Every living being in this universe is subjected to make decisions for their survival – be it an ant and or a humpback whale. Fortunately, humans are the only beings gifted with the power of discrimination of understanding what is right or wrong for us and making a decision accordingly. Decisions can either be positive or otherwise but the quality of your decisions will determine how deeply they would impact your life.
Chip and Dan Heath, in their book ‘ Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work’, talk about a Framework called W.R.A.P for making better decisions
WRAP consists of four elements:
W- Widen your options
R- Reality test your assumptions
A- Attain distance before deciding
P- Prepare to be wrong
Widen your options
There is a misconception that having a lot of options can lead to confusion and is as same as seeing only the big picture. So, people narrow their frames of you and often lose possible options that could have worked better for them.
You can start finding more options by creating a mindset where none of the options you are considering is available. What else can you do? Think about it and be surprised about how many new options crop up!
Reality test your assumptions
While encountering a decision-making situation, we all tend to select the options that support our preconceived beliefs and actions. But that might not work all the time.
We can overcome this by seeking out relevant data that might redeem or discard the options at hand. Also, for example, if you have a piece of work or a product to be published you can sample your work ok for a response from a small group first instead of jumping right into the market. Reason out to yourself why you would want to make a particular choice.
Attain distance before deciding
We often let our short-term emotions cloud our rationality and take hasty decisions. It is imperative to have a well-settled mind before making an important life decision.
Try broadening your point of view. Ask yourself what a reliable third person would do in such circumstances- step into your friend’s shoes or think like someone who you look up to. This can give you a fresh perspective of the situation at hand and make you take a better decision.
Prepared to be wrong
We predict a lot in our life. What if a decision that you made is based on such predictions and things actually don’t turn up the way you wanted? What then? You should be ready to acknowledge the decision’s flaw.
Think about working back from a possible future. For example, suppose your work has been published and was poorly received. Think about how the work could have been made better so that you really don’t have to face that situation. Come up with backup ideas that can act like your ‘insurance’ and protect you in case things go the other way.
The next time when you faced a situation, remember that the process is as important as the decision itself. You are the master of your life- so make sure that the decision you made don’t make your life different from what you wanted.
Trust the process!