Decision-Making (FYCO: Figure your crap out-isode)


“We learn the most from our worst choices.”  – Thane Ringler

“That’s the one thing that I wish I could bottle up and distribute – discernment.”  – Adam Setser

“Do you want to be a puppet or a puppet-master.”  – Thane Ringler

“You can’t have self-awareness outside of humility, because otherwise your ego and your pride will blind you.”  – Thane Ringler

“Redesigning your defaults is about having the self-awareness to know what’s best for me, and then making that choice.”  – Adam Setser

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”  – Amelia Earhart

“The hardest thing is actually getting myself to the point where I’m committed. Once I’m committed, typically following through is not that hard.”  – Adam Setser

“Decision-making is important, and it’s a process that we all engage in whether active or passive.”  – Adam Setser

“Every single decision we make matters, because everything in life is a test. Life is one huge test about how we respond to the people and events in our lives that God puts there.”  – Adam Setser

“Sometimes the smaller the better.”  – Adam Setser (his life motto – HAHAHAHA) [Nice one, Thane *eye roll*]


Decision-making is..”.In psychology, decision-making is regarded as the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several alternative possibilities.” (Wikipedia).

Decision-making is either…

  1. The gut-level response we have to choose one path over another (System1).
  2. The active, critical-thinking process of applying wisdom to several options in order to find the best one (System 2)


What’s the purpose? (Start with WHY)

Famous Decisions:

  1. JFK’s team deciding to have the top down on his car that he rode through the streets in – which led to his assassination
  2. Rosa Parks deciding toast down on a bus and jumpstarting the civil rights revolution
  3. MLK’s speech – deciding to go off his notes and talk about “I have a dream” 

The psychology of decision making

Thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman. System 1 vs System 2 thinking.

We make decisions based on what we perceive as best and that is either an active perception (kaneman) or passive. Actively being aware of our biases is crucial

How we go about actively making choices

Get active

Don’t settle for status quo…which will be a conglomerate of how your family and friends make decisions. Get active, stop apathy. Own your choices.

Determine your default

“For reasons we have discussed, many people will take whatever option requires the least effort, or the path of least resistance. Recall the discussion of inertia, status quo bias, and the ‘yeah, whatever’ heuristic. All these forces imply that if, for a given choice, there is a default option — an option that will obtain if the chooser does nothing — then we can expect a large number of people to end up with that option, whether or not it is good for them. And as we have also stressed, these behavioral tendencies toward doing nothing will be reinforced if the default option comes with some implicit or explicit suggestion that it represents the normal or even the recommended course of action” (Choosing Your Choice Architecture).

Determine other influences

Biases like advertisements, confirmation bias, etc.

This article from Farnam Street is his best thing on the web and gets to the core of their mission statement (“Farnam Street helps you make better decisions, innovate, and avoid stupidity.”): a list of biases that influence us in making decisions:

(Re)Designing our Defaults

We have to redesign our lives so that we make better decisions by default: How to Optimize Your Daily Decisions (James Clear).


“If you sleep with your phone next to your bed, then checking social media and email as soon as you wake up is likely to be the default decision.”

“If you keep a water bottle with you throughout the day, then drinking water rather than soda is more likely to be the default decision.”

With bigger decisions, we need a framework for judging that becomes our default. We have to measure the options we have by the truth and our sense of self and calling.

You must learn to think and discern; that’s not inbred. And it’s a process of filling your mind with all the available options so you can choose the best one. This is his process

5 Common Mental Errors That Sway Our Decision Making

Defining our Process to making a decision

UMass Dartmouth gives this 7-step decision-making process.

Forbes gives this 5-step process.

Decision-Making Framework (From TRG blog posted last week)

  • Remove self from individual moment and look at big picture
  • Eliminate emotion as much as possible (and replace with rational logic)
  • Seek counsel, but don’t give up the decision-making responsibilities
    1. Must seek counsel from the right people – experts, and those who have your best interests in mind
    2. The best advisers will never make the decision for you
  • Trust your gut! (Arguably the hardest part)
    1. If you have wrestled with the decision for long enough and still don’t have a clear answer, you will have a gut reaction (usually from early on in the process) that, if well-informed, will almost always be the right decision.
    2. “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” –AMELIA EARHART
  • Never Look Back!
    1. The only place to move towards after making a decision is forward!


Review the definition of decision making

  • 1. The gut-level response we have to choose one path over another (System1).
  • 2. The active, critical-thinking process of applying wisdom to several options in order to find the best one (System 2)


Advice from the Proverbs

  • Prov. 4:23-27
    • 23: Heart (Prov. 27:19)
    • 24: Mouth
    • 25: Eyes
    • 26: Mind
    • 27: Resolve (Conviction, instinct, discernment)