You know I love the art and science of Decision-Making.
And I am sure you are all aware that the quality of your decisions, shape the quality of your life.
Bad work decisions can lead to loss of money or loss of job.
Bad financial decisions can lead to being broke, or indebted, or in possession of a share portfolio where the zero’s keep disappearing.
Bad relationship decisions…well, I think I don’t need to elaborate on that.
You get the point.
It’s important to be good at this thing – this thing called DECISION-MAKING.
So I want to focus on at least one element today, which is based on the very simple graphic below.
It’s looking at the relationship between reality and story when it comes to decision-making.
And of course if you want to go even deeper, check out my book Decision Making Mastery.
Stories Versus Reality
As the result of a persistent theme in my coaching work over the last bunch of months, I decided I needed a (very) simple graphic to articulate a concept with my clients.
It proved to be a very simple graphic (2 circles); easy to teach and easy to relate.
What I find with my clients (and this is common with people in general conversation) is that the STORY is generally much bigger (and very different) than the REALITY.
The STORY is a lot more elaborate.
The STORY is usually filled with made-up sh#t.
The STORY is packed with emotional triggers.
The STORY is packed with assumptions.
The STORY is great if it is confined to a “FICTION” novel, but of less benefit when it comes to living a peaceful and enjoyable life.
And the STORY is DEFINITELY not the place to be making good quality decisions from.
A decision based on one single itsy-bitsy wee ASSUMPTION, can be completely irrelevant, useless and even damaging.
FACTS are where the juiciness is at.
And that brings us to REALITY.
I tell my clients – when we are having a session – that I want them to be as boring as possible when responding to my questions.
Don’t make stuff up.
Don’t exaggerate, elaborate or use imprecise language.
Don’t use emotive language (E.g. “They stabbed me in the back” or “I got hitwith a new task when I entered the office” or “I was suffocating when I got the news”).
Of course, if they did stab you, by all means share, but don’t make sh#t up to make your story sound better and have me feel sorry for you.
It does not help.
I care, but we getting in the (made up) mess with you, is not going to help you or me.
Here’s the Dealio & my Core Message
- The language you use (or more accurately – choose) has a significant effect on your EMOTIONAL STATE.
- You make your BEST decisions when you are in an ELEVATED emotional state (think calm, enthusiast, joyful, etc.).
- You make your WORST decisions when you are in a SURVIVAL emotional state (think fearful, doubtful, scared, angry, apathetic, etc.).
- STORIES most often lead to survival emotional states.
- REALITY leads us to a neutral (and best calm) emotional state.
For extra bonus points, add CURIOSITY to REALITY and now we are really getting somewhere.
MY MESSAGE TO YOU:
In order to make great quality decisions, ensure you are making your decisions in the REALITY zone and not the STORY zone.
To get there ask this very simple, but very powerful, question:
“What is the REALITY?”
My parting words
It’s that simple.
When we make decisions based on ‘story’ versus ‘reality’ we are likely to mess (f#ck) things up.
Pardon moi Francais.
Below you will see the visual image I created, with a little more explanatory language included.
Please download it and place it somewhere where you can see it, or refer to it, or be reminded by it.
It is a game changer … if you choose to practice it.
A short post, but a BIG message and opportunity.
Use it wisely.
Have a great day and week, being boring as bat-sh#t in your telling of reality.