I was looking at an episode of How I Met Your Mother last night and it was an episode where the gang tried to warn their friend, stating their own past experiences with the same issues, not to do something and the friend thinking that everything will be fine. He thought the situation they experienced would not happen to him. Of course he could be right – but not considering the possibility that it could? There is a difference between doing something and ignoring all the possible outcomes and doing something knowing it might end badly but willing to take the risk. Let’s talk about making bad decisions. There are some traits I noticed people have when they are about to make a bad decision (everyone makes a bad decision eventually):
- Making an emotional decision – “Jack shouldn’t have broken up with me. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to make him jealous through Facebook!” or “OMG I just saw this cool pink/red/purple/orange and bright yellow theme with blinking links! And it has a widget built in so the music plays automatically and my pictures will float across the page! I’m installing this RIGHT NOW!”
- Thinking a decision is a good one if people agree with the decision – “I want to start a blog but I’m not sure if I should (but after asking some friends Jill decides to do it” or “I really like Jack but my friends wouldn’t approve – so I won’t accept the date with him”.
- Trying to find out every detail (and sometimes this is impossible) before making a decision – “I like Jill but I don’t want to be rejected so I won’t say anything until I know exactly how she feels about me…but I can’t ask her because then she’d know I like her” or “I want to start a blog about politics but I want it to be #1 – what is my competition? Google lists 1,237,448 blogs but is that all of them? Which ones are the best ones? All the lists have the blogs in a different order…I can’t start my blog and make it #1 without knowing my competition.”
- Repeating the same mistake from not learning from the past or from other people’s experiences – “Wow, I read Dooce was fired because of what she wrote about her co-workers and her job on her blog. Let me write about my co-workers – that would be funny!” or “We broke up, got back together, broke up and got back together, we argue and we have different goals in life but the sex is so good, why end it?”
In each case I took an online and relationship example as a basis so anyone can relate to the pitfalls. They all potentially (most likely) lead to negative outcomes. So how do you make good decisions?
- Stay away from the option that leans towards the greedy or selfish person in you.
- Look at all aspects of the situation – look at the pros and cons.
- Trust your instincts.
- When it comes to your life, it’s best you live it as you see fit. Your decision might not make sense to someone else.
Most important – everyone makes mistakes. Learn from it and move on – don’t beat yourself up over it or repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
*Quote in title by Albert Camus