The Weekly Resolve Email 70

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3 Easy Pointers to Help You Make Decisions for an Outcome

Edition 70 — read on     |  May 17th, 2022

Happy thinking Tuesday!

Here is one quote, one question, and big idea to challenge the way you make decisions and improve your life.

A quote…

“People don’t understand the difference between planning and predicting. The idea that we are crystal ball readers is stupid.”—Michael J. Mazarr

A question…

Why am I making this decision?

Is it because it’s the right thing to do—or are you seeking an outcome which will allow you to make progress?

A big idea…

Decisions create consequences.

But, a decision should lead to the consequences (outcome) you want.

But what if you don’t consider the consequences before deciding? What's driving your decision then?

If you're not focused on the outcome, you’re making a bad decision.


Why (And How) You Need to Know Why You're Making This Decision Today

Planning and predicting are not the same.

Predictions come from a sense of righteousness. They smell of certainty and confidence founded on beliefs and bravado.

Planning is the act of preparation for a future outcome. The process builds on facts and judgements of the information to hand.

There is a more subtle difference though.

Predictions expect outcomes, planning prepares for them.

It also sheds light on what motivates planning and predicting. Planning stems from outcome-based decisions and predicting from moralistic decisions.

The difference between outcome and moralistic decisions

Last October, my father-in-law fell ill with Covid.

Our immediate urge was to travel down—but we lived a day of driving away.  My wife's dad was nearly seventy and lived alone, and his daughter wanted to be with him.

Our predictions were of certain doom.

Every instinct screamed go. My wife's unconscious desire was to be with her dad. The urge to get in the car seemed imperative.

Morally, being there was the right thing to do.

Somehow we waited.

Time brought perspective. Consequences became a discussion point. The genuine risk my wife could catch the virus became a serious concern.

Outcomes not considered before now came to mind including many we could plan for.

As the fever passed, we knew exhaustion would hit my father-in-law. He would need support to help his recovery. This was an outcome we could help with.

It was a decision made with the outcome in mind.

Living with the Future

Confronted with decisions daily, we rarely pause when making them.

Slowing down allows us to check the motivation behind the pending decision. It allows us to confirm what we’re doing and ask why. We should be checking to see if we are planning for an outcome or predicting one.

Knowing our motivation is either a tick to proceed or a warning sign to reconsider the situation. Goals afford us rational consideration. Morality compels us to act regardless of the consequences.

It's always better to prepare for uncertainty than to be certain and be wrong.

Support: Reply to this email and tell me a bit about yourself what decisions you're pondering.

I'll get back to you with one specific suggestion you can put in place right away!

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Keep on making great decisions!

Darren Matthews

Founder, The Resolve Blog

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