse new sort of confidence to tackle challenges.
By frightening us about one enormous thing, it may make us less scared of the many smaller
obstacles in our way. Our lives won’t be what they could be unless we submit pretty
much every choice we face to the arbiter of eternity and oblivion. Somewhere around the table at every decision must be the voice of caution. It
wears dowdy clothes and speaks quietly. It certainly lacks glamour in an age of bravado
and bombast. It’s easy to feel that we must always and invariably jump – because life
has to be about giving the new a go. It may not be. Let’s remember, Caution clears its
throat to tell us, that most new businesses fail, most schemes end in disaster and most
relationships merely rehash the themes of the current unsatisfactory one. Furthermore,
there is a huge amount to be lost and there are many people around us who may get very
hurt by our ambitions. The devil one knows may just have the edge over the many demons
one doesn’t quite. Caution does not look down on the idea of compromise, it recognises
that there are, at points, simply no ideal options for the imperfect beings we ultimately
are. Caution has the bravery not always to rebel against reality. From an early
age, we’ve learnt how to follow the rules, wait in line and do the dutiful, expected
things. We can be good boys and girls; it got us to where we are today. There would
have been no other way to learn how to spell, drive a car or take up a position in the working
world. But there can now be a subtle risk from an opposite direction; the risk of being
overly faithful for too long to conventions that were dreamt up without our particular
interests and hopes in mind. At points, we need vigorously to relearn the art of Courage,
to remember that the happiest lives have invariably had inflection points where people did the
slightly unexpected and weird thing, took a gamble and won. Sometimes, Caution is just
weakness and cowardice wrapped up in the cloak of self-deception. Courage and Caution need
to fight this one out, without any presumption of victory on either side. Any hard descision we have to make will always by deffinition not be perfect. But with such tinking behind us we have a slightly better chance than usual of opting for the good enough choice. Our videos are just the start of our content. We believe in making the world a more emotionally intelligent place and to that end we have now also published some extraordinary books, as well as other merchandise that re-enforces some of the themes illustraited in our videos. Please click on the link below to see more.

100 thoughts on “How to Make a Decision

  1. nice one but the descriptions are too vague on the practical side; nonetheless I'll try to use these different perspectives

  2. I just made a decision that I realize has been lurking in my mind for a while: I'm getting tired of his voice in all these vids😷

  3. I’m turning 20 in a week, and I have about a month to make a life defining decision. Its literally crippling me more and more everyday. I just can’t fucking decide!!!! Anybody care to help a guy out with your opinions?

  4. Hey comment section,

    I am having a hell of a time deciding on a career path. I’m 24 and it’s daunting. If anyone has any advice, or ideas about how to apply this video to my situation, I’d be so damn appreciative for all your insights.

    Thanks

  5. Yeah, choices have me in an existential crisis right now. I'm about to be 38 in a few days and I really need a choice that will succeed because I don't feel like I have any time left to make incorrect decisions. This goes for every area of my life and, at the same time, I am petrified to make a decision now when I used to just flip a coin to make a decision. It's hard to tell which decisions will end up being life changing ones, even if they seem trivial at the time and vice versa. For example, I chose to go home on a certain road six years ago and got in an accident that messed up my physical capacity. I thought it would be fine because I had made what seemed to be a very consequential decision to become a doctor and I was doing all the studies to get myself there. However, at the end of my undergraduate degree, I didn't get into medical school despite my good grades and my high MCAT score. Now I don't know which way to go in any area. I thought that focusing on my schooling was the key to making a life for myself and now I barely have any life at all. The only thing I have going for me is my intellect and my ability to think philosophically (which, of course, has lead me to a grand midlife existential crisis).

  6. My approach is a bit different. I have realized that I can always judge my past decisions very well but am indecisive with my current situation. This means my future self is better at making decisions of my current problems. So I imagine I am a step ahead in time, take a third persons perspective and then take a call.

  7. Before you make a decision, you should think and listen to yourself so that you will realize and analyze everything. Consider those people surrounds you and the people who love you.

  8. 1:45 thats a brilliant point! When making a decision think about what your haters want, cuz if you do the opposite of what they want you will succeed! Easy decisions! lol

  9. This is exactly what is going on. Do you have a longer version with more examples. Because I want to think about different situations on this matter. It can help to better oneself in decisions. It also can improve control on the thoughts and how to work with your decisions towards a greater goal. Rather then shouting out loud and make rush decisions. Where you tend on getting more work down on your shoulders then actually is needed.

