“How can we make good decisions when there is not enough data”? During my seminar a few weeks back, I got this question from a gentleman in the audience. As someone giving the seminar I guess I was supposed to be an “expert” on this! Alas, I could not act as the know-all expert, inspired by Brene Brown, I chose to be a human instead – showed them how sub-optimal my own decision-making process is! I told them this story.
Grand Canyon Family TripMy parents were visiting me; this was their first time in the US so I wanted to show them some landmarks. On the same token, I thought that if my uncle and aunt from Michigan could join us then it would be even more fun – we would have a mini family reunion as well. Our trip timing fell around a holiday weekend.
When getting plane tickets at a decent price alone was a challenge, finding two sets of flights reaching and returning around the same time made it even more daunting. Which airport would have the best price, how much drive would be tolerable for my elderly parents – all got added to the mix. I could tell I would never want to be a travel agent! Plane fares were increasing every day and so was my stress level. As any couple would guess, one night I even had a fight with my husband. I couldn’t imagine how I put myself in such a situation. Trust me, feeling like an expert was nowhere to be found in my emotional status list. I felt like getting out of it saying, “Sorry, let’s just cancel the whole idea”.
Finally, at some point my sanity came back. I asked myself these questions: Few years down the road how would I want to feel about this vacation? How important it is for me to get the lowest possible price and the minimal wait time? This helped!
Really, a few hundred dollars of additional expense or a few extra hours of waiting would be forgotten in no time, while the joy of the quality time spent together would fill our hearts for years to come! My young daughter will remember this experience of her life even when her grandparents would no longer be around. When I got in touch with my big intention, the rest of it became much easier.
Now, what is that I am telling you by this?
-When you take too many things into consideration, it makes the problem more complex than it really is.
– Be very lean and mean about what matters most – to You and to the People around you (who will be affected by the decision)
-Extend your vision a little further than the immediate – how do you want to feel about the outcome (of this decision) few years down the lane?
When you get in touch with your core values, it gives you the strength to do the right thing. Define “right” and “good” based on those values; trust yourself and equally important, trust the people around you. When you show your human side to them, listen to them, communicate what you are basing your decision on, they will be with you no matter what the outcome is!
Originally published in Dec 2012
[Minor details: The plane fare increased ~50% from my initial estimate, the Detroit party had to wait 8 hours at the airport, no one complained! Confession: I was a little nervous to tell my story like this during the seminar. Now that I am in a much more grounded place, I wrote it the way I wanted to tell my audience that day:).]
Helpful reading: Leadership Series: Vulnerability and Inspired Leadership by Brene Brown
Image by sarahbernier3140 from Pixabay