Decision-Making, When It Doesn’t Go Well

By: David

There will always be moments in life, whether big or small, where you will have to make a decision, and every decision results in either rewards and benefits or risks and consequences.

The time limit to contemplate about these decisions ranges from weeks to a split second. When the moment of execution is present, be prepared to take action on your decisions. Despite the outcomes, it’s important to take responsibility for the successes or failures of your decisions. Now I don’t want this blog post to be a traditional life lecture about responsibility and decision making, but I’ll talk a little bit about the two since it’s been on my mind recently.

What did you do right?  

To start off in a positive light, your decisions will always have the potential to turn out successful. In this case, you were able to plan and execute everything right or you were able to take action and luck swooped in to save the day. Either way, you’re able to celebrate with cheer and joy because everything turned out A-okay! When my decisions result in success, I always take the time to reflect about all the positive things that went right and served as a stepping stone for the end result. In addition, I zoom in on the process and the small things that guided me to success. As an executive board for APAA (Asian/Pacific American Student Association), I always ask my members for feedback when an event results in huge success. I like to go into detail and know what works so that I can do something similar or throw a variation to it to make things more interesting for future events. To conclude, don’t just celebrate your successes when you make a right decision, but also reflect on it so that the positivity can stay with you for future decisions.

Where did you go wrong?

There are times where you make impulsive or thoughtful decisions that bring more consequences than benefits. Earlier, I had mention that the concept of decision-making has been on my mind recently. To keep a long story short, I made an impulsive decision to overrule a team-building activity with sports that resulted in upsetting a large number of people. After much reflection, I was really shooting myself in the foot for making such an impulsive decision. Though I felt terrible about it, I was able to use it as a learning experience. Here’s the process that I went through for me to see it as learning experience:

  1. What is done cannot be undone –  yes, I might’ve made a decision that wasn’t the best for everyone, but it’s not like I had a time machine to go back to the exact moment to change my decision. All I could do was suck it up and accept the responsibilities. When realizing this, I finally came to peace with the past and forgave myself and moved forward.
  1. “Look on the bright side” – during my minor period of guilt, the only thing I focused on was how upset people were, but the thing that never came to mind was how much fun people actually had. I was so focused on the negativity that the positivity never came to mind.
  1. Moving forward – once I was in the right mind, I finally made the decision to see the experience as a learning one and moved forward. There wasn’t much I could do to make things better and there were minor positive impacts that came along with it, so the best thing I could do was to continue forward.

In a nutshell, the decisions you make will not always go the way you want it to, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use it as a learning experience. When thinking about the things that went wrong, it’s important you reflect well enough, but ultimately in the end it’s important to come at peace with the past, see the positive impacts, and move forward.

Read David’s other posts

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