Decision Making: Brain vs. Gut

Yesterday I wrote about the value of writing it all down when
you’re trying to figure out what to do first. This technique works for other
kinds of decision making too. If you have a big decision to make that you can give
a yes or no answer to, you can make a list of the pros and cons. Examples are: Should
I take this job? Should I buy that particular car? Should I move?

The interesting thing about this method is that even if your
pro list is much longer than your con list, you may realize that your answer is
no anyway. This is typically true when the entries on your pro list are things
like, “it’s a great opportunity,” “I would learn a lot” and “it would make
(fill in the blank) happy.”

When you stare at that long list of positive reasons to do
something, you ought to feel like you’ve been given the green light. It should
make you happy! If you feel dread or misery or even just lack of enthusiasm, it
doesn’t matter how long that list is, you know your answer is no.