Making a Better Choice

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What you think is what you become.

And the sad truth is that that most of us are our own worst enemy, allowing our negative thoughts to hold us back. If you load up on positivity and great thoughts, you can create positive and great things for yourself. If you want to change and change fast, start by changing how you think.

Regardless of our hesitation or fear, humans need change to be happy.

Making the “better” choice

Try to do something you've never done every single day. Don't be afraid to try new things and stand in your discomfort zone. If you want something you've never had, you have to do something you've never done. A big source of unhappiness is the idea that other people's lives are better or easier than yours. But when you compare your situation to that of others, you're comparing your complete reality to their surface. No matter how fantastic, how happy, how brilliant everything may seem on the outside, you never know what's going on the inside If you find yourself being jealous of someone, remember that person has struggled with hardships and insecurities just as you have.

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Think of all the things in your life that are important to you--the essentials--then eliminate everything else. This system helps you simplify your life and see what you should focus on. It can work for anything you have in your life, professional or personal. Sometimes, we may think about things in more of a fast and automatic way. At other times, we may consider things more slowly and deliberately.

Making Good Choices | Psychology Today

In turn, each of these ways of making choices has its own pros-and-cons. In his book, Thinking, Fast and Slow , behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman discusses these finer points of thinking in detail. System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations. In the rest of the book, Kahneman goes into detail about the differences between these two general processes of thinking and their impact on various types of decision-making. Particularly, he notes that, while System 1 thinking may be fast and effortless, it often jumps to the wrong conclusions, relies on hunches and biases, and may be overconfident.

In contrast, System 2 thinking is usually more balanced, acquiring greater information and using more reliable decision-rules—but requires attention and effort which is often limited.

Taken together then, making the most of our decision-making capacity is often about balancing and managing when we are thinking fast versus when we are thinking slow. When you have to make a big and important decision, it may be best to do it when you are rested, focused, and motivated. According to Kahneman complex and effortful thinking system 2 requires attention, motivation , and self-control. All of those resources are more limited and depleted when we are already busy, stressed, and tired. Although there have been some challenges to this idea, a recent review by Baumister, Tice, and Vohs noted the negative effects of such depletion on the decision-making of children in academic settings, hospital staff, judges, and voters.

Therefore, when possible, think through important decisions when you are well rested, clear-headed, and have the energy and motivation to dedicate to the task. Thinking clearly and logically takes time too. When we are under time pressure and short deadlines, our fast-thinking system 1 takes over instead. For example, according to research on financial decisions by Kirchler and associates , individuals are more likely to make risky choices under such time pressure. Thus, when we are in a rush, we jump to a quick conclusion that may be full of biases and hunches, rather than carefully thinking through the facts and information.

Nevertheless, if the decision is more complex and important, then take the time to think it through thoroughly.

2. Speak up with honesty and stop holding back what you think.

Beyond having the time and energy to think clearly, our decisions are only as good as the information we have about our choices and options. We can ponder a choice for hours, but if the information we mull over is very limited, or of poor quality, then all that effort and thought will be much less effective. Therefore, the more reliable facts and information we can gather and consider about a decision, the more we can reduce our uncertainty and make better choices.

For example, work by Ariely notes that the more customers are in control of the flow of information they receive about a consumer decision, the better they can match their preferences, improve their knowledge about the domain, and increase confidence in their judgments. Ariely also notes that controlling the information flow is demanding and taxing. Given that, the trick is to balance the information with the importance of the decision.

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So, when you are considering something big and important, feed your system 2 processes with more of the facts to help you make a better choice. Motives will melt and ambitions will turn to ash. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.

How we make choices

But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. May we always make the better choice and sit at the feet of Jesus. Your email address will not be published. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. It is the difference between working and abiding for me.