These Six Questions Will Improve Your Decisions

And three common decision making pitfalls to avoid

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  • What other evidence might be out there bearing on my belief?
  • Are there similar areas I can look toward to gauge whether similar beliefs to mine are true?
  • What sources of information could I have missed or minimized on the way to reaching my belief?
  • What are the reasons someone else could have a different belief, what’s their support, and why might they be right instead of me?
  • What other perspectives are there as to why things turned out the way they did?

Think About What You Can’t Know

The reason I like these questions from Annie Duke is because they force you to think about what you can’t know. In my experience, that’s what drastically improves your decisions.

Open To Beliefs — Not Gullible

To improve your decisions, ask yourself questions that challenge your existing beliefs. I highly recommend saving those six questions in your note-taking app. I’ve done it and when I face a decision, I often go through these questions and my other notes on decision making.

Common Decision Making Pitfalls

Here’s what you should watch for when you’re making decisions (no matter how big or small):

  • Extinction by instinct — The opposite of the above. It’s the belief that instincts are a useful tool in decision making. This leads to rash decisions.
  • Information overload — This is when you ask too many people for their opinion or insights. Stick to trustworthy sources and keep them at a minimum. More information is not better. Reliable information is.

Written by

Creator of the Stoic Letter | My best-selling online class ‘Effective Writing’ opens January 17. Learn more here:

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