How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices

Choose wisely, and enjoy the ride.

Thursday December 28, 2023




Steps in decisions:

Identify your goal. Where are you hoping a decision will take you? 1. Identify the reasonable set of outcomes. 2. Identify your preference for the outcomes. What degree do you like/dislike each outcome? Payoffs? (Emotional, financial, etc. ) 1. What’s the range? (I could be somewhat happy or happy, but not elated) 3. Likelihood of each outcome unfolding. Use terms like “not likely, very likely” 4. Assess the relative likelihood of outcomes you like and dislike for the option under consideration. 5. Repeat 1-4 for all options. 6. Compare options.

“If I were wrong, why might that be?” #IntrospectiveQuestion

“What information could I discover that might make me change my mind?” #IntrospectiveQuestion

“How shocked would I be if the outcome didn’t happen in the range I specified?” #IntrospectiveQuestion

Inside view vs outside view.

How to Decide, on Spotify

What is my best decision? Worst?

Actions: - make a knowledge tracker. Details on decisions. Info known before/after. Make this going forward

Decision process: - where do you want to go? - What are all the ways to get there? - By taking X choice, what are other ways it could go? What’s the probability?


Bryan lives somewhere at the intersection of faith, fatherhood, and futurism and writes about tech, books, Christianity, gratitude, and whatever’s on his mind. If you liked reading, perhaps you’ll also like subscribing: