【陳慧珊】有一種教育,叫學習做決定 (37) 訂立屬於自己的準則

2017-07-31


最近有朋友問我會否有一些通用的基本原則可以幫助人們做所有決定。根據其他人的分享,以及我個人的經驗和閱讀經驗所得,我歸納了一些做大部分決定時要注意的事或跟從的原則。

以自己的想法為決定因素

基於對自我的了解,我們能準確判斷自已的需要、能力、信念、價值、喜惡,很快就能決定甚麼是我們想擁有的。有時,我們或會勇敢地承認自己並不那麼了解自己,但更多時候是我們拒絕面對不符合自己理想的一些個人特質。然而一旦我們願意認清事實,我們就很容易做到決定。

 隨心所欲並非一個簡單的決定,但這是可行的方向。很多時候,選擇的困難在於我們希望同時回應兩個問題:甚麼(what)與怎樣(how)。我們應先解決「甚麼」而非「怎樣」,那決定就會變得容易。如果我們老是想着「怎樣」先於「甚麼」,恐懼或惰性就會把我們帶回原點。

decision2

決定你有多想得到它

當我們極度渴望得到一些東西,我們可能要作出一些犧牲。不過大部分人都希望不勞而獲,不需以其他代價就可以百分百得到自己想追求的全部東西。但我們常常忽視了當我們奮力追求自己理想的同時,卻沒有降低自己標準的意願,實際上是剝奪了他人的利益。

因此,如果我們有認真的目標,就要以自己的良心實踐,以確保不會把負擔轉嫁他人身上。假如我們真的盡心盡責並肯定自己不是從他人身上「盜取」勝利,那就是一個很好的經驗,給我們日後作準則,緊記穿過終點線需要勇氣的同時,過程中也需要積極調整當中許多的決策。有時,衡量過後,我們甚至可能需要放棄我們的目標,因為發覺不值得,或者我們根本還未裝備好自己來承受這趟旅程。這並沒有甚麼可恥的。大多數時候,當我們裝備好自己,就可以為自己創造第二次機會。

換一個角度,如果那個決定會對自己造成不公正,那麼就會在情緒和健康上帶來負面影響。因此,我們需要特別小心,不要因此陷入經濟、精神上的囹圄。最有效的方法是在努力追尋目標過程中,不斷問自己有沒有犯錯,以便中途中作出調整。即使別人並未有做錯事情,這個世界還是會有人故意苛待他人,以彌補自己的不足或錯誤。諷刺的是,這種行為卻是我們日常最容易做出的決定。然而,有時我們被怒火所蒙蔽,在不經意的情況下每每苛求別人,細數他人的不是,卻未有看清情況。反省己行的舉動,自然是知易行難,但做到的話就會給我們帶來和諧的環境,亦會減少決策所需的時間。

 

對的決定緣於撫心自問

大部分人都希望自己人見人愛,得到別人的認同。我們都希望於自己的群體或種族中得到肯定,使我們活得更快樂。可是世事往往難盡如人意,我們屢屢做一些個人認為正確的決定時,都有可能會冒犯到別人,甚至可能因此令雙方關係大不如前。面對這樣的情況,我總是告訴我的女兒:「有時我們只能做我們要做的事情。」

正因為每個決定都會影響我們的未來,也可能會變得更複雜,所以我們需要做出最好的決定。然而,事過境遷以後,做決定只是一件簡單的事。撫心自問,未來的我們驀然回首之際,為過去的自己感到自豪,那就是最好的結果。

總而言之,以自我理解為基礎的決定,就是我們衡量自己能做多少事,同時找出事情以某種方式進行的原因,且想清楚願意為達成目的而付出甚麼代價。

生命是自己的,沒有別人比我們清楚自己的故事,因此別人如何看待我們的做法並不重要。我們若總受到社會主流意見或旁人之見所影響,那就難以做出合乎個人的決定。而真正重要的是,撫心自問,我們的生活是否適合自己,即使做出的決定未能深孚眾望,只要無愧於心,那就是我們最正確的選擇。

當我們被旁人意見左右一己之見而有感進退維谷,不妨想想我們的社交圈子只是整個社會的一部分。群體不是我們的唯一,我們是獨立的個體,大可把自己從旁人的世界中抽離,以不同的視角重新審視事情,就會發現世界之大,意見莫衷一是,有智慧的人也不少,大可窺涉百家再作三思。

若我們能以忠於自己的意願做決定,既尊重自己,也同樣尊重遵守誠摯的人,做出具有尊嚴的決定,使我們逐步達成理想。

 

 

 

Decision Making is Educational

  “Making Our Own Rules”

Recently a friend asked me whether there’s a general rule of thumb that applies to all decision making.  From what others have shared with me, from what I’ve read and my own experiences, I’ve consolidated a list of general principles to follow/things to be aware of when making most decisions.

