Decisions, decisions…pizza or burgers? Gym or sleep? To be or not to be?
Ray Dalio, investor and hedge fund manager, who has served as co-chief investment officer of the world’s largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates has some advice on how to approach the confusing and often irrational world of decision-making.
In our hunter-gatherer days it made sense for short-term impulses to take precedent: not reacting to impulses inspired by fear or anger could lead to death in the wild, but that’s no longer the case. In a modern society, short-term decisions are no longer always the most optimal.
How we feel about something in the moment isn’t always the best predictor of how we’ll feel about it over a period. One of the things that differentiates people who consistently align their actions and decisions with what they want and people who don’t is not just long-term thinking, but also a form of high-level thinking.
As Dalio says: “People who overweight the first-order consequences of their decisions and ignore the effects that the second- and subsequent-order consequences will have on their goals rarely reach their goals.”
“For example, the first-order consequences of exercise (pain and time-sink) are commonly considered undesirable, while the second-order consequences (better health and more attractive appearance) are desirable… If your goal is to get physically fit and you don’t ignore the first-order consequences of exercise […] and connect your decisions with their second- and third-order consequences, you will not reach your goal.”
Makes sense, but not always so easy to put into practice. One method that may help is the 10/10/10 method.
Next time you feel a slight conflict about a decision or an action ask yourself three questions:
How will I feel about it in 10 minutes?
How will I feel about it in 10 months?
How will I feel about it in 10 years?
A little weekend motivation to keep your eyes on the prize!
More Lighterside articles.
- Experiments…the lean mean bean machine - 24 September 2021
- Chemistry…and the pursuit of happiness - 17 September 2021
- Causation…how a sweet tooth made a car company more lean - 10 September 2021