Life is a continuous stream of choices. We make decisions all the time whether we realise it or not. Awareness of how the process unfolds is going to allow us to make better decisions (whatever that means, anyway), or at least feel that way.
If nothing else, having some familiarity with Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow makes one an engaging conversationalist.
How does it happen?
Inputs from the "external" environment are processed through one or two systems:
To preserve energy we tend rely on the "fast" system which occasionally leaves us at the mercy heuristics and subject to biases. This in turn can lead to phrases like “it seemed like a good idea at the time” uttered with complete honesty.
What to do about it?
As these two systems in fact work as an integral whole - helpful interventions ideally address them both. Some of the following suggestions are more relevant to the slow system, some to the fast, and some to both.
It is neither necessary, nor possible to be thinking of all these considerations when faced with a choice. Still, being aware of them allows us to:
Thank you very much for deciding to read this article. I hope it still looks like a good idea.
Martin Stefanov Petkov