Decision making and 5 principles

Improving decision making is an area I’ve been paying attention to over the last few months.

I heard on a podcast recently with Shane Parrish (Farnam Street) a quick summary to help you in your decision making: What are the variables? How do the variables interact? How am I fooling myself in this situation?

There are five principles on the Farnam Street website that I thought interesting to share.

The first is: Direction over speed. If we’re going in the wrong direction, quicker progress is not always useful! Reflection and multiple perspectives can narrow and improve your direction in a useful way.

Second principle: Live deliberately – be conscious instead of habitually repeating life and having it passing us by. Self-awareness is useful here.

Third principle: Thoughtful opinions, held loosely. Consider and be thoughtful in your opinions, you should keep updating this with updated facts. If you’re wrong, that’s ok, update your knowledge repository.

Fourth principle: Principles outlive tactics. This is the difference between a chef and line cook, line cooks don’t necessarily know how ingredients come together or intention of recipe and if something goes wrong they might not be able to understand how it happens, instead of what happened. To achieve results in a changing environment we must know the why.

Fifth principle – own your actions. Don’t just accept screwups but instead take ownership over mistakes and the solutions to improve the situation. Proactive people don’t blame situations.

These summarise years of experience, research and thoughtfulness and I’d love to hear how you make decisions, and what you think about these principles!

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