Sound Decisions

Sound decisions - or not?

You've decided, but are they good, sound decisions? How do you evaluate them, what's important?

Well, the most obvious thing is whether the choice you made actually had the desired effect!

This aspect is sometimes overlooked. And it can be overlooked when there are consequences or effects, that may not have been considered before the decision, that are now significant. And sometimes because of these it is considered to be a bad decision.

Any decision will have consequences. Many of these can be anticipated. Some consequences would never be anticipated 'in a million years'.

But people expect to be able to predict the future and know what is going to happen. Where did they learn that, I wonder?

These unexpected consequences may take up so much time and attention, the fact that the decision actually achieved the outcome is often forgotten. With new information to hand, attempts are often made to rework, revise or remake the old decision. But of course it's a different decision at this stage. The time is different, the information is different and the choices are different.

It's much more useful to be able to accept what has occurred, learn from it, assess the information currently available in the present, and make sound decisions moving into the future.

What is the intention?

To know if you're making sound decisions, you simply check if the desired outcome has been satisfied. This, of course, means knowing what the desired outcome is.

It may sound obvious, but frequently people are making choices based only on their perceived options. They may pay scant attention to what they are actually trying to achieve. And this means there is little, if any, sense of satisfaction or completion for them.

For example, someone has a certain amount of money to spend. They can afford brand x or brand y of mp3 players and they have been undecided for some time about which one to go for. What they actually want is music in their home and a home stereo system would be much more appropriate for that. If they considered what they actually wanted, they would be making a different decision, namely, the sound decision would be to save the money now instead of spending it.

All you need to know

So in summary, in order to know how to evaluate a decision, first you need to know what you wanted to achieve. To know if you have made a sound decision, you simply ask if you have actually achieved it. If you have, then you have made an effective, good decision. You may not have liked the consequences and may choose not to repeat it, but nevertheless, the decision was effective.

Of course, the more explicit your outcome, the more effective you can make your decisions. Better decision making skills will allow you to improve your own ability to make sound decisions.

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