Archive for February, 2016

Exploring the Decision Making Process

By on February 8, 2016 in All 2017

Interestingly, the human mind has certain predictable tendencies when involved in a decision making process. So of course – somewhere, in some big college dealing with some “science” like sociology or psychology, some professor has put together a curriculum teaching the “sciences” behind decision making.

Apparently – the whole process of making a decision, whether a small or a big decision revolves around the following features.

Satisfiers vs. Maximizers

Satisfiers are people who engage in the decision making process once they “acquire a certain criteria”. So in people-speak, this means that they decide once they see an option that meets their expectations. Despite seemingly high criterion, satisfiers make instant decisions once they find what they are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a certain type of house and your agents shows numerous houses, and you turn them down. However, once you get the particular house you are looking for, you settle for that, and you have no need for checking out the remaining houses, you are as satisfier.

Maximizers, on the other hand, have to try everything out before making a decision. When looking for a house, they have to go through all the available houses that are for sale so that they can know that they have made the best option. Ultimately, maximizers tend to spend more energy during a decision-making process, and they are usually less happy than the satisfiers are.

So although they are maximizers, they have not maximized their happiness.

Explaining How Less Can Be More

Psychologists argue that we have the capacity to make snap decisions founded on limited information. I too argue the same thing.

Nevertheless, apparently we do not apply that, we tend to look for additional information and try to capture as much as we can and then end up getting confused. The decision making process is more challenging because of the Internet. Can you imagine simple life was, before the inception of Google? Neither can I (actually I can, because I am old enough to have existed when Google was just an upstart challenging the mighty Yahoo!). However, to be honest, the Internet has made everything more complicated, because we have to Google search the history of a car manufacturer, before deciding to buy something from it. Essentially, psychologists maintain that only the crucial information is necessary when making a decision, for instance, is the efficiency of the car. That also explains why psychologists chose to major in Psychology – they too made snap decisions based on whatever they happened to know at the time.

Types of Intuitions

There are three types of intuitions. The ordinary feeling or gut instinct is the common intuition when you know that it will pour later in the day. It is a vague intuition. Expert intuition is instant reflex, for instance when tennis pro knows the direction of the tennis ball based on the arc of the opponent. It is a swift intuition that works only in familiar situations. Strategic intuition is a clear thought that works in new situations, and it is always slow. Once your brain gets used to making certain decisions, you can make the subsequent decisions easily, unlike the first  decision-making process. Very often, the keenest sense of strategic intuition comes only just after the fact, or just as about something is going to go wrong. This is often confused with hindsight.

So what kind of decision maker are you? Will changing your decision making style ensure a better outcome? This is unlikely because regardless of how much you know – you cannot predict the future and there are about a gazillion ways for things to not go according to plan. So why are psychologists studying this shit and writing academic papers – justifying their existence in universities ? Why are people paying to learn this bull-shit and taking tests to test their understanding of these hocus-pocus theories? Why did you read this article in the first place? I am not a psychologist. In fact you likely have no idea who I am and I sure as hell know that I didn’t give you any useful data. If you were even slightly intelligent, you too would have known about half way through the article that I wasn’t planning on giving you anything useful.

In fact, the only real takeaway from this entire article is that you really need to make more careful choices about where and how you decide to spend your time.

Steps Followed in the Decision Making Process

By on February 8, 2016 in All 2017

In life, we are all faced with a variety of decisions. If fact it runs into several hundred decisions on a daily basis. Bet you didn’t realize that. Go ahead and count it through. I’ll wait.

In case you didn’t realize it, taking that second to decide whether or not you were going to count it was a decision you just made.

Although most decisions may seem easy to make when compared to the occasional life changer, a decision making process will help you view each decision as important and, therefore, handle it with the right level of seriousness. It is usually important to have a given decision making process to follow to make sure that each of the decisions we consider important is handled correctly. Unless of course you have absolute believe in faith and fate, then the rest of this article is irrelevant to you. So you can go ahead and move on to something else. Unless you believe it was fate that led you here, then you’d probably want to stay on. I personally still think you need a good decision making process to decide what to do, otherwise you would not have made the bad decision to read this article this far.

A good process ensures that you do not leave out important considerations in arriving at the final course of action. duh.

Below we will look at the different steps of the decision making process.

The first step in the decision making process is to take the time to identify the exact decision that needs to be made. I say this because many people are morons; they don’t listen when their employers give instructions or their wives give commands, or when their husbands make humble requests. People tend to often execute their thoughts without thinking about what they are doing and what they want to actually achieve. For example, a person may simply create a website with a random decision making application, not really knowing what the hell he might want out of it, then spend a bucket load of time maintaining it, still not knowing why he’s doing it. This same person may decide to write mindless drivel for posts, still not really knowing where he wants to go with it.

