Every day we make many decisions such as what to have for breakfast, which route to take to a meeting, to which movie to watch in the evening. Most of our decisions don’t require much critical thinking. Yet, there are those decisions that are difficult to make given the alternatives we face and the sheer severity of the decisions. These types of decisions take a toll on our brain and emotions. For instance, do you take the new job oversees that is a 18% increase in your salary and move the family, or stay where you’re at not getting the raise or disrupting your family? Do you sell your business and move on to another chapter in your life, or keep it for another few years waiting to time the market exactly right for a bigger payout? To help you make those difficult decisions, this book provides a simple five-step process that considers the decision based on your wants and needs. The framework also looks at the decision from a totality view and includes your emotions in the process as well. The framework is efficient, repeatable, and reliable and can be used in your personal or business life. And by the end of the book, you’ll be able to quantify your alternatives so that you can choose the one with the highest score and thus make the best decision, for you.
This chapter on emotions was one that I had many conversations with an expert on the subject. I wanted to convey to the reader that there are emotions buried deep inside us that we may or may not be aware of consciously. And in our decision-making process (DMP), they play a role in how we may choose between alternatives. We may want something that is completely out of our reach, for many reasons, and thus we begin our DMP with an item or such, that we believe is somewhat attainable. From there, we stairstep downward to an item that is within our reach. That is where we coined the term “surrogate emotions.” Emotions that you attempt to fulfill with a lesser one that still satisfies you somewhat. You convinced yourself at the end that the decision made was the best one where in fact, it was not. So, I tend to cover a term, surrogate emotions, which may already exist and called something different. Yet, I could not find anything exactly what I proposed on the subject. Be as it may, your surrogate emotions can influence you more than you think, and if you don’t recognize them, all the analysis you may do based on my framework may not lead you to the most effective decision.
One of my friends challenged my chapter on “What Are Your Needs.” He said that people always have needs and they differ from one to another. How do you distinguish that in your book, he asked? “What makes my needs yours and vice versa?” Since we are both type A individuals, we discussed the chapter aggressively, if I’m permitted to use that word as a description. I could think of many more descriptive words. I’m not sure who is worse, me or him. Well, our conversation got me thinking and I agreed with him. I must do more research on the subject. In the end, I broke down Needs to three categories: Fundamental, Immediate, and Planned Needs. I was happy with what I did. I updated the chapter and submitted it to my friend for another look at it. We spoke (that’s putting it lightly) again and agreed that what I have makes sense. It covers the spectrum of possible needs a person might have in their lives. Although we are type A’s, and it takes time for me to reflect on what he says, I am incredibly grateful that I have a friend that cares enough about me to push my limits.
I didn’t use my analytical mind when I got my car in 2003. I wasn’t going to add this section about my car because of my outcome. At last, I did. I wanted the reader to know how my framework came to be-from my mistake.
When I began doing research for my book, I learned without a doubt that our emotions play a role in our decision-making process, whether we know it or not. Given that our emotions influence how we might decide, I wanted to introduce these influencers into my 5-step framework for making better decisions. That is why I discuss in the book needs, wants, and emotions, and how emotions will influence our wants. This part of the framework is there to help individuals to keep their emotions from taking over the way they decide.
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