Monday, December 31, 2007

Decision Day

Today is Decision Day, which I recommend as a new National Focus Day. December 31st is the one day of the year when people seem to have no trouble making decisions. Almost anyone can quickly give you a list of his or her New Years resolutions, which are the result of a decision-making process. However, as we well know from our own past resolutions, making such a decision is only the beginning of the process. Commitment and follow-up are required all year long. The same applies to your other decisions. Never decide to do something unless you are committed to following through with it. Similarly, never tell someone that you will take on an obligation unless you mean it. Perhaps "Commitment" should have its spelling changed to "Commitmeant".

Sunday, December 30, 2007

The First Principle of Negotiation (Excerpt from DECISION TIME!)

The first principle of negotiation is that you must be sensitive to the needs of others when you set priorities for what you hope to accomplish. If all parties have the same list of priorities, then it is unlikely that the negotiations will be successful. However, it is usually the case that there will be differences in the priority lists for the two or more parties to a negotiation. This will allow a final outcome where more than one party comes away from the process having satisfied his top priority goal. By being sensitive to the desires of others, you can set your priorities into a structure that makes negotiation success more likely.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Good News and Bad News

The news media have a tendency to publish and emphasize bad news stories over the good news variety. Bad news stories grab the public's attention and sell newspapers and magazines and TV advertising (related to viewership). They also tend to keep us all in a state of tension.

We have to keep in mind that there are many more good news events occurring at any given time than there are bad news items, even if we seldom hear the positive news. For every automobile accident there are many millions of safe arrivals. For every terrorist act there are many random acts of kindness. Even in time of war and natural disaster, there are far more babies being born than there are people dying. It is easy to get depressed by what you hear and read in the news. If you commit to looking at the positive things happening around you, you may find that it is easier to bear the personal burdens which we all face.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Lady, or the Tiger

The Lady, or the Tiger is one of the most classic decision stories, written by Frank Stockton. Click on the title of this post to link to the complete story. I always find it enjoyable. Feel free to recast the details of the story to suit your situation if you are female, gay, or other. The point is that there are some circumstances when you will be faced with a decision which requires a quick decision; where that decision will have enormous potential consequences for you; and where you have very little information to favor one choice over the other. In this story the lover's life depended on whether his trust in the princess was justified. Apparently he thought it was, because he did not hesitate to follow her lead. Isn't this the case in many of the decisions we face? You have the choice of deciding based upon your own thoughts and instincts (internally directed), or you might choose to depend on input from someone or something else (externally directed).

Friday, December 21, 2007

DECISION TIME! Better Decisions for a Better Life

Where you are in life today is the result of all the past decisions that you have made or that have been made for you in response to the various situations, both expected and unexpected, that have impacted your life. The decisions that you will make from this point forward will determine the degree to which your future will be positive or negative. Click here to buy this book from Amazon in paperback.
Click here to buy this book from Amazon in the hardcover version

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Would You Want to Be President of the United States?

My mother told me when I was a child that I could grow up to be President of the United States. I am continually grateful that she was wrong on that one. I can't think of a more burdensome or more thankless job, especially in this age when so many people of each party think that anyone who disagrees with their political views is evil.

As we approach the Iowa Caucus, the New Hampshire Primary, and the rest of the pending highly-accelerated primary season, ask yourself why all of the folks who are running for President are doing so...About the only reason that would attract me would be that by running and losing, I might gain some name recognition that would sell some books. Nothing sells books like celebrity!

Seriously, there are reasons for running for President. Some of them are listed below. Think about matching these reasons to the current candidates. It might be an educational and amusing exercise...
  • I have all the money I could possibly want. Now it's time to try for power.
  • I really want to make a difference, and I think I have the skills to do it.
  • If I don't run for President, I'll be out of a job.
  • The longer I run, the more books I sell.
  • I have to convince people that there is such a thing as a liberal conservative.
  • I have to convince people that there is such a thing as a conservative liberal.
  • Nobody ever paid attention to me, but I have good ideas, and this is the way to get people to listen to them.
  • The country needs someone with my long and varied experience.
  • The country needs someone new like me, unencumbered by all that tedious experience.
  • I represent the people of faith.
  • I represent the faith of the people.
  • I want to prove that I'm a delightful person.
  • I want to prove that I'm an insightful person.
  • I want to prove that I'm an inciteful person.
  • If I don't run this year, I may never see another year when there is neither an incumbent President nor a Vice-President running.
  • I want to be the first _____________ to be President.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Are You a Good Decision-Maker?

Some people seem to have an inherent inability to make decisions quickly.
They tend to fear the consequences of a bad decision to the point that they feel that any choice is bad. In some cases this inability to decide is due to the emotional makeup of the individual, and in other cases it is due to that person having had bad experiences with past decisions.

Where you are in life today is the result of all of the past decisions you have made or that have been made for you. Where you will be in the future is a function of the decisions which you will make from now on.

My new book, DECISION TIME! Better Decisions for a Better Life helps you to overcome problems with making decisions and shows you how to make better decisions in a wide variety of personal and business cases. Learn about the book and principles for making subjective decisions in complex real world situations at