So it is important to define why you are doing what you are doing before you start doing it.

This involves taking the time to define the specific nature of the decision to be made. This is an important step as it charts out the exact problem to be addressed.

Once the decision is identified, you should take the time to collect information about the decision. Making an informed decision almost guarantees a better outcome as you will understand the problem to be addressed and how it can be addressed.

As you research about the decision to be made, you will identify some of the ways you can address the decision/problem. This step in the decision making process helps you come up with a list of alternatives that can get the required end result although in different ways.

Making a decision based on the different alternatives identified above may involve different consequences and processes. It is, therefore, better to first simulate outcomes based on each of the alternatives before choosing the most favorable one. This step helps come up with a prioritized list of decision alternatives.

Of course, the step above obviously assumes you have a boat load of time and very little else to fill it with.

Now that you have a list of prioritized alternatives, the next step in the decision making process is to choose the best course of action. It is important to note that this step can be as easy as just picking out the first alternative highlighted in the above step; alternatively it can include combining two or more of the alternatives above. On a side note – keep a look out for when I write an article about why you need a decision making process to end your decision making process.

At this point, all you need is to take action. You have already dealt with the hard part of the process and have enough information to have made a sober and informed decision that is bound to get you the intended results. Unless your decision was to take over the World, get a Degree, get married or something like that. If that’s the case – then the hard part is just beginning.

The last step in the decision making process is to review the consequences of the decision taken. This step is aimed at helping you; the decision maker gauges the effectiveness and reliability of the process. Note that it is okay to repeat some of the steps above in a bid to ensure that any mistakes made are corrected for a better end result.

Yeah, so it’s all a vicious cycle. Given that Murphy’s law is real and chances are shit is going to hit the fan at some point of time – it is very possible that all the time you spent making that decision was for nothing. Plus, to top it off there is ALWAYS going to be that 1 person who is going to tell you that you “should have known better, if it had been me, I would have…”.

A Guide for Your Decision Making Process

By on February 8, 2016 in All 2017

If you’re about to make a big life changing decision and you are trying to seek help to guide you; you have landed on the right page. This page is full of vague and generic guidelines that sound intelligent but are probably not useful. It is the kind of information you are expected to nod your head to but forget as soon as the conversation is over.But you seem kind of desperate so let’s move on.

It is very understandable that making a decision is very difficult for many individuals. After all, most big decisions require taking risks, and not many are willing to take those risks and face the consequences of their decisions. It is important to remember though, that taking risks and making smart decisions can eventually lead you to make great changes not only in your life but in others as well. These could be great and epic decisions that change your life for the better or the worse.

If you are in a decision making process of something as simple as what you are going to wear or eat today, don’t overthink too much. Generally, covering your private areas and not eating poison is a good way to move forward.

When it comes to clothes, the best attitude is to take into consideration what Harvey Specter said in the series Suits: “Your appearance is just as important as your talent.” Do not overdress but don’t under dress either. You don’t know who you will be meeting or who you might need to impress today, and this can either make or break you. But of course if you work in a construction site under the hot sun you might not want to put on a suit, lest you get a heat stroke and end up in hospital where you just might meet the man or woman of your dreams; in which case you’d want to be in a suit, which coincidentally is the reason you are in hospital in the first place. Life is often a vicious irony.

For your food, just think of the future. Will daily intake of super oily bacon on huge burgers have a good effect on your health in the long run? Do you think you’d still be as strong as you are today compared to your body ten years from now? You are what you eat so you might as well consider that as well. No jokes here, because this is serious.

For riskier choices and bigger things that you need to decide on, a more complicated yet still quite simple decision making process is involved. These decisions could be anything like whether it’s time to quit your low-paying but stable job and apply for a new one without a guarantee of stability or whether you should purchase your dream car when you already have a simple sedan that still functions well or begin applying for a mortgage so that you can finally live in your own home. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide that you can take into consideration. Please note that I would personally not follow these generic guides, but whether you want to do so or not is a choice that you will have to make:

  1. Set a time limit or a deadline for you to finally make a decision. Without doing so, you might make instant decisions later on without really thinking about it.
  2. Determine whether something is a “need” or just a simple “want”. Especially if this involves your finances such as buying a new gadget that you don’t really need, take time to question yourself whether it’s something you can afford. Sometimes you may feel like you need to reward yourself because you deserve it but then, do you really need this now? You can reward yourself with something even better later on anyway.
  3. Seek advice from someone you trust like your parents, your reliable best friend, your boss or a mentor. It is better if you get a “second opinion” from a trusted person who you believe has made very good decisions in the past. But of course, their decisions would probably have been made in completely different circumstances. So make it a point to listen to their inputs, but do not take their inputs as commands.
  4. Write down pros and cons. This may sound like it would take too much effort but writing down will help you a lot in the decision making process. Weigh your options and decide from there if it’s worth the risk.

