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Making Good Decisions

Kinkajou Kinkajou: What is a good decision?
Erasmus Erasmus : I think that is the wrong question. I think it is better to ask – what makes a bad decision? A typical bad decision involves a knee-jerk reaction to circumstances and considers only obviously visible factors in the making of the decision.
Erasmus Erasmus : In my opinion, any decision that is not a bad decision, is a good decision.

Typical reasons why people make knee-jerk decisions cover such factors as
Personality: (Enneagram ones and Enneagram eights typically make decisions considering only a single factor – what they want in the here and now. Enneagram nines typically just don’t make decisions. They keep rolling on in their lives until critical circumstances arrive and force a decision – by default or as a decision for real. )

Paill Spectrum:
Affected people are typically impulsive, argumentative and cannot see other factors or relevant issues. They are essentially blinkered in their perspectives.

Pressure of circumstances: People having little time to consider, often will just make the most obvious decision. In our busy lives , we often use shortcut decisions. We see a decision like many others and just make a decision, much the same as many decisions before.

The reality is that often the most obvious decision may well be a reasonable decision. The brain may instantly flick through a number of circumstances and come to a conclusion that there is only one reasonable answer/decision to follow.

Goo the Numbat Goo : I think the most critical factor in making a good decision is to have a plan or a checklist. Too often people just make decisions- too quickly and too easily- without consideration. Unfortunately, often in complex circumstances.

Erasmus Erasmus :. I agree. Consider this process as a decision-making process:
Decide what the question will be.
Decide what the preferred outcome may be.
Consider your circumstances and the factors around the decision – finances, relationships, time, work and co-workers, resources.
Consider what some of the consequences of different decisions may be.

Decisions have consequences and lead to different places / outcomes.


Goo the Numbat Goo : If you have a process for making most decisions, you will be making a decision based on many factors, not just one factor. And this is much more likely to bring you closer to a “good decision” than a “bad decision”.

Kinkajou Kinkajou: There may be no good decision in many circumstances. Often decisions are required in complex environments, with many possible outcomes – with different levels of usefulness or acceptability than other decisions for the decision-maker.

Erasmus Erasmus : Another key factor in decision-making is the human trait of “iteration”. For example, someone may decide to build a wooden box. The process of making the wooden box is actually fairly complex. Timber materials and tools need to be gathered. A plan needs to be prepared and the temp marked and cut. Some bits of timber will of course need to be bigger or smaller than others. And how you want the box to fit together can depend on what loads or stressors need to be tolerated by the box. For example, a box that holds a small container of flowers, will be very different to a box that needs to be strong enough to withstand someone standing on it. The construction technique could and should be very different for each of these boxes.

Kinkajou Kinkajou: In considering this example, it becomes obvious that you are continually making decision after decision after decision - in the construction of the box. Yes, you have decided to build a box, but you make “iterative” decisions in the process of making the box.

Goo the Numbat Goo : Human beings are very much like this.

Erasmus Erasmus : Humans work in an “iterative” capacity. In doing so many things in our lives, we make a decision, which leads to other decisions which in turn lead to even more decisions. 

Goo the Numbat Goo : So, we should not get caught up in aspiring to perfect decisions. The human process is to undertake one decision or action, then look at the circumstances that have evolved, before making the next decision or action.

Erasmus Erasmus : Even computer programmers designing new programs need to consider how people’s minds work. Yes, they may have the entire program mapped and planned out. And this is very important. However as everyone knows, no plan of battle survives contact with the enemy. And no plan generally survives contact with reality. In the computer program example, once people start using the program you will inevitably be faced with – this could work better, we would really like to have this feature added, this is a bit too small or too large, this is not quite what we wanted - et cetera.

Kinkajou Kinkajou: As we stated, humans work in an “iterative” capacity. So often a decision is actually a sequence of decisions each adapting to the problems that appear as the action process progresses.

Goo the Numbat Goo : So, there is another important factor in making a good decision.
Constant re-evaluation. Keep on asking the questions as an action process following decision involves – is this going where I decided it should go and is this going where I now want it to go?