  10. As an autistic person with alexythemia, this video doesn't seem to apply to me in general. That must mean that I lack perspective on things.

  11. "You know that Shakespearean admonition, "To thine own self be true"? It's premised on the idea that "thine own self" is something pretty good, being true to which is commendable. But what if "thine own self" is not so good? What if it's pretty bad? Would it be better, in that case, not to be true to thine own self?… See, that's my situation" – Des McGrath in Last Days of Disco

  12. I can't decide one single thing to save my life… well, any life really. I don't like choosing one thing in concrete, I prefer to just have everything.

  13. when you have bpd and overthinking/overanalyzing is your weapon for self destruction you know you will never be able to make a decision without regretting it. BUT, no matter what you do youll regret it. cause you are an ungrateful self hating bastard. the key to happiness is to not give a fuck and follow the thing that makes you the most happy even if its not the ideal happiness. life isnt all happy, life isnt great. try to suffer the least.
    its like a doctors goal. a doctors goal isnt to absolutely heal a patient with no side effects or consequences. a doctors goal is to do the least harm that can possibly be done. thinking youll be truly happy at some time of your life is what will make you forever miserable. do the least harm. make a choice that you think and feel that will be better than the others, not the best. and remember, you cant have it all. sometimes you will want both but cant have it. life needs sacrifice. and if that isnt enough, a therapist might help you. we all need one, even if we deny it

  14. You know something I'm curious about? Ya'll are genuinely smart people, and I respect your view points, hell I even treasure them. They're beautiful, and elaborate, and well justified on my end. So I was wondering what ya'll could make of this. To my knowledge, and I swear I'm not trying to be edgy, I don't fear death. I fear pain, and I've almost died about 3 times. It's never been scary to me though.

    What do ya'll make of that? I can't see any benifits from it honestly, and I've heard so many benifits from Memento Mori that I wish I was afraid to die, because maybe it would give me more guts. Yanno?

  15. Decision making becomes much easier when you accept the fact that not all decisions will work out.

  16. Será que soy el único latino al que le gusta ver estos vídeos? 🤔 Hola, algún hispanohablante por ahí…

  17. If you understand your own frailties and limitations, will the desired outcome of the decision make you a better person at overcoming them? If your gut desires to overcome these limitations, if you realise you don't have much time left to overthink this desire, you have one last mind battle to go… I could fail or I could learn, and ultimately win. Or I could forever let Caution entrap me, fulfilling the expectations and wishes of my enemies, leaving me to only wish that I was brave enough to break free. I hope today you do something for you, not for your enemy.

  18. If you have to watch a video on how to make decisions made by someone other than yourself, the problem is you aren't confident in yourself.

  19. Perfectionism makes us worry about making the "right" or "wrong" decisions when we should recognize that looking at things in black and white can limit ourselves and our actions. If we are compassionate with ourselves and realize that we are making the best decision with the information we have at the time, this will help us make a decision.

  20. Does anybody know if there is any legitimacy whatsoever for this video? Like, have successful people said they use this method, was it applied by a reputable business school, etc? Otherwise, it seems like rubbish to me. I mean, sure, looking at a decision from THESE perspectives might help, but it also might distract, and the real test likely comes from teh way you actually apply this method – which will vary from person to person and therefore apparently has no objective basis. I WANT there to be a great method for making good decisions, but all I see so far in life is this: 1. Ientify the issue or options you have to choose from. 2. Do a final check that no options have been missed, such as the option of doing nothing. 3. Gather all the facts. 4. THink about the likely outcomes for each option. 5. Weigh the pros and cons of each option, deciding what pros and cons are the most important, subjectively, to you. 6. If the decision seems straightforwad, then make it. If it is very complex, then sleep on it (there s some evidence we make better COMPLICATED decisions unconsciously, where our brains are figuring it out over time and sleep.

  21. for a second there I couldn't decide if I wanted to comment but hey who the fuck cares I'm now terrified of the unfathomable vastness of death yay 👍🏽

  22. I'm in the choice right now of applying to university. I have two things I'm thinking about mostly, either human resources or occupational theraphist. Both is three years program. Both have pros and cons. So difficult..

