Decision Making – Principle or Preference?

Principle or Preference?

As a coach, clients are daily faced with making decisions which will set their course in their personal lives and in their professional lives and these clients come to me in search of solace for the choices they have made or are about to make.  The real quandary is: What is the decision being based on:  Principle or Preference?

Each of us makes millions of decisions in any given day, month, year, a lifetime.  The fact is we often “react” instead of “think” about what our decision will result in.  That result is called a “consequence”.  Your first “react-ion” may be that a “consequence” is BAD.  This is your “preference” answer, what I call your default mode of living.  A consequence can be GOOD and it can be BAD.  It all depends on your perspective of the outcome.  If we get what we wanted out of our decision then the consequence is seen as GOOD it is a victory!  If the consequence however, goes in the opposite direction our default programing sees it  as BAD.  Upon further examination, we may find that the negative consequence spared us further pain, or saved us money, or taught us a lesson.

Decisions are often made first and foremost from our preferences.  Preferences are “learned” behaviors and thought patterns.  We learn these from a young age and they are ingrained into our subconscious.  We learn them from our parents, care givers, our role models and societal pressure.  We submit in other words to something we believe is greater than ourselves.

Decisions made on principles is another entirely different way of determining a path.  It involves intellect, research, critical thinking skills and a forward looking mindset.  This type of decision making requires us to stop, ponder, weight the options, and to think about the process which will unfold based on the decision we make.

Which is better?

Which way do you make decisions?

When has the outcome been better for you?

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