TED Conversations

Indigo cantor

commander in chief, Satori International

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What ingredients do you put into making a CHOICE / DECISION?

When faced with choices in life, decisions- How do you go about making that Choice, is it a moral compass? Is it weighing out the pros and Cons? Desecting the possible end results?

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    Sep 15 2011: One thing that has always helped me is asking someone older wiser and who might have dealt with the same situation at some point in their life.
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    Sep 24 2011: Tension arises when you are chasing something, and relaxation comes when you are allowing something. You don't really have to make a decision, when a situation emerges you will know what is most natural for you. If you don't it means you are not in touch with your self. A stream does not choose it's path, it goes along with the terrain and as time goes on it carves its path with an undeniable certainty.
  • Sep 16 2011: I read through some of the replies here and one thing strikes me: Most of the people tend to take important decisions on their own? For something important I would talk about it with my friends, collegues, family or people involved. I would also browse and ask for past similar experiences from other people.

    Of course idealy, we are smart people, we can think rationally, and take objective decisions. But reality is often different. Prejudices, fears, and doubts can cloud our judgement, sometimes we can just miss an aspect of the problem, or even lie to ourselves.

    If you have an important decision to make, don't make it alone!
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    Sep 13 2011: 60% Gut feeling, 20% Educated guess, 20% En-e Mine-e Mo
  • Sep 12 2011: Observation + Assessment ÷ Judgment = Decision. (what my formula is used for is a different question)
    • Sep 15 2011: good point about observation. it's true that often what people try to argue as being true doesn't concur with what others have experienced in reality.
  • Sep 20 2011: Something I have used alot, especially when making a decision professionally is a system I call CADA.

    Collate all the relevant information that I need together. Analyse the information against the criteria that has been set. Decide, make the deciion based on the conclsions drawn. Act upon that decision. At this point, if I have correctly used all the information at my disposal then the decision is the right one and provides me with an audit trail of thinking, if needed to be jutified. Recently I have added another area and that is at the end which is Review. This is my get out clause that allows me to revisit the answer and amend if required to allow the new information to improve the efficiency of the process.

    If its a personal decision then I more often go with my heart rather than my head.
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      Oct 3 2011: I like your professional system and use it myself although never thought of it as an acronym :)

      Unfortunately in my personal life I tend to follow Anne of Green Gables and look for the loveliness in life which can lead to some impetuous decisions.
  • Sep 13 2011: In order to make decisions or choices i think the first question may be:
    What i really want?
    the answer to that question has opened many doors for me.
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    Sep 13 2011: As many facts as possible go into my decisions. Over the facts I layer filters of morality, practicality and goals.
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    Sep 10 2011: I wish I could remember where I read this new neuroscience paper but I cannot but it was so interesting that I cannot resist sharing what it said. It indicated that pain killers like Tylenol and others actually act on areas of the brain near the pain centres which control decision making. It said that in a study, people who were given such pain killers were more able to make decisions!
    I know that this is not exactly what you were asking but I found it interesting that decision making can be influenced in such a way. I also wonder if this means that distractions such as pain can make us less able to decide when we are under pressure.
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      Sep 10 2011: Tylenol, huh? As soon as I make the decision to put off making a decision I will run to the store a buy a bottle. : )
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    Sep 10 2011: Many people make important decisions in their life based on their emotions.

    I never have. Everything I do & say is a logical decision that I made. My emotions don't have a say. lol

    When I look around me, I see people that make decisions that pretty much destroy their lives. They seem happy, but I lack the ability to understand why a person would risk their well-being for what may be a few fleeting moments of happiness?

    Maybe I'm just a sociopath? lol idk.

    I have a friend that will work sixty hours a week, and spend it all. He could pay off his debts, live in a better house and have a better life, but he does whatever it is that fancies him at that particular moment without any regard for the future.

    I've heard it explained as "living in the moment."

    Sure, that's one way to be happy... but from my point of view it's kind of... dare I say... idiotic?
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      Sep 10 2011: all right!!
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        Sep 24 2011: Ciao cara comme stai.? Da Roma, Luigi Vampa.
    • Sep 15 2011: please dare to say it! the only time the truth should be withheld is when there is no evidence that it is in fact the truth.

      i think you have a really good point there too in that it's important to consider future implications of decisions.
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    Sep 9 2011: The outcome of my next step depends on the difference between taking a risk and doing something risky.

    There are circumstances in which we have to take a risk to get what we want, to sacrifice something or put effort into it. If what we have to loose is worth the gain, then it is a choice worth making.
    On the other hand, if the situation is risky, if someone could get hurt, or we are putting our stability in danger for something momentary or not reliable, then the choice is not worth making.

    This is a lesson I learned from my dad, and every day, it helps me to make better choices.
  • Sep 9 2011: How about all of the above: a bit of reason, some pros and cons, some searching and reflecting on past choices that brought me to the place, yes looking at "what may happen". To be honest, most real life choices just don't weigh out to more "pros" than "cons". You never know what really may happen, though you might have some clues. Seeing myself from the perspective of past choices really does help me sometimes. But finally, there is a ton of heart that is involved in the really big choices. I am not talking about whether to have the burger with or without cheese, but whether or not the choice I need to make will give me life. That is what I have come to. You can rationalize the choice for about anything. You weigh pros and cons and still come up tied. You can look to the future and see a blank page.

