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PRINCIPLES FOR MAKING BETTER LIFE DECISIONS

Written by Freelancing Writer and Editor : Olayinka Sodiq

Someday, when I become a multi-billionaire, I will buy a massive plot of land in the frigid wasteland in the middle of nowhere in the northern part of Nigeria and build a big structure of intentional poorly-designed buildings. There will be No utilities, no roads, and insufficient staff to manage the structure. And then I will name it, “The Hall of Fame of Bad Decisions.” It will be perfect because the building itself would be a bad decision, and anyone who attempts to pay a visit will equally be making a bad decision as well. The hall will contain exhibits for all of the bad decisions ever made. And then someday when people decide to visit I guess we’ll trot out speakers to give seminars on how to avoid making such awful decisions. The speech will offer some principles on how to make better decisions in life. Here are a few points to be raised:

UNDERSTANDing VALUE AND BIASES

Tough decisions are about understanding values. There are emotional, financial, and social and intellectual values and so on, which you have to consider them all, appropriately weighing them in the short and long term. Weighing of values is incredibly difficult because people generally struggle to see things clearly. Generally, we are all biased towards emotional values and short-term rewards, biased towards our pre-existing beliefs and the protection of our reputation. And we’re equally bad at seeing clearly long-term rewards because we find it difficult to look past our immediate anxieties and fears. We let our emotions cloud our judgments. Our decision-making at a “default” makes it emotionally painful to consider that we could have been wrong for years or give up on something we’ve worked a long time on. And until we are honest about how wrong we have been in the past, we will not learn to make better valuable decisions moving into the future. Our decision-making on a default encourages us to avoid short-term failures, even if that could lead to missing out on long-term successes and this is where most of the opportunity lay.

LOSE ON PURPOSE (SOMETIMES)

Have you ever heard stories of the wildly successful entrepreneurs and how they had failed like, 23 attempted businesses before they eventually made it big? The lesson we all take from this is that hard work and persistence is the key to extraordinary success. What we do not consider is that those dozens of failed half-baked business ideas were all ideas with extremely high upside and limited downside. And that means that, if they lose, they lose a little and if they win, they surely do win a lot. In order to achieve more optimal long-term results you need to apply the same risky character in your life:

  • Consider “moonshot” ideas while at work knowing that 90% of those ideas will get shot down, but if one of them gets appreciated and accepted it will boost your career massively.
  • Allow your kids to face difficult subjects at a tender age, knowing that they most likely not take to it. But when they do, it will be a huge advantage to them for the rest of their life.
  • Be very bold when it comes to your dating life, by knowing exactly what and who you want, and accepting the fact that knowing that the majority of people will not be compatible.
  • Buy difficult books in bunches with the expectation that a lot of them will not be comprehensible or useful to you, but occasionally, one of the books will change your life completely and also attend invitations.

TREAT YOUR EMOTIONS LIKE YOU TREAT your DOG

In recent years i have noticed. that shitty dogs are almost owned by shitty owners. The animal’s level of discipline is displayed in the owner’s self-discipline and maturity. This is because connections with our dogs are simply emotional. And the moment we suck at dealing with our own emotions, we’ll definitely suck at dealing with our dogs. It’s that simple.  We all have this lazy part of ourselves that only want to sleep, eat, play and fuck, but no thoughts of future risks or consequences. That’s the exact part of ourselves that we really need to train. Thankfully, our brains have the ability to consider the future as well as the past and all that great stuff which is what makes us humans and not dogs. Emotions give you that spirit and passion, the same way a dog is very good for fetching stuff and running, barks when someone weird comes closer and being a great friend when you need one.

WRITE SHIT DOWN

Writing things down help sort out emotional drivel from decision making. Writing things down clarify everything that’s going on in your head. The singular act of writing makes you make concrete and organize all the emotional turbulence going on in your brain. Bad feelings become measured and structured while self-contradictions are laid bare. Going through your write-ups reveals your own logic as well as the perspectives you have not considered. And when it comes to thinking about a decision, there are a few specific things you can write about to help you sort out difficulties:

  • What are the costs and benefits?
  •  What is the motivation behind your decision and is that a value you want to cultivate in yourself? 
  • This presentation is protected by the U.S. and international copyright laws, Reproduction or distribution of this presentation without written permission of the sponsor is Highly Prohibited.
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