How Successful People Make Decisions Differently

from Andie Weinman

My Daddy used to say “Decisions are like forks in the road.” Life does not just happen to us, we are an active participant. We get out of life what we choose.

We all make big and small decisions everyday. Many of these decisions are opportunities that can change your life, yet many of us don’t know how to make a decision to yield a good outcome.

I think most people go about this the hard way. They learn what not to do and hope to gain wisdom going forward. Successful people approach decisions differently. They have a methodical way of looking at choices.

With a few tools, we can navigate the right option each time.

ALL DECISIONS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL:

Successful people realize that there are small, medium and big decisions.

Small decisions impact you for a day, like what to wear.
Medium decisions impact your life for a year or so, like returning to school or getting a room mate.

They affect your life but… aren’t crash and burn moments.

 

Successful people don’t spend a lot of time on small decisions. They have fun with them. You’ll make 150 small decisions a day. There is room to play with the consequences, because they’re low.

Big decisions are usually made once or twice a year. Successful people use their goals to navigate. I have always set goals for myself since I was very young. Clearly knowing what your goals are is key.

Here are 4 steps successful people use to help them clearly define what they want. I learned some of these in college. They helped me then and now to strategize to achieve my goals.

  1. Choose 5 prime goals and stay focused on them.

  2. Identify your Top Priority and give it favorable treatment when making decisions.

  3. Look for Goal and Decision overlap to treat these decisions with more care.

  4. Appreciate momentum, identifying the benefits of continuing to move in the right direction.

 

DEAL WITH BAD DECISIONS:

We all make bad decisions. Successful people realize it faster and course correct immediately. When successful people have enough evidence that they've made a bad decision, they own it. They are willing to go in a different direction right away and shut down a business if necessary. They fold fast, move on, and as they say, "Spilt Milk". They fix fast and they'll significantly change a deal if need be. It isn't a matter of trying harder. You’re already trying hard.

 

Everyone is dealing with mistakes they’ve made, and almost everyone has made a poor decision on one thing or another. Key is to always go back to your goals. Never downplay them. They are YOUR goals. They call it goal grooming, adjusting your goals downward to fit your current circumstances. Some do it to avoid feeling bad about missing the mark. “We might say, ‘Well I didn’t want that job anyway." Goal grooming is a bad thing to do for the future. Successful people keep goals solid and reverent, and then continue to make decisions purposefully around them.

AVOID PITFALLS:

 It is also important to recognize when your ability to make good decisions is vulnerable, like when you are in a hurry (my bad), prideful, angry, lonely, or feeling rejected. When successful people know they are in a bad place we often hear these familiar sentences:

“Let me sleep on that”

“Let me think about it”

“I’ll get back to you”

Successful people are ok with not giving answers. They will wait until they know it feels right. Making a decision when you are not in the right frame of mind leads to consequences. “Remember, consequences can pile up and turn into regret,” another one of my Daddy's quotes!

Regret from bad decisions will always have a big impact. You'll end up carrying it around like luggage.

Successful people learn from their mistakes and then put them away. We are here now and the past... is just that.

 

Let's keep moving forward.

Own your decisions and know that good things come to those that decide.

To all of you.... I wish you Great Success!

Andie