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
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
An innovation may lead to lifelike self-reproducing and evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
Some evidence attributes a certain neurological phenomenon to a near death experience.
Time of death is considered when a person has gone into cardiac arrest. This is the cessation of the electrical impulse that drive the heartbeat. As a result, the heart locks up. The moment the heart stops is considered time of death. But does death overtake our mind immediately afterward or does it slowly creep in?
- A huge segment of America's population — the Baby Boom generation — is aging and will live longer than any American generation in history.
- The story we read about in the news? Their drain on social services like Social Security and Medicare.
- But increased longevity is a cause for celebration, says Ashton Applewhite, not doom and gloom.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.