5 Ways to Break Out of a Decision-Making Trap

5 Ways to Break Out of a Decision-Making Trap

“We tend to define our choices too narrowly, to see them in binary terms.”

Combat “narrow framing” with these five steps:

  1. Think AND not OR.

    When life seems to be handing you a choice between this OR that, first ask yourself, is there a way I could choose both? You’ll be surprised how often it’s possible.

  2. Find someone who has solved your problem.

    If you feel stuck—unable to uncover fresh options—ask the advice of people who have faced similar dilemmas before. You’ll likely discover ideas that never would have occurred to you.

  3. Distrust “whether or not” dilemmas.

    When you find yourself deliberating about “whether or not to do X,” that’s a warning flag signaling you may be caught in a narrow frame. Keep pushing for more options.

  4. Run the “Vanishing Options Test.”

    If all of the options you’re currently considering suddenly disappeared, what else could you do? You’ll be surprised how easy it is to come up with unexplored options.

  5. Fall in love twice.

    Keep searching for new options until you’ve got at least two that you’d be happy with. If you’re hiring, keep interviewing until you’ve got two good candidates, or if you’re house-shopping, hold out for two good homes. Having two options helps us be more objective about the strengths and weaknesses of each.

What Do You Want Out of Life

What Do You Want Out of Life

Good things don’t usually come through happy accidents. The most successful people design their own lives and then live their lives with purpose.

Their first step is attaining clarity.

I define clarity as understanding and documenting your personal and professional goals, and determining the “why” behind reaching them. It’s vital to developing a clear vision, outlining priorities and objectives, and tackling goals with a real sense of urgency and focus.

Clarity is achieved when we know where we are in relation to where we want to go.

Without clarity, it is almost impossible to generate the kind of focus necessary to act swiftly and deftly on a daily
basis. If you have no clear vision, there is nothing to tie your objectives to and nothing to measure your progress and performance against.

When you have clarity about your vision, you discover yourself being pulled toward it, and all you have to do is follow the connecting opportunities that carry you along, allowing you to mark your victories faster and faster.

Think about a time when you’ve been excited and regenerated at the thought of achieving a big goal.
There’s nothing like that adrenaline rush. When you have clarity, you get that excitement, building and fueling your

Clarity and focus together form the basis of execution. So get completely clear about the things that you want, and
then take action.

Stuck with goals that are unclear and out of focus?

Discover the keys to clarity.

If You Want to Change Your Results, You Have to Change Your Thinking First

If You Want to Change Your Results, You Have to Change Your Thinking First

My team and I constantly ask ourselves, “How do we make the biggest impact on helping our clients get the results they want faster?”

The powerful answer is for us to help change people’s limited thinking or help them adjust their standards or habits to support their goals.

So we encourage clients to nurture thought-provoking relationships and opportunities, thus creating more thought-provoking results.

Big returns come from thinking smart.

Here’s a simple assessment that will trigger thought and action. Rate yourself 1 to 10 on each question below (1 is
low; 10 is high).

Then take a few minutes to write down what actions you want to change in response to your answers.

  1. How is my life working out?
  2. How’s my daily attitude; how happy am I?
  3. How are my relationships with my family, friends, co-workers, coaches and mentors?
  4. How’s my health (weight overall wellness, self-esteem, stress levels, etc.)}
  5. How effectivelv am I feeding my mind? (How many books have I read in the last SIX months? What do I wish to become? Am I studying productively?)
  6. How do I rate my lifestyle (my satisfaction with activities such as travel, explormg, attending fun events, etc.)?
  7. Where is my income in comparison to where I want it to be?
  8. How often do I give back to others?
  9. How is mv goal-setting? How satisfied am I with how my goals have manifested in my life?


5 Ways to Make Sure You Don’t Regret Your Next Decision

5 Ways to Make Sure You Don’t Regret Your Next Decision

Is it hard for you to make decisions?

Do you worry that your choices aren’t good ones—and later regret them? Or do you lack the confidence to make quick, or merely timely, verdicts?

