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This Is How To Make Good Decisions: 4 Secrets Backed by Research by the Observer

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Here’s how to make good decisions:

  • You don’t need more info, you need the right info: Clarify the problem and get relevant data, not all the data.
  • Feelings are not the enemy: For simple choices, use raw brainpower. For complex choices, trust intuition.
  • If you’re an expert in the area, trust your gut: Not sure if you’re an expert? Keep a decision diary.
  • “Good enough is almost always good enough”: Trying to be perfect makes your brain miserable.

And if you forget everything above, what one thing should you remember?

In my interview with Duke professor Dan Ariely (author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions) he said you’re more likely make a good decision if you “take the outside perspective.” What’s that mean?

Just ask yourself, “What advice would I give to someone else in this situation?”:

If I had to give advice across many aspects of life, I would ask people to take what’s called “the outside perspective.” And the outside perspective is easily thought about: “What would you do if you made the recommendation for another person?” And I find that often when we’re recommending something to another person, we don’t think about our current state and we don’t think about our current emotions. We actually think a bit more distantly from the decision and often make the better decision because of that.

Yeah, it can really be that simple: thinking about how you would help others is often the best way to help yourself.

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