Erasmus Erasmus : A decision can be good or bad at the same time. Most people make decisions that are good or appropriate for the individual. But any such decision can of course be a problem for the community.
For example, someone may tell a lie to get themselves out of trouble. Telling the truth could get themselves or someone else into trouble. And community morals and ethics may well dictate a decision that is different to both of these.
Outcomes can be complex as well. Confessing may allow the community to punish the person and may allow the community to get compensation. But as the community really better off for being able to imprison or punish more of its members? Will such actions increase loyalty from a community’s members or increase commitments from its members?


Kinkajou Kinkajou: Let’s pick another example. A Family in Brisbane has a bush turkey regularly visiting their Backyard. They plant a number of strawberry seedlings. Within two hours, the bush turkey has dug up all of the seedlings. They are then replanted. Within two hours, the bush turkey has dug up the seedlings again. And this occurs repeatedly.
The suburban gardener decides that the turkey needs to be transported to a new home and set a trap to catch the turkey. The trap to catch the turkey is successful. However, the suburban gardener’s partner feels sorry for the distressed turkey trying to exit the trap – unsuccessfully. The partner releases the turkey. The suburban backyard damage and mayhem continues.

Bush Turkey Bush Turkey

The Desired outcome of removing the turkey for the suburban gardener has not been achieved. The community expectation of consideration to wild animals and dealing with wild animals with consideration and care has been met.

Erasmus Erasmus : I think only superficially. If you consider the turkey’s desperation in searching for food, you realise that the environment is not suitable for the maintenance of the animal. The animal is becoming increasingly desperate and hungry in searching for food. Hence the garden destruction.

So in deciding to save the turkey by allowing him out of the cage and to stay in the local environment – you condemn the turkey to death by starvation.

As you can see, decisions can be complicated and desired outcomes can be very different depending on the perspective with which you look at with. And many people who dictate to you what those outcome should be, may never have considered the consequences of their politically correct choices.


Kinkajou Kinkajou: Let’s consider another example. A Husband-and-wife living in suburbia are encouraged by their employer at work to buy a vehicle which can be used in the business of the employer. They will be compensated for this. The husband dashes out and buys the $50,000 work utility that he has always wanted, using hire purchase for finance. After all , all you need to do is sign on the dotted line and just meet a number of small repayments.

Goo the Numbat Goo : Sounds like a good decision, but it has big consequences.

Erasmus Erasmus : What happened in this circumstance was that there was no long-term contract to compensate the husband purchaser for the use of the vehicle. So when the business decided to downsize, suddenly the family found themselves with expensive repayments long-term, and less income from the business to meet those repayments. They had essentially become an unsecured “creditor” to the business in trouble. This may well have been why the business asked its employees to assist it in purchasing their own vehicles for work.

The Work Ute: not a family Car
The Work Ute: not a Family Car

Next in seeking a home loan, their existing repayments limited their ability to borrow to purchase an appreciating asset – their house. A simple quick decision, (buying the utility) obviously necessary in the circumstances, with huge long-term consequences to their finances and life goals. The government has tried hard to limit people’s capacity to get themselves in trouble financially, by allowing cooling off periods for many decisions. People can be pushed into decisions, but with consideration they have some capacity to subsequently avoid consequences of those decisions.

Goo the Numbat Goo : I think some of the key factors in a “not bad decision” are :

Do not decide instantly,

Getting feedback from others – who are likely to bring with them different perspectives and directions for looking at a problem/decision and hence make you consider many more factors than you otherwise would in making the decision,

Consider multiple issues before you decide, Be ready to re-evaluate decisions as circumstances change,

Have a checklist.

Kinkajou Kinkajou: It is important to have a checklist for making a decision.
Erasmus Erasmus : For example, many people start dating or going out with other people and decide that they will see how things go. A simple list of questions can make it obvious from even before the first date, that a relationship with this particular person may not be desirable.

We have stated before - our questions to ask of a new partner:
Are they nice (kind) to you?
Are they an asset to you? (And even if you have nothing, loyalty as an asset - is one of the most important and precious assets in the world.) If you are loyal to each other as partners, there are two of you against the world. The fact that you are physically poor in terms of finances, time or available energy is less important .

