How To Make Decisions And Solve Problems
Our decisions aren’t any more accurate than the information on which they’re based. Do you know anyone who has gone through a traumatic breakup in a relationship? A few years later, they have a chance to get involved with someone else, but they associate, “Have I experienced anything like this before?” They evaluate, “What is this leading me toward? Nothing good!” Then they decide, “No thanks. I don’t want any part of it.” Their decision is not based on feelings for the new person, but rather on the trauma caused by the old relationship.
For instance, some women I’ve met in state penitentiaries can’t figure out why their relationships always fall apart. They can’t seem to keep their marriage or family together. Many of them were abused as children, and so they assimilate bad models. Even if they get into a good relationship, they perceive the new relationship in terms of the old. They self-sabotage, and foul it up. They don’t just have bad luck and keep running into the wrong guy. They seek the wrong guy. And when they go to work, they mess up on the job. They can’t get along with the manager. What is their impression of people in authority? If they were beaten or pushed around, their perception of anybody in authority is negative. So, they think it’s all the boss’s fault. They’ve just had a series of bad luck. If you go through a disappointing marriage and get a divorce with a lot of emotional upheaval, you store that negative emotion in your image of reality. And so when you later get involved with a wonderful person, you perceive this new relationship in terms of the old, and you decide not to get involved.
Many of us make our future choices based upon the emotional, erroneous information from a painful past. We limit our future growth and choices and goals because of what has happened, not what can happen. To the degree we put misinformation into our minds, we can’t expect the right answers to come out.
Since many decisions about your future are based on what happened in the past, you need to modify and update “the truth” recorded in your subconscious “data bank” to improve your chances for future success. As you change your internal picture using goal setting, affirmations, visualization, and imprinting, you will make decisions that are more appropriate to the person you are today.
Richard Gregory, an expert from the United Kingdom on how the mind works, once told me, “Intelligence is the art of guessing correctly. Anything we do to improve our guesswork will make us more intelligent.” This process of growing and getting better is all about improving our guess work of which route to take, which person to marry, what schools to attend, who to invest with, what plays to call. Intelligence is the art of guessing correctly.
The art of guessing correctly is an ongoing process. If I go to the racetrack, which horse am I going to bet on? Or if I get into the race horse business, which horse do I buy? Which trainer do I use? Intelligence is just the art of guessing correctly. What school do I put my five-year-old child in? Who is the best person to give her piano lessons? A bad choice may keep the kid from ever developing her talent. So you want the right information.
The quality of information you have stored about how the world works affects the validity of the choices you make. Your creative subconscious causes you to act and behave like the person you know yourself to be. It’s constantly at work making your personality and behavior congruent to the image of how you’re to be.
Unfortunately, we likely have a lot of misinformation stored on the subconscious level. We’re all full of misinformation about business, about markets, about relationships. Old information may have served us well while we were stuck in some comfort zone, but it is not okay now. For example, as long as I was a high school teacher and coach, I could function adequately with the knowledge I had, but when I left that protected world, I struggled to run a business. I would listen to friends and advisors, but frankly they were feeding me a lot of garbage because they too were very limited in knowledge and experience. Some information I got from people when I first went into business helped me reach the $5,000 a month level. But to get to the $500,000 level, I had to stop operating on misinformation and change some old beliefs and habits.
We often act on the basis of partial truths, half-truths, or untruths. We may accept information as “the truth,” even though we don’t know it’s true for sure. If you feed misinformation into a computer, you can’t expect the right answer to come out. The same with the quality of your decisions. They won’t be any more accurate than the information on which you base them.
Suppose that you once invested and lost. Now here comes another opportunity to invest. Are you making the choice on the future investment or the past investment? Are you making an emotional choice not to invest this time because of the memory of last time?
Quality of Knowledge and Information
There is a direct relationship between the quality of the knowledge and information you hold in your mind and the way your life goes. If your life isn’t going well out there, the problem is probably in your mind. Change the inside, and the outside changes. But most people keep waiting for the outside to change.
Knowing you have the right information is tricky. So-called experts give you the “good information,” and yet if you examine it you might say, “I don’t know. This doesn’t seem right to me.”
In today’s world, we have lost knowledge amid a sea of information; and lost wisdom in the knowledge explosion.
When you were six years old, the parent in the home, the teacher in school, or the big kids on the playground or in the neighborhood were the experts. You listened to “the truth” they shared, perhaps because you knew no better source.
When you’re new in an organization, you don’t know who to listen to. You just step in and search for “the truth.” You ask, “How do things work in this business? Who do you report to? What happens?” You might hear “the truth” from someone who has only been there for six weeks or from some disgruntled person who plans to quit in 20 days. And once you lock on to “the truth” in your mind, you become blind to other ideas. Once you get an opinion stuck in your mind, you selectively perceive and gather information based upon your starting premise.
Who do you listen to? Who do your children listen to? Where do you get your information? Where do you find the truth? Who is world class in knowledge? How can you benchmark them?
This is an ongoing process of gathering and correcting the right information. When I started my video-based training business, I knew nothing about making and marketing videos, but I kept learning. I tried to get the best information I could get. When I discovered something better, I changed and improved.
To release your potential, you need to correct the misinformation that you have stored about life and business. How do you know where your misinformation is? Ask wise and experienced people, do some reflective thinking, and keep a journal. There are musts if you’re going to grow. You have 50,000 thoughts going through your mind every day. You need to capture your best thinking, reflect on your decisions and actions, and them make affirmations to correct misinformation by reading, studying, going to the library, making a phone call, asking questions, and listening to your inner wisdom.
Often we think we’ve got to override the whole system, but I learned a long time ago to program properly the right skills, the right information, and then relax. You want to consciously prepare and let your subconscious take action. You’re at your creative best when you flow.
Trust how smart you are, trust your genius, trust you’ll come up with the answer, trust you’ll be inventive. Relax and trust. You are so much smarter on the subconscious level than you are on the conscious level.
I’m at my superstar best when I just let it flow. Sometimes when I teach, I don’t have the slightest idea of what I’m going to say or what I’ve said. I only know the end result I want. I visualize the end result and let it flow. I may study hard ahead of time to put knowledge and information in my mind, but then I visualize the end result and let it flow.
Once in Chicago, I was scheduled to be a keynote speaker at the “Million Dollar Club” convention. There were thousands of people in the audience, and the lights were flashing, music was playing, and one motivational speaker after another preceded me on the program. the Club officials asked me to arrive a day early to go through “rehearsal.” But I showed up 15 minutes before I was scheduled to speak. They were frantic. They told me what to do, and asked, “Where’s your speech? You were supposed to have it here.” I said, “I haven’t thought of it yet.” They were stunned.
I did this on purpose. I knew what I was doing. I had studied and prepared in my own way, and I wanted to walk on the stage deliberately not knowing what I’d talk about.
I got a standing ovation, but I made my speech up as I went along. I wasn’t even sure what I’d said until I watched the video.
You’ll be at your best when you work hard to prepare well and then let it go. This is a free-flowing process. I’m not talking about duplicating something you’ve already done successfully. I’m talking about stretching, throwing yourself out into the unknown. Knowing how to use the creative subconscious will help you see how you can set goals, take charge of your future, self-regulate, create opportunity, solve problems, and make better decisions.