Well, a lot of people worry about their decision-making abilities, and I bet if I were to ask you your routine for doing it, you’d probably tell me you don’t
have one.

But you’re wrong, because you do—everybody has decision-making habits. You just might not recognize them, or maybe you don’t like the way you go about the

Everyone’s decisions are based on something, though, so if you just stop to think about it, you’ll discover what that something is and be able to fine-tune your
routine for a more confident approach, with fewer regrets.

  1. Sleep on it.

    If I’m really tired, I don’t make significant decisions (except in emergencies) until I’ve slept, for a fresh perspective.

  2. Take time.

    If someone is pressing me to decide something right now, unless an immediate decision is critical, I say, “If I have to choose now, the answer is no. After I’ve had a chance to catch my breath and review the facts, there’s the possibility it could be yes.” Then I put the ball back in their court and ask, “Do you want my decision now, or should we wait?”

  3.  Weigh the pros and cons.

    I like to determine the maximum benefit of a decision, assuming that everything goes my way. Then I ask myself, Suppose nothing goes my way? Suppose this
    doesn’t develop and materialize as I expect it to? What is my maximum exposure? What would I lose?

  4.  Seek advice.

    For significant business-related decisions, I run them past my advisors. These people are successful in their businesses and professions and have a considerable
    amount of knowledge, experience and wisdom, all of which are musts in the decision-making process. I get their advice and follow their recommendations, with good results in most cases. If the decision is too minor to involve my advisors but I still want input, I get my family together to look at the pros and cons.

  5. Reflect.

    I like to pray about my decisions. If I’m about to make an unwise decision, I simply don’t have peace about that decision and I consequently act on that feeling of unease. I ask, How will this decision affect all the areas of my life —personal, family, career, financial, physical, mental and spiritual? I think carefully as to whether what I give up is compensated for by what I gain.

Stop Overthinking It 9 Ways to Make Decisions Effectively

Stop Overthinking It  9 Ways to Make Decisions Effectively

Your mind is tangled up. And you can’t untangle it. But you have to make a decision—like now. So, what’s it gonna be?

Time’s ticking.

Have you made up your mind?

Make up your mind! Time’s up! What’d you decide?

Stressed yet?

When you’re an indecisive person, it’s really hard for you to make quick decisions (or any decisions for that matter). And when you finally do, you start wondering if it was the right decision. And actually, now you just know it was thewrong one—probably, at least you think, well maybe not.

And the tangle just gets tanglier. You’re overthinking it.

And it’s feeding your inability to make decisions quick and effectively.

Stop it. Stop overthinking everything.

Try these nine things instead, tips courtesy of the Young Entrepreneur Council, to make decisions with confidence.

  1. Don’t give yourself analysis paralysis.

    Analysis paralysis is the state of overthinking. Many business owners tend to overanalyze and suffer from this state of inaction. You can’t spend too much time thinking about every little detail, including worrying about all the little things that could go wrong.
    —Anthony Pezzotti, Knowzo.com

  2. Set an allotted time.

    While many people believe you should sleep on decisions, that leads to overthinking and insomnia for me. I like to set a mental timer in my head of two to four hours tops in which I need to make a simple business decision with the overall goal of making it in under two hours. This gives me enough time to ponder the pros and cons of the decision, review any information and even consult someone else.
    —Angela Ruth, Due.com

  3. Take the “lean startup” approach.

    Often a good decision now beats a great decision later, but understanding the cost of a bad decision is critical. If it’s something that is easy to change later, make your good decision now. Get data, see how it works and then you can make a more informed decision down the line. It’s analogous to the “lean startup” approach. Get something out there to test and improve.
    —Trevor Sumner, LocalVox

  4. Use the 10-10-10 method.

    Ask yourself if you will be pleased with your decision 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years from now. This strategy makes you consider the short-term, medium-term and long-term consequences or, hopefully, benefits that come with your decision. I’ve found that the more you apply this technique, the more confident you’ll become at making quick decisions because you’ve considered all time frames.
    —David Ciccarelli, Voices.com

  5. Write it down.

    It’s the first thing my mentor asks when I suffer from indecision: “Did you write it down?” The clarity attained from writing down the problem and potential solutions should not be underestimated. Once the list has been created, it can then be beneficial to phone a respected colleague and run through the list with them. —Peter Awad, Slow Hustle

  6. 6. List the pros and cons.

