The quality and quantity of decisions plus some good, old fashioned luck, goes a long way to determining the quality of our work/life. Our choices (think decisions) are in our control, and throughout history the best amongst us have weathered the crucible based on making better decisions than most. Here’s a piece of wisdom taken from page 220 of The BTL 12 Essentials of Personal Excellence. We hope this is helpful as you make tough calls today.
There are three basic functions that our brain performs. Sometimes they are unconscious and almost instinctive or reflexive. Other times they are slow and methodical. Regardless, the brain always takes these three steps:
Perceives reality. If we are to improve the way we think, we should start with questioning our perceptions. Oftentimes, we do not see reality clearly due to a variety of mental models that prejudice our thinking (we all have biases, friend). We only see what we’ve always seen. As Anias Nin said so long ago, “We don’t see things the way they are, we see things the way we are.” We will not develop many alternatives if we are suffering from acute tunnel vision. What are you doing to widen your perspective of this current reality? Who do you trust to illuminate your blindspots? Nobody is as smart as everybody, remember.
Processes alternatives. Do not focus only on solutions to the problem, friend. Many times this is the trap we leaders stumble into without even knowing it. We are problem solvers. Give us a situation and we will give you a solution; however, if we are to gain wisdom, we need to do more. We need to understand why the problem exists in the first place. We need to become “cause and effect” experts. This requires that we develop our questioning and investigating skills. The best questions lead to the best thinking. The best thinking leads to the best decisions. What are you doing to process more alternatives. Remember, we tend to default to “either or thinking” when in the crucible. Are you still slowing yourself down enough to consider “anding?” Good.
Chooses PA (productive action). The last step is deciding and taking action. Again, ask yourself some questions. Understand your motives especially those driven by fear, anxiety, and doubt (the catastrophic creepers). Look for holes in your thinking. We will not grow wise a lone. When available we should always seek the counsel of wise family, friends, and associates, especially your truth tellers. Do not surround yourself with enablers that perceive reality, process alternatives, and make decisions the same as you do. Gain fresh and broader perspectives by seeking people that think differently than you. Do not rush the big decisions of life. Slow down and think before you act. Slow down and sit with the big ones for awhile, just not forever. Remember, we judge our leaders throughout the history of time by the quality of their decisions in MOT (Moments of truth).
Build your wisdom, friend. The best decisions are the ones that align with your BTL core and toward the aim of your authentic opus. The best decisions are not always obvious or easy. Sometimes you speed up and decide quickly. Sometimes you slow the mind down and take more time. Either way the brain is following these big three – Perceives reality, processes alternatives, and makes a choice. Have you made the biggest decision of all to slow down and answer the biggest questions of life. Do you know who you are? Do you know why you’re here? Do you know where you’re going? Have you decided to move from your natural state of self centered and other controlling to your second nature of BTL core centered and self controlling. Slow down and think for awhile. Slow down, my solitary friend, and build wisdom. Thanks for good idea, Gu. Thanks for the and. You and the BTL band are some wise ones. Good.
Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…