Let’s continue with this wonderful subject of how to make your life more AWESOME.
But first it is question time…
Would you like to be an effective CO-CREATOR in your Destiny (as opposed to being at the whim of ‘fate’ or other peoples personal agenda’s)?
I am guessing you said “Yes”.
How important do you think the quality of your decision-making would be when it comes to being this potent and powerful co-creator of your destiny?
I am also guessing you said “VERY (or #%@#&) Important!”, or words to that effect.
Cool. We are on the same sheet of music.
And just so you understand my background when it comes to this decision-making thing (so I have some street cred): I have a combination of 14-years as an officer in the army; 5 years security consulting to Olympic Games and mega events; 14 years coaching; training in NLP and hypnotherapy; and wrote a book last year called ‘Decision Making Mastery’.
So, are you with me?
Here is the entire essence of this article, in one sentence.
“Don’t rely on sound bites to make decisions which will shape your destiny.”
Now let me explain what I mean.
Rubbish in, Rubbish out.
This can also be written as ‘crap in, crap out’.
What this means, in the context of decision-making, is that if you bring low quality information into the decision-making process, you are likely to end up with a low quality decision, or a decision that is not robust. It becomes like that house built of straw by one of the three piggies, and is easy for the the big bad wolf (or life’s curve balls) to blow it over.
The quality of the information you use, in decision making, is essential to the outcome.
The primary question with the relevant information is whether it is: true, false, or somewhere between the two.
Going into a decision-making process (that may have high consequences) with low quality information, or straight out ASSUMPTIONS, is a recipe for stuff seriously unraveling in the future. And definitely not creating the destiny, or increased certainty, you most desire.
In Decision Making Mastery (this will be my last plug for my book I talk a lot more about assumptions and how it is so important to remove them, by figuring out whether your assumptions are true or not.
Don’t just assume what your friend wants when making a decision that will impact them. Ask them a direct question, so you can turn any assumptions into a FACTS.
My take on ‘Sound Bites’
I would honestly call myself a B-Grade video editor. Not terrible, but not so great either.
But even I can cut a 30-second snippet out of a 60-minute conversation, and create context (a story) around the snippet, so the message is 180 degrees different to the essence of the conversation.
If a B-Grader like me can do that, do you think perhaps that media organisations, who have millions or dollars, and lots of A-Grade video editors, could perhaps do the same???
These short snippets of information – whether they be a newspaper headline, or a short video clip on a ‘news’ story – are NOT want you want to base important decisions on. Yet it is a very common occurrence and mistake, when it comes to people making decisions.
I personally stopped watching main stream ‘news’ programs, and reading ‘news’-papers, around 1999.
I have discovered over the last 20 years of diving deeper into physical and mental health, that many of the ‘sound bites’ I had latched onto, were blatantly wrong, or gave a misrepresentation of the situation. They definitely did not tell the whole story, and left out key FACTS.
In the information age, it is even more important for us all, with a deluge of information, to be wary of not getting lazy and just trusting ‘sound bites’ over the whole story.
And YES I know it takes more work, energy and effort, to listen to a 60-min conversation, as opposed to a 30-sec sound bite. But for all important decisions (for instance: how to support your health or well-being) or decisions with high consequences (like ones that could disrupt your intimate relationships), it is REALLY important to hear the FULL story.
It comes down to this:
Decision-Making Mastery and co-creating your destiny, fair poorly if our foundational ‘knowledge’ is made up of sound bites.
A possible can of worms, but what the heck
In the military intelligence game, the quality of information is also closely related to the quality of the source.
And yes, that statement can open a huge can of worms given the last few years of complete wackiness; so I will see if I can step relatively lightly and keep things practical, without imposing any personal point of view on who I trust or not.
Here is how I determine the quality of the person or persons whom I listen to, and some of the questions I ask myself:
- What does my heart tell me about them personally (note I did not say head)?
- How do they score on the ‘Ego’ meter (I am a big fan of humility and people acknowledging their imperfections)?
- How do they live their life (behind the scenes)?
- Does what they are saying make ‘logical’ sense (obviously the more knowledge I have, the more discerning I can be)?
- How does what they are saying FEEL like to me (does it set off my BS alarm)?
- What do they stand to gain out of me listening to what they have to say (what’s in it for them)?
- Who is their boss, or bosses (and what is the track record and virtues of their organization)?
- What does my partner – Ferry – think of them (as she has a much more finely tuned BS meter than me ;-))?
- Are they a ‘Know all’ or arrogant (this is often an automatic strike out for me)?
- And this is a newer question I ask: Do I feel they are pro-life / pro-humanity or more self-serving (e.g. disproportionately profit before people)?
Obviously we will each come up with different answers, when looking to our own sources, but it is of value to take the time to practice some quality discernment when it comes to accepting information from people. Let me assure you, I have made some monumentally terrible decisions (in life and business), because I have listened to the wrong people, when a part of me was trying to get my attention and tell me to “Run right now and don’t turn back!!!”.
I am definitely not telling you what to believe, because we all have different ways of seeing and interacting with the world, and different soul journeys to follow. Plus all our personal origin stories are vastly different.
What I am telling you, is not to be fooled into thinking ‘sound bites’ (headlines, snippets of video content, etc.) give you the FULL story about the complexity of the 7.5 billion individuals on the planet, and how they interact as a society on planet Earth.
It might be nice if all important pieces of information could be distilled into 30 seconds, but life is (a whole lot) more complex than that. So the investment of time to uncover the Truth, might actually save you time, money, heart-ache, and your health.
For the really important decisions…take your time to hear the full conversation, from someone or some source that resonates, before you make up your mind.
Your destiny depends on it.
Have a wonderful day and week, and all the very best.
PS: For a deeper conversations, check out my weekly Podcasts here.