Psychology

Human Behavior the Reasons we Make Decisions both Good and Bad



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Imagine sitting in the middle of a road and there is an oncoming car heading rapidly towards you. You have a choice of only two actions. To get out of its way and live to fight another day, or to sit where you are and be run over, which means either being badly injured, or, much worse, being killed. In that split second, you have to make a decision. If you are trying to commit suicide, your decision will be to keep sitting and hope to be killed. However, if you did not expect a car to be in your path, you will be getting out of its way pretty fast.

That was a simple illustration of why we have to make decisions: to dictate the way we wish to live by making either pleasant or unpleasant choices. Our life consists of making decisions, one way or another, they are imperative. But many people deliberately prevent themselves making decisions because they cannot bear the consequences. Yet decisions are necessary for six important reasons:

1. To get results and outcomes. Without those results, we would have no idea whether we are going in the right direction to satisfy our needs and desires; we would not know whether our aims and objectives are being fulfilled; we would be in limbo over our future and potential and we would not be motivated to carry on with our daily life because we would lack the reinforcement to do so. Decisions confirm our beliefs, reinforce our abilities and empower us to the next level or stage of our development. They are like review breaks in our existence. By making decisions, we can use their outcomes to assess who we really are and where we are heading.

2. To commit to a course of action. Once we make a decision, we have committed ourself to a particular action. Not making a decision keeps us guessing and going nowhere, and also keeps us from making that particular commitment to a person or thing. Making a decision, like whether to get married or not, ensures that commitment and forces the decision-maker to take one side or the other. One cannot then stall or be middle-of-the-road because a clear course of action would have been taken.

3. To affect future progress. The outcome of any decision, i:e the result we get, whether good or bad, establishes our position in that situation very firmly. If one was hesitating about taking a job, or buying a house, the minute the decision is taken to do it or leave well alone, the result will reveal the progress being made at that point and will also dictate what happens next. Perhaps not buying the house will save money for something else, which makes one better off, while not getting the job could be a social and financial setback for a long period of time. Either way, making a decision will force the issue which then affects the future.

4. To exercise authority and power. Many decision-makers, and parents, take decisions regarding others mainly to exercise control and maintain their status and power. Parents discipline or motivate their children through the routine decisions they make. A decision which has a negative effect on a child's behaviour is designed to keep that child toeing the line, while decisions by managers that are designed to boost productivity in the office will have more positive effects on colleagues.

5. To boost personal confidence and self-esteem. The more decisions we feel able to take the more empowered we are likely to feel and the more confidence we have in affecting what happens in our lives. Decisions give results and outcomes. The more positive results we have that reinforce our identity, actions and feel-good emotion, the more we will advance in life with a greater knowledge and an increasing capacity to affect the way we live according to our own choosing.

6. Last and by no means least: To prevent others making it for us.Should we resist making any crucial decision, as night follows day, someone else will take charge and oblige! Nature dislikes a vacuum and if we fail to make decisions for ourselves, especially when the outcomes are necessary to progress our lives, we immediately abdicate our responsibility to others who will not fail to do the job for us, whether we like it or not!

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