Do you like the life they give you? (Really imagine what it would be like to live with the person with whom you are considering a relationship. You can live with many people, but the one thing of which you can be certain - is that your life will be different with each one of them. You do have the ability to choose the life you wish to lead. If your newest “partner” does not look like giving you the life that you wish, reconsider what you are doing). Lust is minutes. Living is a lifetime.


Kinkajou Kinkajou: (Simple issues to consider here are "if you are a social person and your partner is an unsocial person" – then one person will always be seeking to go out, while the other person will always be seeking to stay in. No matter what decision is made – one person always wins and another person will always lose. If you are someone who enjoys a sedate life – sitting, reading or watching TV, you are very likely to become very unhappy if you choose someone who is always “on the go”.
They want to “go” and you want “no”. In short, there is no common ground).

Goo the Numbat Goo : I think some people in the circumstances still try to have a go of it. But at the end of the day each person ends up away from the type of life they would prefer.

Kinkajou Kinkajou: Knowing yourself in these circumstances is very important. We are all individuals with very specific attitudes to many things. These include issues such as finances, relationships, where you live, attitudes to workmates, sociability, sedentary nature, and liking to sit and think.

Erasmus Erasmus : (If you are “introverted “person and you match yourself up with a social person, you may discover that they never shut up. You never have any peace. They never stop talking. To cope with this can only be done by changing your personality. And as we have stated on our genetics sites Ennegenes.com and enkcharms.com, you cannot change the personality that genes have given you).

Kinkajou Kinkajou: Back to making decisions.
Erasmus Erasmus : Illness and age can be big factors in making decisions. Many people reach the point at which they realise that life is running short or that illness is limiting their capacity to do many things. They need to make decisions that recognise their limitations, circumstances and they are who they are. This cannot be changed. Good decisions need to consider your own ability to support or cope with the decisions you make.

Priorities Differ for Decisions of Old or Youth
Priorities Differ for Decisions of Old or Youth


What can seem to be a good decision, can in retrospect be a disastrous decision if you take into account your own genetic proclivities. For example, you decide to undertake a particular business activity – a quick simple decision with potentially massive consequences. You are good at what you do, and the business is  successful. Until tax time. Suddenly your lack of obsessiveness and lack of attention to detail means that you don’t have the documentation to give you the tax deductions you require and to which you are entitled. And so, you are in trouble. The only way to survive now, is to act illegally, fudging the books.

Kinkajou Kinkajou: And just because you have made a decision, doesn’t mean you can tell everyone about it. Sometimes, the best decision in this politically correct era is to contradict the decision you have made. For example, a patient sees a doctor and wants something the doctor does not believe he / she can honestly give this person.
The problem is in this politically correct era you often cannot say that without exposing yourself to complaints and angst.
One doctor acquaintance copes by saying “Yes, I am happy to do that for you”. (When he has actually decided he cannot). What he then does is to ask the patient to do is to collect a number of documents. If the patient returns, then he decides he needs a specialist opinion to help complete the request. If this becomes problematical, send the person to the hospital for specialist clinic review where they can be lost in the waiting list for a few years.

Goo the Numbat Goo : All politically correct of course.

Kinkajou Kinkajou: Knowledge / wisdom arises from experience which usually arises from a lack thereof.

Goo the Numbat Goo : Summarise!
Have a plan or checklist.

Define a question or problem.

Define the outcome or “solution” that “you” want.

Think about some of the circumstances surrounding the decision, including your own abilities and tendencies and the resources you have available to you through yourself or through partners and others.

Think about the consequences that may come about from a number of different decisions.

Perhaps consider the decision from someone else's point of view.

Remember to re-evaluate and reconsider your decisions constantly. Humans work in an “iterative” capacity. Most of us don’t get it right from the word go. We start off with a reasonable decision, and then fine tune it or adjust the decision to enable us to get closer and closer to our desired goal or outcome over time.

















Goo the Numbat Goo :

Dr Xxxxx Dr Xxxxx :

Dr AXxxxxDr AXxxxx :

Kinkajou Kinkajou :

Erasmus Erasmus :