Posted by Todd Smith
One of the best ways to consistently make great decisions is to follow what your internal instincts tell you. I call this “going with your gut.” It’s a voice inside of you that says, “Go for it!” or “Be careful.” or “No way should you do that.” This method of making good choices is so effective that I can’t recall the last time I made a bad decision when I went with my gut was telling me.
Here’s the key point to understand. What your gut tells you is limited to your experience and knowledge on a given subject. The more you know about something, the more accurate your gut will be when looking to it for your final decision.
Hypothetically, if you were involved in a meeting with a group of microbiologists discussing a complex subject and it came time for some key decisions to be made, your gut wouldn’t offer you much value unless you had experience and knowledge in this area.
If on the other hand you were part of a meeting with a group of people where you viewed yourself as an expert, your odds of making the right decision by following your gut would be greatly enhanced.
So, the more knowledge and experience you have on a given subject, the more accurate your gut will be in telling you what’s the right decision. The less knowledge and experience, the less accurate your gut will be.
How to Accurately Follow Your Gut When Making Decisions
1. Look at the facts of the situation. Make sure you are crystal clear about the circumstances concerning the decision at hand.
2. Being honest with yourself, consider whether you have the knowledge and experience to make an accurate decision by yourself. If it’s an important decision and you don’t have the experience and knowledge to accurately make it on your own, form a mastermind team of one or more people with experience in this area to assist you.
3. Be creative and make a list of ALL available options.
4. With respect to each option, list the pros and cons and don’t leave anything off the list.
5. Based on the information you have gathered at this point in your decision making process, ask your gut, “What are the best two options?”
6. Carefully consider the pros and cons of these final two options, paying extra attention to the cons. In that list of cons, evaluate where your potential roadside bomb sits.
7. After going through this process, remove all positive and negative emotions you may feel about the subject and ask, “What does my gut tell me is the right decision?” If there are others on your team, ask them what their gut is telling them.
8. Based on only the facts with the removal of all emotion, make the decision to go with your gut.
If you will follow this simple process for making decisions, you will improve the number of good decisions you make and you will begin to enjoy the benefits that come from living a life built on good decisions.
Your ultimate success and happiness in life will be in large part determined by the choices and decisions you make. It’s for this reason I have made four blog posts and one video about the subject. If you have not already read or listened to my previous three lessons, I strongly encourage you to do so. The links to these posts are below.
“Success comes from a series of good decisions made over time, while failure comes as a result of a series of bad decisions made over time.” Jim Rohn
Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 34 years and founder of Little Things Matter. To receive Todd’s lessons, subscribe here. All Todd’s lessons are also available on iTunes as downloadable podcasts.
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