Survival Planning–More Than Just Gear and a “To Do” List, by Ray
Decision making is critical in determining what actions to take to move you closer to a particular sub-objective or your ultimate goal. All decisions are based on the probability of a favorable outcome, but that probability is rarely, if ever, 100%. Even a slam-dunk, no-brainer decision has some slight chance of failure. The validity of a choice can be measured as those choices with the highest probability of a positive outcome, but even those have a tangible risk of turning out badly, and thus not being ultimately “correct.” Poker players call it getting “cracked”, when a strong, high probability hand is still beaten by the luck of the draw. A decision maker should understand that no decision is guaranteed to produce a positive result. Setting the expectation for yourself that even well thought-out decisions will be 100% successful is the road to disappointment and frustration. This is because decisions have variable dimensions, most of which are beyond the average person’s ability to control or even be fully aware of. The validity of a given choice is a function of the available data, context, and time. A valid decision is the best one you can make, right now, with the available information. Five minutes (heck, 30 seconds) from now a different choice may be better. But realize you will never have perfect, complete, and timely data, and that’s assuming that no one else is actively interacting with the situation, changing it and invalidating your information, or actively generating/feeding disinformation in some form. You will bring some level of bias to you we interpret the given dataset, as do your information sources; this works against our being able to form the proper context for a decision. And all factors are in flux, changing constantly; and implementing a choice once made takes some measure of time, making the clock an enemy. A good decision making process has to exist in the here and now, and be forward looking. You must avoid self recrimination and the tendency to doubt after something bad has happened; past choices are in the past, and useful only for how they inform future decisions. Focus on your goal, and how you get from your present location/situation (the here and now) to there (your future goal.)
Take wisdom where ever you find it.
I urge you to use the waterline standard. Above the water line, fail quickly. Below the waterline, take your time and make the best decision possible.
Now we have an additional meme here: A “good” decision is the best one you can make, right now, with the available information.
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