Monday, 15 October 2012

Future: Rational decision making the right choice?

Hi all,
Traditional theory often suggests that for the best future outcome humans should make their decisions based on evidence, weighing up options in a cost-benefit-style analysis and good reasoning - in short they make rational decisions. Especially for business executives this norm is almost expected and is believed to be the right way to maximise profit, which is the ultimate raison d’etre of business (interesting to note that even though bad decision making is estimated to cost businesses around the world a minimum of $ 50 bn p.a., you can never really ‘learn’ it in a classroom fashion). While it can be argued that from a pure business point of view the chances of future success increase with this method, in matters of personal decision-making it is rather doubtful.

In the case of my previously described experience of having to make a decision as a young boy whether I want to go abroad on an exchange year or not, rationally one could argue it didn’t quite make sense to go since there were too many risks and uncertainties of how my future would turn out of I make the decision to go. However, rational decision-making doesn’t take into account ‘emotions’ and ‘attitudes’. The power of the attitude towards your future is one of the most underestimated aspect of how your future turns out. As William James said “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” In a business scenario there are of course still human beings involved on the other side of the table (and of course your own team), but ultimately the model believes that the force of the market and of ‘businesses ‘ per se eradicate most human influence.

 I don’t think it’s very hard to see that even in a business world situation that already won’t get you very far. But more so when it comes to taking important decisions that will shape your own future, the most important aspect is how we think about our challenges (positively not negatively), in what mood we set ourselves (happy and not miserable) and whether we believe in ourselves or not. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go higher than you think” Benjamin Disraeli

“Being miserable is a habit. Being happy is a habit. The choice is yours” Tom Hopkins

Find more inspirational quotes here.


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