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 :)
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    Sep 14 2011: Like so many others have said, my process of choice depends on the decision at hand.I spend very little time deciding among options with outcomes that are too close to terms of their value or merits. This saves a lot of time.Sometimes a prospect falls in my lap that was just what I was looking for at the moment- engaging, growth promoting, offering an opportunity for significant service...When a choice is less obvious, I will choose the option that leads to the broadest range of future interesting and worthwhile possibilities.
  • Sep 14 2011: My heart and mind.
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    Sep 14 2011: Another way to think about it would be, our intuition defined by evolutionary success directs most of our instinctive choices. Our habits conditioned by experiences of what worked for us define our conditioned choices. Most of our conscious decision making takes place at the cognitive level, mostly in the form rational thinking. I think here I may opened something new to think about. :)
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    Sep 14 2011: Opinions, Values and perceived Outcomes. Sometimes its opinions, which are preconceived notions defined by others or oneself which determine why we choose something over another. Sometimes it is what we value that decides why we choose one thing over another. The most rational way is obviously in our self interest where we decide something based on the outcome, life is a game. None of these are exclusive of each other. I believe you independently arrived at this answer before your questioned it. :)
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    Sep 12 2011: who am I? is this who i choose to be?
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    Sep 11 2011: Indigo, I think all of the elements you suggested are relevant and applicable to certain situations.

    For example, the decision whether to change jobs could simply involve weighing up the pros and cons (and, implicitly, the possible consequences) without the need for a moral compass. On the other hand, the offer from a headhunter to leave a teaching post in the middle of the semester to take a similar job with better pay would add the moral compass to the equation for me.

    Michael Sandel's lectures on justice at give some interesting philosophical insights into this, too.
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    Sep 11 2011: I think its fairly easy to make a decision. Weigh the pro's and cons, rate of success the decision has of making a positive impact on the future.
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    Sep 10 2011: I guess it depends on the kind of the decision one has to make.
    The ingredients are different for a decision concerning eating a hot dog vs. Big Mac than for making a choice about whom to marry or what career path one takes.
    For a politician, making political decisions will include yet other ingredients.
    What all decision making processes probably have in common is the question of ROI (return on investment). In other words, what is my net benefit of choice A vs. choice B.
    To get there one will use, to varying degree, information, experience, emotion, ethical considerations.
    Ideally, before making any decision, the overall and final goal should be clear.
    This is obvious when it comes to hot dog vs. big mac (eliminating your hunger), but isn’t so obvious anymore when it comes to marriage or career decisions.
  • Sep 9 2011: question improves the powers of mind for answering...

    compare choices --> listen to all but do what your mind/heart says. a big reason behind this is at the end
    if you fails you could never think that you didn't did what you liked.
    and you will learn and value your decisions .

  • Oct 3 2011: Partially, decisions are made around our subconscious shortcuts (look at marketing strategy and Wal-Mart). I personally look at the pros and cons, what effect this will have and on what/whom, whether the possible outcome is desirable. Does the end result make sense?

    For example, if someone has a discussion about making choices ;-), I weighed the pros (my voice will be heard and possibly taken seriously) against the cons (typing out the response will take some time and require me to think and I might get trolled). There may be an effect and there may not be any at all. A possible outcome is that someone might decide to take a look at my profile and either like or dislike the interests that I have and respond accordingly. Sure, I might be wasting my time with an answer to someone that is simply trolling the internet but to others this might be just the type of insight into the human psyche that they needed.

    Another example might be ordering from McDonald's vs ordering from Subway. I'm on a diet and know that Subway is a far better choice than McDonald's as far as getting vegetable servings and a sandwich that's made right in front of me with less saturated fat and sodium, but I wouldn't want to order a double-meat cold cut combo footlong and a bag of Cheetos vs. a salad from McD's. That just doesn't make sense to someone that's on a diet.

    I hope this answers your question. Have your day however you want it. It is, after all, YOUR day, your decision.
  • Oct 2 2011: Isn't morality and the possible results really just pros and cons. You simply look into the question and value the pros and cons if pros wins out you make that choice
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    Oct 2 2011: "It's only with the heart
    that one can see clearly.
    What's essential
    is invisible to the eye"

