Doing the Wise Thing

How confident are you that the decisions you make are good ones? What do you do if you are not sure? Today, let’s talk about making decisions.

Have you ever watched someone throw good money after bad? Maybe it’s their car – one expensive thing after another breaks down, but they just keep shelling out the cash to fix it. When you ask why they don’t get rid of it and buy another, they tell you about all the money they’ve spent to repair it and keep it running.

It seems to be human nature that when we make a decision, such as what kind of car to buy, we do not like to be wrong. It upsets our ego to think we have made a mistake, so we try to convince ourselves that it was the right decision. Sometimes, we will rationalize away information that contradicts our decision, or we develop a scotoma (a mental blind spot) and we don’t even see the conflicting evidence, even when it’s right under our nose.

Now, there is a lot to be said for persistence, for sticking with something until it pays off. But there is a real advantage in being able to recognize that there isn’t going to be a payoff when that is the truth, and acknowledging that mistakes are simply part of being human.

If you have any doubt about the wisdom of a decision, sit down and realistically weigh the pros and cons. Make a list of costs – including intangibles like time and stress – as well as benefits. If you decide it is time to cut your losses, let go of that part of yourself that insists on always being right, and, instead, make a decision to do the wise thing.