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Alternate Paths to Better Decision-Making?

I spent much of my life "crunching" decisions and problems, using mostly logic. Although I'm embarrassed to admit it, I was in my 30s before I realized that most people don't use that process. It took until I was in my 40s to realize that I was rarely aware of what I was feeling or how that was dictating what I was thinking. Whether by nature or nurture, I developed as a rational thinker, always seeking to "figure out" best solutions, believing I was leaving almost all emotional out of it, usually relying on myself and not asking for assistance or advice. I'd learned a certain model of decision-making, and it was only when I was at mid-life that I became more aware of using other processes.

It also slowly became clear that my "logic" was sometimes emotionally biased. And that sometimes my intuition, or "gut", was already pushing me in a certain direction. When I ignored that intuition, I often paid a painful price, and lots of times my logical calculations left out certain (often feelings-based) data that turned out to be important. Over the last 25 or so years, I've learned to trust other sources of wisdom than reliance on my own limited ability to figure things out, most recently by asking my horses for input and wisdom. Maybe it sounds silly, but my experience is that the data from these equine inquiries appears to be far more sound and reliable than other sources. Not only do I get data, I get encouragement and support. That's not at all to say that I leave out all logic or weighing of options, or that I don't allow emotional attachments to have an influence. These are all forms of wisdom, yet bringing my questions to the horses widens the scope of that wisdom.

What's your process for making decisions or solving problems? I'm really asking, as I'd truly like to know?

Is your process logical, purely based on facts, layout out the pros and cons or options and deliberating? Is it emotional, based more on how you feel? Or some combination? Maybe you "go with your gut"? Is that different for you than a decision founded on emotion? If so, is there some routine you go through to get there, or is it clear right away? Is it sometimes less clear, taking more time versus a split second, and is that usually minutes, days, or weeks? Do you often reach out for advice or input, or not so much?

Maybe the process changes with context: who is involved, the urgency or potential impact of the decision or problem, your experience with similar situations, or other factors?

Has your process changed over time? If so, what caused it.

Sincerely, I'm interested in how you come to make decisions, so please share below in the comments.

Partly, I'm curious because there's probably a lot I can learn from different readers' answers. And I want to compare what you say with both my own experience and that of people who have done research in this area.

In case I've piqued your interest, and you'd like to experiment with sourcing wisdom beyond your own, you're welcome to come visit First Nature Ranch, whether for a program (maybe like this one) or just to bring your questions to the horses.

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