I guess I should consider myself lucky; I don't have a problem making little decisions, as some do. But I sure do struggle with the major ones. I read, recently, that the reason frogs and humans, too I guess, have trouble making decsions is because they are linked to emotions. Science writer, Jonah Lehrer, believes that if it weren't for emotions, reason wouldn't exist at all. Our emotions help us decide by creating a physical response to information we don't even realize we've noticed. Emotions can often aid us when making a decision but they can also hinder us. Every decision represents a battle between our rational conscious mind and the emotional unconscious one. The key to good decision-making is, I think, learning how to pick which side should win. The problem is that not every battle is black or white. There's a whole lotta grey out there.
I've read that the best decsion makers let the situation guide them. Experts agree that the more experience you have making decisions in a particular situation, the more you can trust your intuition. Every decision has the potential to impact our happiness, even in small ways, like trying to decide which flavor of cereal to purchase. It's good to know, however, that most decisions are reversible and that we learn from our mistakes. When faced with a bigger decision than which breakfast food to buy, psychologists say there are some helpful things we can consider that should help ease the decision-making process. 1. Identifying your goals: what is it you want to accomplish? This means taking time to be a little self-reflective. 2. Eliminate choices by setting standards; this will eliminate many of your options right away. 3. Don't worry about finding the best; feeling good about your decision is more important than how good they are objectively. 4. Be aware of biases; we hate to lose more than we like to win which can result in making risky choices. 5. Try not to rush; use your conscious brain to gather information. Then take a break and do something else for awhile, like go for a hop or swim. This will give your brain the opportunity to work out the details and come up with the best solution while you're busy doing other things. 6. Don't sweat the small stuff; make a few rules for yourself that will eliminate the need for constant decision-making. 7. Check in with yourself; after each decision, do a "post-game ananysis." How did you feel about your decison and what did you learn that you can apply to the next decision?
When thinking about my own upcoming decision I know that, ultimately, I'll do the right thing...at least for me. I'll collect the facts and weigh the pros and cons; then I'll sleep on it. And tomorrow, I am certain that the right answer will arrive, via sepecial delivery, right to the mailbox of my my unconscious mind.