So as promised, we end this article leaving you in no better position to make any decision, simple or otherwise. The fact, is that nobody can help to to predict the future and the World is round, so gravitational forces aside – it could technically roll in any direction. The most updated information that you use to make a critical decision today, could become obsolete information tomorrow. In fact, it will become obsolete information at some point of time. It could already be obsolete when you used that information to make your decision. There is almost no such thing as “evergreen” information. Even established theories in science are being proven to not hold true in every circumstance.

So good luck to you, my friend.

But while you are here, please give our random decision maker application a try. The link to the application ought to be easy enough to find.

Tips on How to Decide on the Best Home for You

By on February 8, 2016 in All 2017

When you decide to buy a home, you are confronted with a one of the most important decisions in life. Since the home is usually one of the highest value if not the highest value investment most people will ever make in their lifetime, making the right decision is vital. This is actually a very traditional thinking approach. In reality, in today’s brutal world, house flipping for a profit is a capitalist driven norm.

Anyway, let’s get on with the article.

When you start your house hunt, it is essential that you find the perfect fit, given that you will have to live in that house for years. Coming home to a house that you do not love to look at or step into can drive stress levels slowly (but SURELY), upwards.

The main factors to keep in mind when you make a decision on house buying include how much the choice in mind satisfies your needs and fits into your budget. Without keeping the right considerations in mind, your dream home could soon turn into your worst nightmare as soon as you move in. As with most other articles on this site, this is generic run of the mill advise, sometimes referred to as bull s*** advice. In all honesty, several other factors will come into play – like how far away you work, how much you need to fork out to renovate the place before you move in, how far away your parents live and so on so forth.

To help you out with this important decision, we will look at a few tips on how to decide on the best home.

Consider How You Live

Most people usually have a picture of how they want their house to look. However, it is important to realize that this mental picture can also lead you to choosing the wrong house. As a rule of thumb, it is recommended that you choose a home, according to your current living standards. When you turn house hunting into a random decision influenced by your whims, you increase the possibility of buying a home that may be too expensive for you in the long run. It is best to come up with a list of all the amenities you would like in a home and then scale it down to include the most realistic ones to guide you to make decision. Typically, a good housing agent will be able to guide you down the decision making path to enable you to make a proper assessment on whether your finances will hold up over the course of repayments for the home. Because buying a house is also an investment, you really should also consult your financial advisor. If you don’t have a financial advisor, it might be time to get one.

The Cost

Perhaps the most important factor when it comes to home buying is the cost. As previously stated, buying a home is always going to be an expensive endeavor. One of the most important tips on how to decide on a home is to consider all the associated costs before making any deals. Most people usually consider the purchase price and then leave it at that. However, remember to ask yourself whether you will be able to afford the month to month running costs. These expenses can turn a seemingly great decision into a nightmare after a short while. Before you make decision on a home evaluate any components or amenities that can result in incurring high monthly maintenance costs and how they fit into your budget.

Even with the tips listed above it is important to note that you decision to buying the right home will not always be as straight forward; making various compromises is a must. As a home buyer, you will need to compromise on various factors such as price, location and even the number of rooms and available amenities in the house. This, as it turns out may be the most important tip on how to decide on the right home.

We now end the article abruptly. If you have actually been paying attention to what you were reading, you would realize that you have learnt little.

But in summary:

  1. Buying a home is an investment that will impact your finances for years, so consult a financial advisor
  2. You may be able to buy your dream home one day, but you will have to usually for settle for something less than perfect, simply because life is such
  3. Gone are the days of buying a house and staying in it forever and ever, house flipping for profit is a new norm so don’t grow too attached to the wall paint
  4. Buying a new house cannot be a spot decision, you will have to plan ahead and keep aside enough cash to go through with it smoothly and painlessly
  5. Think about other costs like renovation and buying new appliances, or you may just end up in an empty palace (which is actually not so bad).

How to Decide On the Best Career Path

By on February 8, 2016 in All 2017

Every one of us has that specific thing that we can do so perfectly without struggling or straining, or that thing which we felt so inclined to sit down and learn as a child, for whatever reason.

Ideally, the activity which you excelled at naturally forms your career choice. But this decision has to be made at an age where you wouldn’t have trusted yourself to make that decision. What a conundrum.