    The heart however, fickle though it may be, often times, especially recently, just serves me best. Right now I keep trying to ask myself, "does the choice I make bring life to life?"
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    Sep 9 2011: In various situations I might ask:
    How does it impact those with whom I am close?
    Will my decision be a solution or perpetuate the problem?
    Is is sustainable?
    Is it affordable?
    Is this what I want or what I need?
    Can this decision be put off? : )
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    Sep 20 2011: I use some natural and simple ingredients to make a sweet tough choice :

    1. handful of gut instinct
    2. pinch of goodness --> 99% of the time our instincts tell us what is good and bad
    3. for the color just try executing your decision the best possible way !!!
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    Sep 17 2011: heart,mind,soul,past experience, gain-loss, possible outcomes
  • Sep 15 2011: I, personally, have always had a very strong and reliable "gut instinct" though I don't ever act solely on that.

    I put time and thought into big choices, yes considering the end result as well as my moral compass. Often (though i don't think it should) I am influenced by the reactions of the people around me. Sometimes, even if its the right thing to do, I will with hold from doing something I know will make others upset if it only truly effects myself.
  • Sep 15 2011: all of the above, and more, such as a lot of research, reasoned thought, and most important is a nice big lump of doubt - what if any of those things you 'know' are wrong?

    case in point, you spelled 'dissected' incorrectly. that's fine, but what's not fine is that you didn't bother to use the computer you have right in front of you to check it. how can you ever make a good decision when it doesn't even occur to you to check your facts?
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    Sep 15 2011: Adhere to the moral and ethical standards on the basis of fair
  • Sep 13 2011: First I think about the "pull". Choosing a university, buying a house etc..- it has to have a pull. If there is no pull then I won't be happy with the choice.

    Secondly I think about the function it will have in my life, and if it fulfills that function properly.

    Afterwards, I think of what must be sacrificed in order to make the choice, and see if it is worth it.

    If these three boxes are ticked- I ll go for it.

    When it comes to moral choices my process is similar. I think of what I want to do, then of what I should do, then I think of the difference between the two. After that I think about what each choice means, what it will say about my character and how it defines me. This is the most important part for me, "Is this choice going to make me the person I want to be?". I then review my conclusions and always do my best to do the right thing. If I am having trouble choosing, or find my judgment clouded by negative motivations, I'll go to my allies ( friends, colleagues etc,) and ask them for advice Obviously this is a process used in complicated moral choices. Usually I just use my moral compass to guide me when it comes to obvious things like not stealing.
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    Sep 13 2011: I believe the first ingredient in making effective decision is balance. Stopping the build up of tension and becoming centered and grounded allows us to see a larger picture more clearly. Stress narrows our focus, feeds fear, makes us more self-centered and defensive.

    I use a perceptual process that I refer to as “Perceptions that Work” for a moral compass and to help in making decisions. Viewing a situation or problem though eyes of compassion, hope, humility, and personal responsibility helps me to see the larger picture more clearly in terms of how I can realistically have a positive impact. It is the opposite of looking at situations and problems in ways that don't work - self-centeredness, fear, defensiveness/ego and blame/resentment/”should.”

    Perceptually based morality and decision making tends to be expansive and open-ended so it prevents us from thinking ourselves into corners where we get stuck with two dimensional either/or, “rock or hard place” options. It’s a process of becoming more aware of how we see and interpret situations and problems by choosing to view challenges in a way that leads to lasting solutions while minimizing harm.

    Compassion challenges us to look at situations from other’s perspective and to take into account the impact of our decisions and actions on them. Hope transcends pain and fear by keeping our focus on how we can adapt and improve. Humility allows us to see a much larger picture more clearly; and personal responsibility focuses our attention on what WE can do and avoids wasting time thinking in terms of blame, resentment, or “should.”
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    Sep 11 2011: What ingredients do you put into making a CHOICE / DECISION?

    Well, this brings us back to what I call 'the magic 6W1H'. It is the What, Why, Where, When, Which, Who and How?

    When you start asking yourself this basic questions, you have embark yourself into a new journey of 'curiosity' which lead to to discover the answer to any question, a solution to any problem. Even if its not a perfect one, you have at least venture into the unknown world which indirectly expanded your horizon of knowledge on another area of life.

    Keep asking yourself a question and very soon, you get into the bottom of the situation as well as you get to see the whole big picture of the cause and possible effect of your decision. You can then decide or make your best choice after evaluating the situation.
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    Sep 10 2011: I gather as many facts as I can and let them make the decision
  • Sep 22 2011: I would like to think one should have a life plan - super imposed onto this plan are your values and within that framework decisions need to be made that take you in the general direction of your life plan ((life mind map/vision) - my stop/go point is just before cementing the decision is to answer the question: Does this decision reflect and support my life's journey as defined above ...
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    Sep 22 2011: Thanks to you Indigo Cantor :)
  • Sep 20 2011: Will this make me a better person, and will doing this cause harm in any way.
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    Sep 20 2011: I focus on generating several varying options and play out as many risks and consequences as I can.
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    Sep 20 2011: Waiting till the last minute and then taking the easier option hasn't let me down yet. I let the universe decide for me. Failing that, I try to listen to my heart (ignoring the susurrance of cholesterol build up and disrhythmia).
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    Sep 20 2011: Is it beneficial to others as well, if yes then what more can be done better to expand it? :)
  • Sep 16 2011: I try to use a rational approach
    1st - Understand what the problem is that forcing a decision to be made. Sometimes doing nothing is the best solution.
    2nd - Analyze the facts and issues, acknowledge emotions
    3rd - Rack and stack the alternatives based on pros and cons
    4th - Make decision, but keeping checking to determine if that was the right decision....sometimes you need a "do over"
  • Sep 15 2011: I choose based on priorities and situations. I don't care to take risks or lose something if that decision is worthy!!
    Though I take advice from others, ends up in following my heart ;-)
    So its purely based on the situations :)