    By writing the pros and cons of a decision and its costs and benefits, I can transition the information out of my head and into simple statistics. Once I have the pros and ons in front of me, especially if it’s matched to a mind map of our current tasks, then we can see if a particular decision is beneficial for the big picture.
    —Marcela DeVivo, Homeselfe

  7. Hit the history books.

    Not the literal history books, but there is bound to be something out there that has a connection to what you’re currently experiencing. Research business decisions, either from major corporations or from your business- owning friends to judge what is really the most likely end to whichever path you take. Understand the consequences as completely as possible to get the noise without the static.
    —Adam Steele, The Magistrate

  8. Call a friend.

    Most decisions in business are simple. The thing that differentiates business people from others is a willingnessto make them. If I’m starting to overthink things, I call my brother-in-law, a plastic surgeon with zero business experience, but great common sense. He’ll come to a conclusion quickly, explain his reasoning and it will suddenly seem much easier to act upon.
    —Joel Butterly, lnGenius Prep

  9. Trust your gut.

    My gut has never failed me in making a decision in my companies. I always trust my gut. Anytime I have not, I have been wrong. Thinking accesses the logical part of the brain, but at the limbic level, if there is a feeling telling me something different from my mind, I always lean that way.

5 Ways To Improve Your Mindset in 20 Minutes

5 Ways To Improve Your Mindset in 20 Minutes

Mindset is a set of attitudes, as discovered after years of research that dedication, hustle, and resilience are much more important to growth and success than brains or talent. When we change our mindset to one of growth, we change the trajectory of our lives.

These 5 things can improve your mindset in just 20 minutes a day!

We can do these simple steps every day, quickly and easily, to improve our mindset:

  1. JUST BREATHE. (5 minutes)
    Studies show that just a few minutes a day of quiet can open our brains and make it available for our most innovative ideas. Site or stand in a quiet spot, feet on the floor, and hands by your side or on our knees. Now just quiet your mind – picture a place that is your idea of peace, such as a beach or a mountain.  Just breathe, consciously an deeply from your belly. If your thoughts start to intrude (the project is due today, a late bill, etc..), just notice, then go back to your picture. You don’t have to be a meditation expert to do this.  Five to 10 minutes of quiet, deep breathing during the day can also help us get back on track when stress levels get high, and clear our minds to come up with a better solution or next step to our challenge.
  2. CHECK YOUR THOUGHTS (5 minutes)
    Have you ever gotten up in the morning when the weather is lousy and said, This is going to be a bad day? I have! More times than not it guaranteed a day that finished the same way. our thoughts are powerful. they create feelings, which leads to actions and behaviors that determine whether our day goes well.  learning that we can choose our thoughts is one of the most powerful things we can do to take charge of our lives.  Taking five minutes to make sure our thoughts are positive starts the day off with the right mindset.
    Set the timer and write down five things you are grateful for every day.  According to research by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, keeping a gratitude journal contributes to a positive life attitude, and makes us feel better, sleep better and even hvae stronger immune systems.  Try for a different list each day, and at the end of the week you will be surprised how this helps your mindset.
    Before you leave in the morning, set an intention of how you want the day to end.  How do you want the actions you accomplish today to make you feel at the end of the day?  How do you want to feel about your relationships, and what can you do today to move that forward?  It doesn’t have to be major.  What is one thing you can do that will make you feel better at the end of the day?
  5. TURN OFF THE NOISE (2 minutes)
    Just for today, find something else to listen to when you begin your day.  Do your morning commute without listening to the news (it’s never positive), talking on the phone or checking social media.  Listen to your favorite music, a lecture you’ve recorded and have been wanting to get time for, or just observe what’s happening around you.  There will be plenty of time to find out what’s happening in the world when you get to your destination.  Do this for a week and you will find yourself arriving at work in a calmer, more positive and relaxed mindset.  Best of all, you will discover you haven’t missed a thing.