Keen parents who have the best interests of their children at heart can actually guide them on how to decide on the correct career path that they should take. This is because parents can see the characteristics and the interests of their children from a very young age, which can point towards a successful career in the future.

But keen parents also generally just keenly wish that their children eventually earn big bucks and meet society’s definition of success. What the child is talented is, is usually never a concern.

Anyway, even though your parent does/ does not get involved in your career choice, you as a person have the ability to make decision on the best career path that you should take. There are many factors that you should consider before making the decision on the career path that you shall follow. The first and perhaps the most important is the passion you have for what you are thinking to do. Although this is not the only thing that you should think of, it is very important to be passionate about what you want to do because when things get tough you will find enough reasons to keep you going. Also a touch of reality helps. If you have a passion for drawing but really cannot draw, you might have to settle for a diluted passion in something else.

Another thing that can help you make the decision on the best career path to follow is finding out what you are good at. This will ensure that you do not struggle and strain doing what you cannot do. A career in which you can always be the best is very motivating, and the sky is the only limit for its growth.

Understanding your hobbies can help you know how to decide on the best career that suits you best. Hobbies can be turned into real income earning careers that can be very helpful to you as well as your neighbors. Turning a hobby into a career will make sure that you enjoy and pride in your day to day activities even when the going gets tough. the internet too, is full of sites that promise to teach you how to turn your hobbies into income. Generally, these are not helpful, unless you want to learn how to start your own website teaching others how to earn income online.

After graduating from the University, many graduates struggle to get jobs immediately. At this point, you may find job opportunities that are not related to your career at all. Random decisions to take any job opportunity that comes your way can become the defining moment as far as your career path is concerned. You can discover other interests that you may be having by taking careers that you never even thought of in the first place.

Think about how Facebook got started. A random decision to satisfy a certain need that you or people around face on a daily bases without getting a solution can also point you to your future career path. These decisions have lead to big careers and businesses that earn millions of money for just fulfilling a simple need that people living in a certain community or country face.

Make Decision on What to Sell on the Internet

By on February 8, 2016 in All 2017

If you are planning to start and run a business online, the very first thing that you need to decide on has something to do with the product or service that you are planning to offer. That step is not always that easy. After all, you cannot just make a random decision when it comes to such a selection because it can determine the overall success of your venture. Moreover, if you are imagining over night success and untold riches, you are in for a rude shock. The more carefully planned the product or service is, the less rude of a shock you are going to receive.

Perhaps you have already settled your mind and are sure of the type of enterprise that you are planning to start. However, there is a tendency that like many others, you may be inclined strongly towards a few products without really knowing how to make decision in one way or another. For example, if you are in the blogging line, you might be torn between two niche themes, or if you are in the movie production business, you may be unsure if you should pursue product commercial shoots or full blown movies (or perhaps something more risque, but this is mostly a family friendly blog so that discussion will be out of scope).

What You Need to Do

Before investing your money, effort and time, it is very important to make sure that your concept of a product or a service fits with the current dynamics and the demand of the market. This means that you need to know how to decide on the basics, and understand that a project that is complex may require a combination of several factors: your expertise and skills, as well as the consumer expectation. This only means that you need to fully understand what your customers want and then understand if your product of service will meet that demand.

To start, you need to sit down and draw plan. Design a brief and well thought out survey, which may be provided to your potential customers in order to understand how they potentially feel regarding the products and services that you want to offer. You may decide to speak to other retail sellers in order to see what they are searching for and identify the reasons, which may make them replace their suppliers (with you of course).

Know Your Customers

It is very important to touch base with your consumer group. Keep in mind that supporting your product or service is not always a random decision on the part of your customers. In fact, if they need to spend any money – random is the last word to use that decision they will be making. You may reach out to consumers by putting up an informative website. You can compile email lists by talking to people or from random visitors of your website. You may even decide to invest some money and put up a booth at a local trade show. You can prepare your prototypes and demonstrate how your product or service can help your customers. You may choose to hold such demonstrations at flea markets and fairs.

Inform yourself regarding the online market. Read as much as you can about online businesses and keep yourself updated about your industry. This entails knowing about its performance history and the current trends. Use the information that is currently available from different sources to specific research statistics in order to make decision for your specific industry.

Finally, the decision to start a business may not have been taken lightly – don’t take a decision to quit lightly either. If the first attempt fails, try again. If you keep failing, keep trying. Obviously – if you have tried your absolute level best several times and met with utter failure and mounting debt each time, you may need to reconsider your aspirations and be practical about the likely direction of entrepreneurial abilities.