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How to Take Correct Decisions

August 31, 2021

Prologue

The other day, my sister and I were having this rather enlightening and philosophical conversation on how to navigate life. We’re almost adults so it’s high time we learn things that schools and parents won’t teach us.

The Problem

A human life is a game of decision making. It is analogous to a video game with opportunities and options at every turn and the chosen options leading to other opportunities, good or bad, but completely alienating us from the opportunities we have missed.

I aptly quote Shakespeare here,

We know what we are but know not what we may be.

The billionaire and the broke, the successful and the failure, all consequences of one’s life is solely a function of their decisions. I treat this as an axiom. Thus, to lead a good life, we have to make good decisions. That is the essence of human existence. Taking good decisions.

It can be a matter of life and death as in our prehistoric ancestors who survived wild animals because they learnt how to use a spear and thus pass on their genes or modern day recruitment procedures or even day-to-day wardrobe selection that have an effect on how colleagues and strangers perceive us. The setting may be different but the dynamics are still the same. This question stirs me to quite an unrest. But sadly, no one has an answer to it: how to take correct decisions?

Lemmas

It is not worth doing anything if it isn’t better, or at least at par with what is considered on the frontier of that expertise. Paint a picture or design your room. Then ask a painter and an interior designer to do them respectively. They’ll generally do a far better job than you. It’s because they are trained. It is not possible to excel at anything without training.

Secondly, people who win in the sense of winning a competition or successfully wooing a sought-after partner, are only slightly better and more skillful than their competitors.

Perspectives

Thus, the only practical way to take good decisions is to gather as many perspectives as one can. When one can evaluate a situation from different perspectives, they can have a much sound understanding of what it entails and what it holds for them and others involved. Most wrong decisions are taken today, by people or the government or any party in authority, because they lack perspective and knowledge. The rationale being our actions are not taken in a vacuum. They play out in the real world. They have real world consequences. I think it is a sin to only ever carry one prism in one’s pocket and act solemnly.

What does the future looks like?

Societies have increasingly become more intertwined and it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Advances in science drives technology which fuels economies, ramp up globalisation and make the global village a reality. Local news is insufficient and even common people must become increasingly aware of international news and politics to navigate their lives. Firms are developing radically new solutions and products to maximise their profit and become more risk averse. That invites consumers to access art and design in unlikely places. Gradually, a knowledge of that proves invaluable too. Social life has increasingly become digital (for better or worse). A knowledge of popular culture will be indispensible in being perceived as social. Culture, namely arts, music and literature will provide the much sought-after company that intellects will crave having exhausted their understanding of the theologies. They will find it in nature and the human psyche and in the stars when they look up.

Study of evolutionary biology is central to understanding almost every aspect of biology. It helps us understand where we come from, who we really are, what our priorities were, and instills in us a sense of humility for the vastness of which we are a passing flicker. Anatomical biology helps in better understanding what is inside us so we can better govern and streamline our lifestyle to suit our objectives. History is indispensable in a lot of ways. Understanding the culture, geography and politics of civilizations of the present and the past helps us in making sense of what goes on today and anticipate what the outcome might be. Notwithstanding the awe and wonder that comes with knowing the greatness of those from whom we have descended but it ignites a spark within us to uphold that grandeur in our lives and the posterity that will follow.

In Closing

Disciplines of studies will become interdisciplinary and the so-called boundaries seperating these domains will dissolve. To become valuable in the future will be to become more open to learning than ever before. To quickly re-engineer oneself based on the demands and whims of the society. And that requires an open and inquisitive mind which we must strive to cultivate at the earliest. Herbert Spencer’s, “The survival of the fittest” will hold true than ever before, albeit in a slightly twisted way, when a projected population of ~9 billion will be competing for the already strained resources of Earth in the 2050s and beyond.

Basil | @itbwtsh

Tech, Science, Design, Economics, Finance, and Books.
Basil blogs about complex topics in simple words.
This blog is his passion project.