To make a decision you typically need to implement an analytic process based on facts to see clearly the problem and individuate the most rational and close solution to what you identify as needed.

Even if it looks quite complicated, it is a process that each of us do every day, every time we make a decision. It is rather different from an instinctive reaction that is when we react to external factors immediately and without involving any thinking process. Instinctive reactions are important to help us to make immediate decisions in situations that can put as in danger, but in all other cases we should be able to use our brain.

Since we base our decisions on facts (internal or external) how can we evaluate which should influence or not our choices? Let’s consider 4 categories:

1) Instinctive thoughts: in extreme cases instinct can save your life, so why not to give him a listen in all the other situations? Acting by instinct can be dangerous because it can expose our weak points, fragility, stress, hunger and other feelings that we may not be able to control. But I like to think that instinct, like any other expertise, can be trained with the experience. So try to use it moderately at the beginning, it will become more and more natural with the time.

2) Objectively true facts: Facts that are objectively true are the most important ones, the ones that will really have to influence your decisions. Since we are talking of high quality information, it is not always easy to gather it. Whatever you are exposed to facts, try to investigate on the source of the information, cross check it and criticize it before make it an assert.

3) Personal experiences: Any personal experience that is not yours is nice to know but should not in any case influence your decision. I still remember at the University so much bad stories about teachers that then I found completely untrue. Concepts like difficult, bad and dangerous are always subjective. If someone tell you a movie is horrible, it does not mean you will not add to your top ten ever.

So be careful when receiving feedback from other experiences, each of us is a different person and so each of us reacts differently to situations. (On top of that the Luck can also make the difference sometime)

4) Falsities: It is not easy sometime to understand that facts are false, and this is the biggest danger when making a decision. Nothing is worst to realize that you have jumped on the wrong bridge, and that is too late to come back. So you should absolutely pay attention to facts that smells like false before they can pollute your choice.

Hope you will find this useful, do not hesitate to leave your comment, opinion or share your experience.

Cover picture “Senza Respiro” 1988 Olio su tela, by courtesy of artist Fabio Massimo

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