1.Decide on what it is we want.

We are the best judge of our own needs, capabilities, beliefs, values, and preferences.  Based on our understanding of ourselves, we can make up our own mind as to what it is we want.

Sometimes we may bravely admit that we don’t really understand ourselves.  But most likely, it’s not that we don’t, it’s that we refuse to see those characteristics that don’t nicely fit our own story of ourselves. 

Once we’re willing to match fantasy with reality, then we can begin our journey to making all decisions, based on self-knowledge.

Deciding on what we want is not a simple decision.  But it can be.  Most of the time, what makes the decision difficult is that we want to simultaneously answer two questions at once, i.e., the ‘what’ and the ‘how’.  By focusing on the ‘what’ first, and not on the ‘how’, the decision will come more easily.  If we dwell on the ‘how’ before the ‘what’, fear or laziness may deter us from creating a starting point. 

 

2.Decide how much we want it.

If we want something badly enough, chances are we’ll have to make some sort of sacrifice.  Most of us expect to get 100% of what we want, with the full excitement and benefits, without needing to trade off our ideal.  But what we neglect to see is, that by striving to achieve our ideal without being willing to lower our standards, that we’re really “stealing” others’ ideals to get it.  Somewhere along the process of that seemingly easy path, someone else may be paying for that 100% outcome.  So, if we have in mind a serious goal, we need to try to be conscientious of our actions, to ensure that the burden of perfect outcomes is not unintentionally passed on to others.

If we’re really committed, and we’re fairly sure that we’re not “stealing” from others to take the win, then a good rule of thumb is to keep in mind that crossing the finish line will always take courage and the proactive adjusting of many decisions in the process.  Sometimes, we may even need to relinquish our goal altogether by deciding that it’s not worth our effort or that we’re not yet equipped to withstand the journey.  And there’s no shame in that.  Most of the time, if we keep educating ourselves, we can create our own second chance.

In a different scenario, if a decision needs to be made based on an injustice that we believe was inflicted on us, those are the types of decisions that could drain us emotionally and physically.  Therefore, we need to be especially careful not to fall into the trap of financial, emotional, or mental entanglement.  A helpful perspective that may lead us to decide when to stop going full speed ahead is to consciously ask ourselves whether we are partially at fault.  It’s easy when we get so worked up that we blame others without being fair to the situation.  To assess a case clearly without being clouded by our anger is not easy, but it will give us peace in the long-run and shorten the decision-making process.  Of course, there are people in this world who will intentionally cast spells of injustice as an attempt to compensate for their own inadequacies or wrong-doing, even if we had not played a part in provoking their unethical behaviors.  Ironically, decisions intended to conquer such violations of basic human decency are the easiest to make.

 

3. Ask ourselves, “Will it make us look like the bad guy?”

We all want to look good in the eyes of others.  And we all want to be liked.  There are those occasional few who don’t seem to care.  But the majority do care.  This desire for approval is rooted in evolutionary origins where belonging to a group or tribe will keep us alive; those who are favored will more likely be fed and saved.

Sometimes, by deciding to do what we believe is right, we may risk offending others.  This will go against all our instinctual needs for attachment and bonding, but like I tell my daughter, “Sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do.” 

Because the most important decision that we’ll ever need to make, and this decision will continuously creep up on us, and it will seem to get more complicated throughout the progression of our life stages, but in hindsight it will be one of the simplest decisions to make.  And that decision is, when we look in the mirror, will we be proud of the person looking back?

Most of the time, it doesn’t matter how others judge or perceive us, because no one will ever know the full story; it’s whether we believe that we’ve lived appropriately that matters.  And sometimes, that may mean making a decision that will make us look unkind.

To conclude, how much we can handle, why we believe things should be done a certain way, how much we’re willing to trade off in order to achieve something, are decisions that should be based on self-understanding.

If we’re easily influenced by what is socially acceptable, or by others’ judgements and opinions, then it may be difficult to make a decision that would be fulfilling.

If we ever get stuck in a predicament between making a decision based on what’s right for us versus what others think is right for us, it may be helpful to remember that our social group only makes up one part of society.  Our social group is not the one and only.  Sometimes it helps to mentally remove ourselves from a group of friends, even family, to rethink things from an alternative perspective.  There are other views and wiser people waiting for us to learn from.

If we base our decisions on our own rules of what is right for us, by being respectful to ourselves and to those who equally abide by the same rules of sincerity, integrity, and honesty, then making decisions with dignity will surely bring us closer to our ideal destination.

 

作者:陳慧珊

其他文章:

【陳慧珊】有一種教育,叫學習做決定 (36) 順其自然的教育 

【陳慧珊】有一種教育,叫學習做決定 (35) 做出一個能讓自己引以為傲的決定

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