What makes a decision hard to make? The uncertainty of the outcomes and whether you're making the right decision for the results you want.
Yesterday we discussed the importance of evaluating decisions and outcomes separately. When you reflect on what happened, separate the quality of your choices from the quality of your results. Sometimes great decisions turn into bad outcomes. Sometimes bad decisions turn into great outcomes.
But that only helps you understand the past. What about making better, more confident decisions in the future? How can separating decisions from outcomes improve the quality of your decisions, especially the tough decisions?
Here's how to do it:
For each possible decision, imagine that the expected outcome never materializes. Assume that none of the decisions work out as you expect. Which decision would you be most proud of, even if it didn't work? Go with that decision.
You can't know which decision is correct. You can't know beforehand which one is going to work and which one is going to crash & burn. That's what makes it a hard decision.
There is uncertainty after every decision. If you already knew the outcome, it wouldn't be a decision, or at least not a hard one. Assuming every decision results in failure uncovers which decision is worth it even if it fails. You can be proud either way, whether it succeeds or fails.
Failing is hard, but it's going to happen. Failing because you made an undisciplined decision is doubly painful. Since you can't predict the future and can't guarantee an outcome, make the decision you'd be proud of independent of whether it succeeds or fails.
The time is now. Do the work.
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