4 Questions to Ask Yourself to Make Good Decisions

By actively interrogating our own desires, we can mediate our basic wants (and fears) by compensating for our psychological blind spots with practical insight. 

By actively interrogating our own desires, we can mediate our basic wants (and fears) by compensating for our psychological blind spots with practical insight. Psychotherapist Alison Thayer notes that most decisions aren't exactly "no brainers". There are often multiple justifications for making decisions that lead down different paths. The first question to ask, which may seem trite, is what are the pros and cons of each option? When people honestly look at the pros and cons, says Thayer, they often discover advantages to their current situation they were previously unaware of while finding new flaws in the exciting new possibility before them.


The other important questions are meant to circumvent our psychological biases, which tend toward idealizing the future while minimizing the present. Therefore, asking yourself how your decision will affect you 'x' years down the road is a way to actively visualize the future. If you like the future you see ahead of you, then the decision is probably a good one. Contrary to intuition, Thayer recommends asking anxiety-inducing questions, such as "What's the worst thing that could happen?" If you see the worst possible future as manageable, your stress will be relieved and you can feel more confident in your decision. Lastly, ask yourself what you would advise a friend to do, since we are often the last to take our own advice.

And getting a good night's sleep can make everything clearer. In his Big Think interview, leadership coach Marshall Goldsmith explains how to further avoid rash decision making:

Read more at Psych Central

Photo credit: Shutterstock

NYTimes exposé reveals how Facebook handled scandals

Delay, deny and deflect were the strategies Facebook has used to navigate scandals it's faced in recent years, according to the New York Times.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The exhaustive report is based on interviews with more than 50 people with ties to the company.
  • It outlines how senior executives misled the public and lawmakers in regards to what it had discovered about privacy breaches and Russian interference in U.S. politics.
  • On Thursday, Facebook cut ties with one of the companies, Definers Public Relations, listed in the report.
Keep reading Show less

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

(VL.ru)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

What would happen if America defaulted on its debt?

Sure we know it would be bad, but what do all of these scary numbers really mean?

Politics & Current Affairs
  • At the press time, the value was $21.7 trillion dollars.
  • Lots of people know that a default would be bad, but not everybody seems to get how horrible it would be.
  • While the risk is low, knowing what would happen if a default did occur is important information for all voters.
Keep reading Show less