That’s it – just 20 minutes and you are well on your way to a more postive mindset.  Practice this for just two weeks.  You will see a tremendous difference in your productivity and your attitude.


7 Practical Tips For A Positive Mindset

7 Practical Tips For A Positive Mindset

The “power of positive thinking” is a popular concept, and sometimes it can feel a little cliché but the physical and
mental benefits of positive thinking have been demonstrated by multiple scientific studies.

Positive thinking can give you more confidence, improve your mood, and even reduce the likelihood of developing conditions such as hypertension, depression and other
stress-related disorders.

All this sounds great, but what does the “power of positive thinking” really mean?

You can define positive thinking as positive imagery, positive self-talk or general optimism, but these are all still general, ambiguous concepts. If you want to be effective
in thinking and being more positive, you’ll need concrete examples to help you through the process.

Here are seven:

    1. Start the day with positive affirmation.

      How you start the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Have you ever woken up late, panicked, and then felt like nothing good happened the rest of the day?

      This is likely because you started out the day with a negative emotion and a pessimistic view that carried into every other event you experienced.

      Instead of letting this dominate you, start your day with positive affirmations.

      Talk to yourself in the mirror, even if you feel silly, with statements like, “Today will be a good day” or “I’m going to be awesome today.”

      You’ll be amazed how much your day improves.

    2. Focus on the good things, however small.

      Almost invariably, you’re going to encounter obstacles throughout the day—there’s no such thing as a perfect day.

      When you encounter such a challenge, focus on the benefits, no matter how slight or unimportant they seem.

      For example, if you get stuck in traffic, think about how you now have time to listen to the rest of your favorite podcast. If the store is out of the food you want to
      prepare, think about the thrill of trying something new.

    3. Find humor in bad situations

      Allow yourself to experience humor in even the darkest or most trying situations.

      Remind yourself that this situation will probably make for a good story later and try to crack a joke about it.

      Say you’re laid off; imagine the most absurd way you could spend your last day, or the most ridiculous job you could pursue next—like kangaroo
      handler or bubblegum sculptor.

    4.  Turn failures into lessons.

      You aren’t perfect. You’re going to make mistakes and experience failure in multiple contexts, at multiple jobs and with multiple people. Instead of focusing on how you
      failed, think about what you’re going to do next time—turn your failure into a lesson.

      Conceptualize this in concrete rules. For example, you could come up with three new rules for managing projects as a result.

    5.  Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk.

      Negative self-talk can creep up easily and is often hard to notice. You might think I’m so bad at this or I shouldn’t have tried that. But these thoughts turn into internalized
      feelings and might cement your conceptions of yourself.

      When you catch yourself doing this, stop and replace those negative messages with positive ones.

      For example, I’m so bad at this becomes Once I get more practice, I’ll be way better at this. I shouldn’t have tried becomes That didn’t work out as planned—maybe next

    6. Focus on the present

      I’m talking about the present—not today, not this hour, only this exact moment.

      You might be getting chewed out by your boss, but what in this exact moment is happening that’s so bad? Forget the comment he made five minutes
      ago. Forget what he might say five minutes from now. Focus on this one, individual moment.

      In most situations, you’ll find it’s not as bad as you imagine it to be. Most sources of negativity stem from a memory of a recent event or the exaggerated imagination of a potential future event. Stay in the present moment.

    7. Find positive friends, mentors and co-workers

      When you surround yourself with positive people, you’ll hear positive outlooks, positive stories and positive
      affirmations. Their positive words will sink in and affect your own line of thinking, which then affects your words and similarly contributes to the group.

      Finding positive people to fill up your life can be difficult, but you need to eliminate the negativity in your life before it consumes you.

      Do what you can to improve the positivity of others, and let their positivity affect you the same way.