  23. I thought I knew English until I discovered this channel… it uses a super wide range of vocabulary. I feel like a noob

  24. Can anyone help me? You see, my mom and dad are divorced. My mom and her fiancé are in a Florida and I live with my Stepmom and my Dad in another state. I’m thinking, since I’m always sad or in a bad mood here (got worse after they got rlly mad for me being Bi), maybe I should move to Florida with my mom, who is always been understanding and loving towards me and my older brother. But, if I leave, I’ll leave my brother and my entire family whom has also always loved me.. But in Florida, life would be much better for me. My family here makes me play sports (despite me having scoliosis, which makes sports painful af)..But my mom wouldn’t. She even offered to take me to a LGBTQ+ support thingy.. i also really like acting, and since the state I live in is, no joke, like 40 years behind, there’s literally nothing like that around here. I really want to go to Florida, but, I’ll leave my family and my suicidal brother..

  25. This is a very helpful video which actually encourages us to think about decisions from all aspects. Thank you.

  26. I loved this video! I didn’t know if I should go to place A or place B before this video and wanted to ask my sister for her to decide for me. But thanks to this video I know. This video explained with precision (in my opinion) what each individuals should decide according to their own personality mixed with their limits and reality. Since I was a teen I would look at your videos to help me sort out my life and how to be a better human more generally. So thank you for again helping me 😊😁

  27. When you mentioned Death, I imagined that scene from The Greatest Showman where PT Barnum looked at the graveyard and saw how many people died living their lives without fun or love

  28. My boyfriends ex text me and said not to go out w him bc he beat he up and spread rumours about her and called her fat when she dumped him. I rly like him and he likes me but now I’m anxious and worried and scared. Idk what to do😭😭

  29. I want to go to a high school with my friends but also want to go to another nicer school with no one I know….What should I do

  30. Hi I'm a homeless man divorced age 40
    I've been suffering greatly 😔 over the last 3 years
    I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and my car got shot up.. I'm okay
    Aside from suffering with PTSD and anxiety issues, but what was worse for me was I didn't have God in my life and my family wasn't there for me and my wife divorced me because of my depression and anxiety…

    I've tried to find help and support through United way 211 Catholic charities I even tried the government route state in county there's no help out there…nothing out there with help for me
    I feel so helpless☹️
    but though Jesus 🙏 on most days
    I don't feel hopeless..

    I'm looking for work and also a place to stay.." somewhere safe to sleep"never a shelter to many ex convicts and drug addicts…. because it triggers my PTSD…

    I was thinking about doing Peace corps are joining a Charity overseas somewhere but they want you to have a college degree..

    If I could find a job where I could make enough money to afford an apartment I would be all set…..but in My city you have to make 3 times your income to qualify so if it's $1000 a month I would have to have a full-time 40 hours a week job at a pay of $18.75 or more ……

    My life has been a never-ending series of struggles and I keep experiencing the traumatic events over and over and over again like that movie groundhog day..

    I really just need a few months of help and some form of support..

    I'm planning on trying to leave the country and go to China or Vietnam to become an english teacher but I'm so worried because there not Christian countries….

    I don't want to die 😭😫😔 sleeping in 35 below zero weather in Minnesota was so dangerous for me ….my tears Frozen my eyes shut on so many nights…

    My Hopes and dreams is to become a YouTuber and make Christian Music and travel all over the Philippines and use the half of all the money ..if I was or would be successful ..to help feed the hungry in the slums of the Philippines while sharing the message of Jesus…

    I'm very blessed growing up in the dangerous neighborhood

    I don't have any addictions issues never have never will..
    I don't have any criminal record never have and never will..
    I have excellent credit and zero debts always been responsible.. always have and always will…

    I just can't recover on my own
    Please Jesus 🙏 answer my prayers

    I do struggle with "sin" but I'm doing so much better than I ever was before..
    I met a recovering alcoholic beautiful woman who shared Jesus message with me 🙏 and honestly when Jesus came into my life he softed my hardened heart..and brought me so much patience
    And inner peace ….
    that was only a few months ago at the start of summer…

    What should I do????

    My ex-wife will help me with a flight or a down payment on an apartment…
    But I don't have a job…I can't hold down a job until I have a safe place to sleep…

    I will sleep on a floor I will get a job at McDonald's..I can't live this way another day …

    I can feel that cold in my bones coming soon….

    Does any good Christians have any good advice for me about Life or can offer some support 🙏

  31. Decision making is an important thing for everyone Here is Abraham Twersky own opinions about decision making https://youtu.be/zLVEKs-F0ZQ

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