Decision Making

Decision Making For The 21st Century

Traditional decision making processes and models are falling behind the fast pace of this new century, both for individuals and organizations.  Many of us are aware of this situation, but are feeling lost without a new approach to make good reliable decisions fast. In this article I will introduce you to a new approach to decision making; all you need is an open mind and a little practice.

A History of Decision Making

Before we go further, let’s review how you or your parents / grandparents made decisions.  This is admittedly a big blanket statement, but I think you will get the idea:

19th century: You typically didn’t make decisions yourself.  Someone else who was more educated and/or had more authority, such as political or religious leaders, made the decisions and you just followed.  Individual thinking and decision making were discouraged for the cause of the groups.

20th century: Mass education made it possible for many of us to think for ourselves and make decisions.  While there were many decision making techniques, most were based on logic taught at schools and other educational organizations.

21st century: We start noticing the problems of traditional reasoning methods and decision making techniques based on such logic.

There are two major methods of reasoning: induction and deduction.  Induction involves gathering data to come up with the conclusion, or really just the possibility of the conclusion.  While no amount of data is enough to ensure the conclusion, we typically spend time gathering lots of data when we try to use inductive reasoning.  So it takes time.  In this fast paced world, it’s quite likely that the situation has changed already by the time we make decision based on induction.

Deduction doesn’t rely of gathered premises but it relies on logical premises.  In short, it assumes certain premises to be true in order for it to work.  But the advance of science is now questioning even basic ideas such as linear time.

Intuitive Decision Making – The New Possibility

Is there a better faster way?  I think so, and it’s based on intuition.  In intuitive decision making, you receive intuition and verify it by logic and data.  You are still using your thinking mind and hard facts, but they are secondary and work as backup system.

It can be really fast to receive intuition.  The topic of developing intuition is huge and outside the scope of this article, but I can say that we all have intuitive ability, the potential to use intuition.  Some of you are already using intuition, consciously or unconsciously.

I don’t think the challenge here is if it is possible to utilize intuition in our decision making. The challenge is if we can be open to its possibility.  When I was interviewed by Davina Haisell about intuition, there was a comment that said, “Intuition…sometimes I doubt it. Why? Because, almost without fail – it is right… I guess that’s a hard thing for me to get over, being able to fully trust my intuition.”

I respect the honesty of this commenter.  I know it is scary to trust intuition.  Our educational system discourages anything that can’t be “proved”.

Learning To Trust Our Intuition

I think the process of learning to make intuitive decisions is analogous to the aforementioned history of decision making.

Early childhood: You didn’t make many decisions.  Someone else with authority made them for you, and you were expected to follow.

School age and adulthood, until you realize the problem of logical decision making: You make decisions based on the logical decision making techniques that were approved by schools and most of societal organizations.  We may had clear intuitive sense as a child, but most of us stop using it as we get conditioned in the educational system.  Change can happen when you realize the limitation of logical decision making.

Intuitive decision making is self-empowering: Look back the time you had to make critical decisions in your life, such as deciding on which job offer to take.  Did you have a silent knowing that one option is more desirable even though it didn’t seem so on the logical level?  Did you go for your gut feeling or did you ignore it?  And what was the consequence?

Making decision intuitively empowers you.  When you make decisions based on logic alone, you rely on someone else’s theories, processes, and models.  It is you who is making the decision in the doing, but you are always subject to other authorities.  So you may keep wondering if you made the right decision, or worry if you had enough data, enough knowledge and skills, enough education, to make the decision.  Not so in intuitive decision making.  In intuition, you just know, and you are your own authority.

How do you feel about intuitive decision making?  If you have any questions, please write in the comment.

About the writer: Akemi Gaines is the Akashic Record Reading specialist who shares both practical and metaphysical tips on her blog, Yes to Me  – Spiritual Healing and Growth for Greater Success.  You can subscribe to her blog here.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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