On making decisions

When making decisions, there are two things I deem as most important for a person to master: intuitive perceptiveness (looking out) and deep & holistic self-awareness (looking in).

The first one isn’t just seeing clearly from the vantage point of another person (which requires not only an in-depth appreciation of their logic & reason but also their feelings: what their insecurities, reluctance, “baggages”, etc. are), it is also being able to observe patterns and trends that could give you hints on what the past and the future could or would look like most likely. Having a translucent picture of what the situation looks like and where everyone involved in it are coming from can enrich your personal POV. This is helpful because whether we like it or not, truth is we are not always right.

During the process, you’ll usually encounter perspectives that totally clash with yours. Now this is where the next process comes in: self-awareness. Trying to find out whether your POV is coming from the objective eyes of reason or the subjective evaluation of your emotions.

Self-awareness allows you to have a very deep understanding of yourself, your behavior, and why you react the way you do, inter alia. For most people, this ability is very difficult to master because (1) it doesn’t occur naturally to them; (2) it’s a lifetime journey that can be extremely painful and uncomforting. The process compels you to face your inner demons, your insecurities, your perceived personal deficits, etc. but it doesn’t stop there. You have to be able to rationalize what you find, and if you found some of them to be fixable, then you fix them.

As a person who’s usually guided by his values and principles, I found having a strong sense of self-awareness to be my “friend to count on” when irrationality takes over. My self-awareness warns me when a judgment gets too personal and when reason is sidelined. It serves as my catalyst for tolerance and acceptance. It also facilitates my empathy and understanding of others. Hence, I do not act or make decisions on a moment’s spur. I gather all information first, weigh the pros and cons, before I make a call. Because in decision-making, mistakes are immutable. And it is of imperative objective to make as little of them as possible because whether we like it or not, some decisions can be irreversible.

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