  1. Almost anybody in any situation can apply these lessons to their own lives and increase their positive attitude. As you might imagine, positive thinking offers compounding
    returns, so the more often you practice it, the greater benefits you’ll realize.

5 Ways To Stay Positive On A Bad Day

5 Ways To Stay Positive On A Bad Day

It’s Murphy’s Law.

The line you get in at the department store doesn’t move because there is a lady at the register who waited until the last minute to dig through her overstuffed wallet for a coupon.

So you change checkout lanes only to get stuck behind a man digging through a deep pocket for exact change.

We all have bad days when it seems like nothing is going right. But few can compete with Charles, a man who experienced a lifetime’s worth of bad news in a single

Charles lived a stressful life. He worked from morning until night without any spare time for annoyances. Little did he know, when he woke up one morning, he had already lost more than $200,000—embezzled from his inheritance by a family “friend.” In an unrelated turn of events, he lost his job the same day. That evening he discovered his wife was filing for divorce.

We don’t have control over the way life plays out, but we do not have to be a victim to its tyranny. With a few savvy insights and positive action steps, we can power through almost anything that comes our way.

Here are five ways to stay upbeat and positive, even when life is not cooperating:

  1. Develop a plan.

    Often we just feel “off’ and we let it affect our day without finding out what it is that made us feel down in the first

    So identify what’s making you feel despondent. Be specific. And once that is done, make a plan. Write out
    what you can do to turn around your sour mood.

    In her Psychology Today article, “Thirteen Small Decisions That Will Ease Anxiety,” Meg Selig writes, “If you start to ruminate over a situation that you’ve already
    planned for, tell yourself, ‘Stop, I’ve already made a plan.”‘ The very act of identifying and planning can result in tremendous stress relief.

  2. Associate with winners.

    We tend to think like the people we hang around.

    That’s not news, but how often do we stop and notice who we talk to every day?

    The group that laments over a two-cent gas hike is not likely the same group that discusses the latest stock options. It’s two different mindsets. The greatest investment for the worrywart is to find a cell of positive-minded, successful people.

    How did they get where they are? How do they think? Let the osmosis begin.

  3. Speak positive words.

    We tend to believe what we say.

    Our minds literally go in the direction of our words.

    Of course, we can’t talk ourselves into being taller, but we can have a more positive outlook by noticing the good, anticipating a
    positive outcome and speaking it out loud.

    It’s almost impossible to shout, “l feel fantastic!” and be depressed at the same time.  A few verbal affirmations throughout the day will go a long way toward lifting your spirits.

    Related: If You Want to Change Your Results, You Have to Change Your Thinking First

  4. Laugh anyway.

    There is so much to stress over these days—politics, the economy, the ozone layer, the missing button on your favorite shirt.

    Still, there is a consensus among many medical professionals that laughter will do you a world of good. In fact, the Mayo Clinic article “Stress relief from laughter? It’s no joke” says, “A rollicking laugh fires up then cools down your stress response and it can increase
    your heart rate.

    The result? A good relaxed feeling.” To stay upbeat and positive, make laughter a deliberate part of your arsenal against the blues.

  5. Execute.

    Once you’ve identified what deflates your spirit, made a plan to overcome it and developed some mental weapons, it’s time to bring out the big guns.

    Put your thoughts into action. It’s hard to worry about a problem while you are busy solving it.

    This is no time to be passive. Get angry. Get aggressive. Attack your problems with a vengeance.

    What right do they have to destroy the pleasure you get out of life?

    The physical act of execution is a diabolical weapon against whatever ails you and can create a surprising sense of bliss in the midst of the

Charles, who arguably had a much worse day than you, adjusted to his loss and even forgave his thieving friend.

He used his skills to move forward in a new career and met a beautiful woman in the process.

He learned a lot about himself, found some new priorities and doesn’t stress about the length of a department store checkout
lane. He is happier than he has been in a long time and looks for opportunities to share his success with others.

If Charles can do it, so can you.


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