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Home » Confidence Building, Decision Making, Featured, Headline, Problem Solving, Self Esteem

Decision Making and Common Sense

Submitted by on August 28, 2012 – 12:00 amNo Comment

Author: Prudhvinarayana Prudhvi

Common sense is uncommon and it tends to be forgotten in the heat of the decision making process. Sometimes, though we have an abundance of common sense, we ignore it when it stands in the way of doing something we dearly want to do.

We usually cast aside very simple and honest teaching we learned in our child hood when we are required to make a decision. While making a decision, we must follow the following rules, namely:

  1. Do not be hasty. Snap judgments are unlikely to yield good results because their maker has not been allowed to think things out completely. There is always a certain amount of time permitted to come to a decision. Take as much of it (time) and cover all the bases in a particular occasion .We must also be aware of second thoughts.
  2. Do not make impulsive decisions. In hasty decision we have insufficient deliberation of the situation and in the case of impulsive decision, we have no deliberation at all. Recklessness in decision is glorified in fiction and in movies, and it is a romantic way to act; it is so daring and dashing. But in reality, it is likely the most foolish way to act.
  3. Do not trust luck. If you leap into a well, providence is not bound to fetch you out, said religious philosopher Thomas Fuller. Decision making done on speculation, expecting that something will turn up in your case, is just plain silly to rely on it.
  4. Control your feelings. Most of the regrettable decisions are made under the spell of the powerful emotions such as anger, hatred, love, despair, and lust for revenge, etc. In such circumstances, impulse masquerades as thought. Compelling feelings are to be recognized and should be removed from the mind when arriving at a decision. Compelling feelings destroy the acceptability of a reasonable decision and keeps prudent reasoning at a distance.


The best way to escape from the snares of emotion while striving for an objective decision is to go for counsel. Ask opinion of friends, elders and other persons who are well versed with said topic, which is the burning question within you. When your mind is divided as to course of action, it is wise to take counsel from those we respect. We know that two heads are better than one. Usually we leave some key considerations out of the equation, which another person can identify at a glance.


Never second guess others. Other people have their own opinions, they cannot go with our unspoken plans. Never anticipate as how another person acts, unless you have their word for it. Again we have to watch, they are usually at liberty to change their mind at any time.


Yes and No, are the shortest words in the world, yet they need more thought than anything, before they are uttered. There is a natural urge, on other people’s plans, to say yes so that not to hurt them; but No is always the preferable answer.  Saying no enables you to revise your decision, but if you say yes, it is difficult to come out. A No is more easily changed than a Yes. Anything is so easy to get into than to get out of when many crucial decisions in life are made under pressure, by a person or persons. The iron rule of decision making is to decide what you want to do, not others want to do. We should all cultivate a degree of self resistance. We must always keep a watch on self serving persuasions, hidden agendas and outright lies people place in front of us, and ask for our participation.


Sometimes we face not individual pressures but social pressures to do certain things. It is a solid principle to never make a decision, because others/ everybody is doing it.

Trends of the world may not fit into your individual case many times, and do not jump because everybody else is jumping. The false prospect of certainty is what encourages people to put their efforts into trial. The sure feeling of what will happen next is the most dangerous feeling we ever entertain in life.

The common theme that runs through this cautionary note is the avoidance of wishful thinking. Persistence over optimistic forecasts defied reality in many cases. It is important to know how to unmake a decision, as how to make a decision. To back away from your original position is the challenging decision of all.


Pride is the demon in most cases, which prevents people from doing obviously, sensible things by admitting their failures. Many times, people will stick to their wrong course of action only to save face, in spite of the set backs they SUFFER in the name of pride and vanity.


There are another set of decisions we make in this life which are made by us in normal course, they are consensus decisions. Decisions we arrive at collectively with others. When a proposal clearly demonstrates the potential of backfiring it is time to speak out, at the risk of going against the popular wisdom or offending a colleague. Soon people will notice the worthiness of it.

Our capacity to make self deceptive decisions should not be underestimated; it is to self deceive without perceiving. It is easy to deceive others, without them perceiving it. The seeds of self deception lie deep in our individual personalities. We are susceptible to thinking with our own prejudices, hang-ups and hopes rather than our brains. It is not only a matter of psychology, but a product of faulty logic.

One must be beware of fallacious propositions which deceive us, believing into what merely appears to be true is actually true. In this connection, one example is generalizations. We usually brand certain racial people, saying that they are all alike. It is a prelude so dangerous in employing a worker. There is no production line for decisions. Each refers to a case in itself, replete with special conditions. Therefore each decision should be tailor made.

After reading all this one may be afraid to make a decision, and will be vacillating whether or not to make a decision. Avoidance of decisions is more perilous than making a decision even with some faults. To refuse to do anything even at the risk of falling could be the worst decision you will ever make.

Today society has no ethical norms, and we are prone to make decisions, though there is dishonesty in it. We look for our safety first before we arrive to a decision. In a road accident, even when we were nearby, we do not actively involve ourselves in going to the rescue of the injured, fearing some legal complications. In fact, it is our duty, to attend to them. Here dishonesty in our decision making is stronger than our moral considerations. We always look around for an easy way out.

Finally, the acid test of decision making is whether you can live with it in the long run? If you can face yourself in the mirror that you are right in making the decision, then you have done it correctly.


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