• Kevin B Ebert

Making Better Decisions

Updated: Feb 7, 2019



Gained a nice nugget of information yesterday listening to an Art of Manliness Podcast titled "Using Mental Models to Make Better Decisions". In the podcast, Brett interviews Shane Parrish, owner of the website Farnam Street which publishes articles about better thinking and decision making (a new favorite site of mine if I might add).

In the interview, Shane dropped this little nugget as an illustration on how perspective can skew your perception of a situation, event, and/or place and subsequently, that skewed perception will impact the quality of your decision. It goes something like this.

A botanist looks at a forrest and focuses on its eco system. An environmentalist may look at the same forrest and see the impacts of climate change on the forrest or its role in global climate. A forestry engineer looks at the same forrest and sees that state of tree and plant growth. And finally, a business person may look at the forrest and see opportunity in the timber it posses or the value of the land that makes it up.

The problem is, all of them are right in what they see, but they all fail to see full scope of the forrest which encapsulates each of their views. The net result, they would make decisions about the forrest with their limited perception. Then, the question becomes, are they really making the best decision? In the same way, when you find yourself in a situation requiring you to make a decision, having the right perspective and clear understand of the entire scope of what you are looking at is critical to make the best decision. Don't be afraid to take the time to look through different lenses at the situation and even better, seek other opinions so you can ascertain the entire scope. Doing so will lead to better decision making.


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