    the fox
    from the little prince
  • Sep 27 2011: we made choices everyday, some of them we regret later, but that how life it is, that how we grow.
  • Sep 26 2011: The brain evolved around the function of decision making. Most decisions are made unconsciously, such as bodily regulator functions. Many decisions are made semi-consciously but automatically, such as reflexes and muscle memory. More difficult decisions, which involve weighing a variety of factors, are the reason that the consciousness evolved. The brain observes the environment around it, the environment is then filtered and processed through the brain's hard wiring, and then displayed in the consciousness, which basically acts as a desktop that mediates higher level interaction between the nervous system and the environment. The brain acts a sponge, developing concepts out of stimulus, and then processing all further stimulus based on prior knowledge. When we are born our brain seeks out a platform on which to base it's decisions, this is why young children are very trusting, why they can learn language faster. This is why people brought up in different cultures have different beliefs and would make different decisions in the same situations. Beliefs within cultures can never be exactly homogeneous, because no two persons can every experience the exact same reality, and outside influences also have an effect. However, all humans live out a somewhat similar life experience, and so the societal norms that each community lives by all share common characteristics. This is increasingly true because of the globalization of instant communication. A world culture is forming... Sorry for that digression, let me get back on track. Free will is somewhat of an enigma. On the one hand, since our psychology is a slave to the interplay of environmental influences and our physiology, the choice is never a free one. On the other hand however, the human mind cannot every completely accept that free will does not exist in some form. I know I can't. My advise: tweak your environment to insure the greatest possible input. Then you can make the most informed decisions. I'm out of space
  • Sep 25 2011: I think It's simply about following ur heart... it's a choice between fear and love.. that's all what matters...
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    Sep 24 2011: Commander Indigo

    Common sense, intuition, sensibility, love, compassion, empathy and action.
  • Sep 24 2011: idealism
    I am what i am. No matter what poeple think about.
  • Sep 24 2011: Short answer is that it depends on many circumstaces, such as Risk, time available to think, information/evidence available, knowledge of subject, etc.

    However, in general, I usually make important decisions based on some long range general plan, personal decision based on practicality, comfort,and aesthetics (in that order), professional decisions based on knowledge of subject and conformance to laws o physics and good design practice, parenting decision based on what I think will best serve the long term needs of the child, and consumer decision based on cost, practicality, and often the amount of hedonistic pleasure I can get for my dollar.
  • Sep 24 2011: Many Other said About there choice but Wat I feel is
    When we take more time in making any correct decission,
    the correct decission is taken wrong !!
    So My Choice is to understand the scenerio and listen to My HEART !!
  • Sep 22 2011: Wow answers and suggestions are flowing here! And I see that most of them are based on the hypothesis that you have a clear mind to measure things on the scale of moral standards, and you are also objective enough to be successfully rational.

    But I see two situations where these methods proposed here are hard to apply: The case where you know exactly what should be done but you don't want do it, and the case where you just want to do something but you know it's kinda wrong.

    Actually, most of the replies here only explain how to figure out the right decision to make. Now there's still another important step to do, and that is actually making that right decision.
  • Sep 22 2011: I personally try to be as unbiased as possible, using logic and rational thought, deductive and inductive reasoning (Not so much on the inductive, but cases do arise), But most of all I force myself to make choices with moral binding, i was raised off of morals, from my family to martial arts, they are part of me now and i try to enforce them on myself, so with that being said, I make decisions/choices, using the information given to me, the information i already possess, and the deductive processes of both my mind and my heart, instincts are there for a reason right?
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    Sep 22 2011: I recently outlined a framework for decision making which can be found here: I hope these thoughts help.
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    Sep 22 2011: I'm never utilitarian when making a decision and the end result is usually beyond my own reckoning, so I have to say that I fall back on my moral compass.
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    Sep 22 2011: :) I have been LOVING all this fabulous input!
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    Sep 10 2011: Ingredients : everything what influence me = an infinity : I guess you don't expect to answer to your question specifically.
  • Sep 10 2011: From experience, I would say don't make decision by the followings:
    1. those decided or proposed by others
    2. impulsive ones
    3. unrealistic & irrational ones
    4. harmful to you and others
    5. against your principles
    6. go by sentiments or negative emotions
    7. when indecisive and being under pressure or in duress
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    Sep 10 2011: All else aside, I try to ask myself this one question whenever I'm making a BIG decision: "Is it too selfish of me to do this?" By repeatedly reminding myself of the impact my decisions can have on others, I try to develop a kind of sensibility that one needs in order to live harmoniously with those around him/her.
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    Sep 9 2011: Reasoning, Sensibility and a bit of Sweetness (I do have a sweet tooth). If I will enjoy it, if it is practical, if I can't help it then it's my thing. :)
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    Sep 9 2011: If its a decision that affects others in enormity it is of primemost importance that those affected are taken into confidence. Such decisions cannot be taken alone as due consideration must be given to the others viewpoint.

    However if there are choices /decisions that primarily affect your life the most important factor would be..Does it make you happy? does it take you a step further to your goal/destination? does it improve your present circumstances?

    I think what works well for us because of our Indian culture are 2 questions that my dad told me to ask myself before any important decision.
    1 Will my doing it embarass my parents?
    2 Will it be something I will have to hide from my children?
    If the answer is YES to any one of the above question, then you should stop right there. After seeing the world and most of its cultures i would say these test questions would work almost anywhere in the educated world.
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    Sep 9 2011: I usually go through my head (first draft) for logical reasons, facts, pros and cons, but most of the time I make the final decision from my heart. I need to love what I'm doing, or else I would not happy, and consequently no matter which option I choose, it'd end up not meeting the expectation. However, I like to keep that final decision in a drafting stage, and I'd get out of that decision-making for while, see everything around me, listen to a lot of people, and try to get new perspective. Then go back to that so-called final decision, ask myself again, and make a real final say.