The Process of Rational Decision Making is actually pretty amazing when seen in it’s truest form. Lately I’ve been noticing amazing stories where people made decisions to change their lives.
Usually it starts with a triggering, dramatic event, followed by a process of rational decision making and a conclusion for significant change.
I’ll start with an example.
My friend Rob has smoked for the last 10 years of his life, having “tried to quit” many of times but always seemed to fall back into old habits.
One day he, his wife and his 1-year-old, Stella, were headed up to his parents place for a BBQ.
Rob knew he would be drinking and had asked his wife to bring his “pack of smokes” when they were leaving the house.
She did and they headed off into the rural area where Rob’s parents live.
Rob’s parents live on a secluded property that’s at least 20 minutes from the nearest convenience store.
While having a few beers that night Rob realized that he only had a couple of cigarettes left in his pack because his wife had grabbed the wrong one before they had left.
Rob proceeded to get mad at her and frustrated at the fact that he would now have to go a night without cigarettes.
He was angry and began thinking of how he could get cigarettes…
Then, all of the sudden, as though someone just flicked a switch, he said, “wait, this is stupid… I just got mad at my wife because she grabbed the wrong pack of cigarettes. I’m letting this addiction control me….”
The Process Of Rational Decision Making – Getting Mad
Then Rob’s anger shifted.
Rob realized he was actually mad at cigarettes for controlling such a significant portion of his life. He thought back to all the times he had been a slave to his addiction and actually got mad. He was mad at himself and at the way he had allowed himself to act.
It was that moment that he decided he was done smoking.
He wasn’t going to “try to quit”
He was done.
And it stuck!
An Objective Look in the Process of Rational Decision Making
What happened to my friend, Rob? Why did this work?
Well he used the process of rational decision making to his advantage and created some indignation within himself to make it happen.
His emotions allowed him to create a deep desire to quit smoking which was stronger than the impulse and urge to smoke.
He had to stop and look at the situation rationally for this to work. Sometimes we never really stop to look at our situations until some significant event happens… but we can engage in this process sooner if we just make a point of objectively looking at our lives and areas we’d like to change.
If you’ve tried to make a change and failed, why did you fail? What are your current beliefs on the subject? Ask yourself, what if those beliefs are flawed?
Is the current situation rational? If not, what’s it going to take to make a change?
Concluding the Process of Rational Decision Making
The combination of rational decision making and emotion can drive anyone to any goal, provided the goal is important to the person working to achieve it.
To be effective we must have a balance and use our emotions to our advantage.
What area of your life can you “get mad” about today and make a change?
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