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“Mindfulness of choices” through the Art of Decision Making

Every day you start your day by making decisions. Some thoughts running through your head at this time include should I get up or sleep for another 5 minutes? What should I eat for breakfast?, What should I wear? Should I marry him/her? And many such decisions that are made on a daily basis. As said by John Maxwell “Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you”. Listed below are some thought-provoking aspects that can redesign the way you use the superpower of making decisions or choices. Talk to a mental health professional, Counsellor in order to learn more about this amazing skill tailor-made for your personality and need.

Let’s see the super skill of decision-making through its fabric of the bio-psychosocial model as it illuminates the beauty, complex yet simple, dynamics of it all. Decision-making is a skill that develops with logical, rational, and cognitive functioning which can be understood from the perspective of Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development through each phase of life (Refer to the article on Cognitive development through the lens of Jean Piaget). Intelligence, cognitive abilities, emotions, situation, and socio-environmental factors play the role of a catalyst in every situation we face on a daily basis for decisions we make. Whenever faced with a crossroad or a difficult situation feel free to consult a Counsellor or expert in the matters as at times a small decision can have a life-changing impact and implications.

Here we will share and discuss various approaches to the concept of decision making by various renowned Mental health professionals who did eye-opening studies on the process of decision making.

Herbert Simon (1960) was a pioneer of decision-making approaches that gave the concept of classical decision making approach. In his book “administrative behavior” he stated the following as important steps in the decision making process:-

  • Every decision consists of a logical combination of facts and value propositions. A fact is an expression of preferences 
  • Every decision has the necessity of being rational whereas the term rational is explained in terms of the means-ends construct.
  • A decision that involves the choice of a course of action which is satisfactory or at least good enough.
  • A decision that is focused on bounded rationality for situations in real life, i.e. rational and maximizing yet bounded.
  • Programmed and un-programmed decisions where one is repetitive, routine, and a definite procedure to deal with and the other is a complete opposite.

Gregory Moorhead and Ricky W Griffin (1998) described the concept of rational decision making which focuses on establishing a goal, a problem is identified, alternatives are generated and evaluated, a choice is made, implemented and control is exercised.

A behavioral and practical decision making theory (Turban et al., 1999Simon, 1957Eisenhardt & Zbaracki, 1992) focused on the limitations of rationality in decision making yet logical and economic prospects.

The Garbage can approach of decision making (Cohen et al., 1971) symbolizes the choice – opportunity decision situation. 

The power of decision-making is an extremely vital skill as sometimes a small decision that you make has life-changing implications. The best part about this skill is that it’s more like a superpower that every individual is gifted with free will to choose about varied aspects of life. Since childhood, we are placed with the dilemma of making choices or decisions from small matters to big matters which builds/molds the way our lives and we are transformed.

The following success stories are thought-provoking to start with:-

  • Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb but his decision to stay focused on his goal resulted in impossible becoming possible.
  • After J.K. Rowling had “failed on an epic scale” and hit rock bottom, she was left with only two choices to make: either continue to hold onto society’s negative beliefs about failure or use failure as a foundation for success. Her decision to not give up made her the role model we all get inspired by from time to time.
  • The author of “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” Robin Sharma, whose one decision to change his life and made him the world’s premiere speaker on leadership and personal mastery.

Last but not the least we all need support, mentorship, and guidance to reach optimal levels in our lives bringing the option of a trained and certified counselor, Psychologist, expert just a click away.

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