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In part 1, we looked at the left or “HEAD-Hand” in this decision method, which represents the logical, reason-based side of decision-making. Now we’ll take a look at the “HEART-Hand”, which doesn’t deal with the nuts and bolts of decision-making like the “HEAD-Hand”, but with the moral, ethical and “humanistic” values that make truly great decisions!
F = FAIR?
You’ve been taught your entire life that “life isn’t fair”. In many cases this is a true statement but we think it is also a self-fulfilling prophesy. If you accept that this is the way of the world and you are powerless to do anything about it, you are just perpetuating it, not changing it. I don’t very often hear “Life isn’t fair, BUT”.
The willingness to challenge this so-called “truth” is difficult, but it can be done! Every time you make a decision, you have the opportunity to make it a fair one that treats all parties the same, or make the selfish decision, the unfair decision, that you have been led to believe is “OK”. Probably something like “Well, life’s not fair you know! We all do it!”.
Fairness should be part of your decision calculation and be integral to all of your decisions, even when it doesn’t give you all that you want. There’s another old saying you should bear in mind when thinking about fairness: “Treat others as you wish to be treated.” That’s the true test of whether you’re walking the TRUEpath in Life.
G = Good?
What is a “good” decision? We propose that it is a decision that has positive outcomes for all involved and one that minimizes, if not eliminating entirely, negative consequences for anyone.
A good decision is easy for anyone of any age to understand: It is not “bad”. That simple instinct is built into all of us early in life however as we grow older, we try and complicate that simple truth with “conditions” such as “if”, “when”, “how”, and the biggest, baddest of the bunch – “BUT!”. Each of us has an internal compass that normally points to “good”, but too many times we allow it to point to “maybe” and that’s where we start getting into trouble.
The way to make a good decision is to listen to your 5 year-old inner self that hasn’t yet learned how to equivocate, and the decision you make will most probably be a “good” one.
H = Honest?
This is a simple one! Well, maybe. “The Truth Hurts”, is another one of those axioms we learn as we grow older. And many times, it is true. However too many people use it as a crutch to justify lying. Any just as there are millions of potential colors, there are just as many types of lies. You can tell a “white lie”, a “fib” or an “exaggeration” of the truth, but no matter what word you use, it is a lie. It is not honest.
The first problem we have to overcome in making an honest decision is the hardest – lying to ourselves. We tell ourselves all kind of lies to keep from confronting the truth of a situation. There are many reasons for this, the primary one being the “Lizard Brain” or amygdala that functions entirely on instinct and is not acquainted with “reason”. It wants us to do whatever it takes to get what we want as soon as possible and the consequences be damned!
Being honest with yourself is the first skill you need to learn in order to make wise decisions in life. Once you have that licked, then you can hopefully learn to treat others in the same manner. No matter how much it hurts!
I = Integrity?
Integrity is sometimes hard to define easily. I think it is a quality you have that results from making the right decisions the right way, as we’ve pointed out in the “Heart-hand” method. You either have it or you don’t. Other’s will make their decisions about you based on your personal integrity, but it’s more important that you see yourself as a person of integrity. You can’t fake it, you can only earn it.
If your decisions are “integrity-filled”, you’ll know that you are making the right decision. The way to get integrity is to be true to yourself, and others, make the “right” decisions even if they are not always the most favorable to you, and generally display a set of values, morals and ethics that are based on serving others before yourself. Having integrity means being able to sleep soundly at night.
J = Judgement?
This is arguably the prime factor in making good decisions. Judgement is the ability to discern the truth in a situation, and then use all of the previous values to make the best decision you can, with everyone’s interest in mind.
Good judgement is hard to define, but easy to spot. It requires work. It is not easy. It is a skill and an attitude. It is the ability to accept failure and then use that experience to improve your judging skills in future decisions. Most of all, it is about how you judge yourself. What you think about the value of your judgements will define how your judgements affect others. It requires fairness, goodness, truthfulness and integrity to have good judgement.
In other words, it requires both the HEAD-HAND and the HEART-HAND to make the best judgements and decisions possible.