‘We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them’ by Albert Einstein
From time to time people experience a hard time to make or take a decision. Why? Whenever I got a hard time to take a decision, it is for some reason. Psychologists usually say: It is due to some kind of depression as the underlying cause. Then they want to treat the depression, which can take years. I am rather looking for a solution. Due to the fact, that all unanswered questions are called problems, my approach is:
Problems can only be solved
on a higher level than they appear
Imagine you see the urge to save somebody’s life, who fell into the pool and can’t swim. You don’t need to think twice. If you are a good swimmer, you will jump into the water as well. If not you might hold out for something that swims, e. g. a rescue ring or a rubber duck. Sitting down, being depressed about it and having a cigarette, while thinking what to do, is no option. Your basic need of contribution is so strong, that it hardly feels like a decision at all.
Some people keep sitting for more than 10 minutes in a restaurant reading the menu. Not because it is such an exciting story. They are just not clear what they should eat. Not being clear about, shall I save some money and choose the cheapest. Or shall I treat myself with the most plenty full food on the menu? Nor being clear if valuing healthy food over junk food, makes it almost impossible to decide. Also, no clarity about the value of money or health leads into this situation.
Time to treat the underlying depression.
Come on, this is complete bullshit!
Someone who is for whatever reason on a special diet, and got due to this a limited variety of food to choose from, got a much easier time to decide. There are some constraints guiding him through the menu. Just choosing what fits the best, and then maybe asking the waiter: “Is it free of gluten or lactose?” Done! It shows that he is clear on his values and that he values health over (saving) money.
Are you clear on your targets, mission, vision, and dreams? If I am having trouble to decide, I know that I am not clear on some of them. Let’s have a look into some examples:
Make or take a decision example 1
Should I still add musicians to my Facebook contacts, or only female entrepreneurs? This means I am not focussed on one of my business Rooms4Music or Vitality4Happiness. Due to that, I can understand, that the requirements to serve both of them are pulling me in different directions. Just a strategic question, which can (only) be solved on a higher level.
Time to think about my mission and take a decision! Easy decision after thinking about this for a short time: My mission is: I am vitality for happiness. Some of my highest values are health, love, happiness – which is caused by growth – and contribution. Plus I love woman and entrepreneurship! My customers from Rooms4Music are musicians, mostly male, no entrepreneurs. Most of them play their music for pleasure and don’t want to grow with it. And finally, health is completely out of their focus.
Make or take a decision example 2
Shall I organize business retreats or just invest in some business and then mentor the entrepreneurs I am invested in? It makes me aware, that I am not clear on the strategy, how to grow the business.
I need to clarify the next higher level, my mission. My mission doesn’t help at this point. So let’s go one level further up. My vision is to see the hunger in the world disappear. And I want to contribute to it. The quicker I invest the more I can contribute. The business retreats might delay this process. So I should rather invest first, and then do the business retreats for those who I am already invested in. Helping them to run their business more efficiently, so that we jointly can contribute more. Thinking it that way, it becomes rather clear how to tune the strategy.
Make or take a decision example 3
Do I want to stay in Bali or keep on traveling around the world? Here I can see, something is conflicting within my basic needs. So this can (only) be solved, by looking into my values.
I learned something new about my values in a mastermind group, in which all of the participants guessed the primary value of the others. Most of the guesses where pretty accurate and in accordance with what they thought about themselves. With the exception of me! Everybody said, that my first value is freedom. Freedom didn’t even appear on my list! So I realized, that I am already living this value, that I don’t see it anymore as my value. And yes, I got aware that it is my very first value. So please don’t ask me for an everlasting monogamous relationship! Being aware of that, it becomes easy to say bye bye to Bali. At least from time to time for a trip around the world.
The hierarchical order of these levels
- Vision or dream: Making the world or universe a better place
- Mission or targets: Contribution to those around you
- Strategy or plan: Individual needs, growth, success, adventure
- Basic needs and values: Security, survival, love, and connection
To do: Your make or take a decision exercise
I want you to have an easier time, to make or take a decision in the future. To get there, I am asking you to understand and practice the mechanism behind this. Here comes my thinking time for you. Analyze this question:
“Which of my products should I do the most intensive marketing for?”
Have a look at these products
Then come back to this page and answer the following questions:
- On which level does this question show, that I am not clear?
- What is the level above?
- What needs to to be clarified?
- How would you recommend to solve it?
Please write your thoughts and recommendations in the comments below. You can show your expertise. And if you thought all the way through it, that you can write down the answer in a few sentences, you have learned the most. Plus you are earning a backlink to your webpage, which even increases your web page ranking on google. Btw. here you can learn more about SEO.