How to Make Optimal Business (and Personal) Decisions, Every Time!

What Decisions?

In our business and personal lives, we make countless decisions, big and small.  For example, how should I build my Compumatrix business? What career is right for me? Where should I live? Where shall we go out for dinner tonight? Some turn out well others don’t.  

What if you had a foolproof way to make business decisions that were always optimal for your business, for you, for everyone in your company? Plus, what if they were also optimal for everyone associated with your company (buyers, suppliers, customers) and for the environment? 

How We Make Decisions

Often we make decisions using our logical/reasoning mind, i.e., it’s a thought process. We “figure it out” based on the information stored in our minds using the information and experience we have.  This process may include the collective “wisdom” of other team members who provide input.  Of course, everything we have learned is valuable information we can apply to decision-making.

Other times our decisions are strongly driven by emotions.  We are “determined” to make it happen, no matter what.  If we don’t achieve X, it will be a “serious problem” for us.  We need to defend against competitors.  We need to be aggressive in the marketplace if we are going to succeed.  We need to maximize profit, no matter what it takes. I want to take that risk but, I’m afraid of failing.

Or it might be a combination of both.  

Why Are These Decision-Making Approaches Less Than Optimal?

What’s the problem with making decisions based on our emotions? Whenever we are upset, the front of our brains (pre-frontal cortex), the decision-making and executive functioning part, functions less effectively, i.e., we lose the ability to think clearly.  Furthermore, the more upset we get, the less able we are to think clearly.  For example, have you ever been so angry that you said or did something you later regretted? Consequently, decisions made when we are highly “emotional” are less than optimal.  

So, what’s the problem with making decisions using logic/reasoning? Perhaps you’re thinking, “What about all my years of experience and the expertise I have accumulated, my wisdom? What about things I have learned from others? Isn’t that valuable?”

Yes, it is, up to a point.  We all have made decisions that have turned out to be less than optimal.  Hopefully we have learned something from those experiences, which has allowed us to make better decisions in the future.  We learned by doing.  On the other hand, you may recall Einstein’s often cited definition of insanity, “Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results.” 

Now, I am going to ask you to keep an open mind and stretch a little. Regardless of all our experience and our improving ability to make better decisions, the limitation of decision-making based on logic/reasoning is that we are limited to the information in our minds.  

Now you might say, “Yes, and our minds have an amazing capacity to store information and to learn.”  Yes, they do. However (and here’s the “stretching” part), a far more comprehensive set of information is available to us for decision-making than what is contained in our minds, one that is, essentially, infinite.  While it has many names, I call it Universal Intelligence.  Whatever name you prefer, the important concept here is that you have the opportunity to access this infinite intelligence system.

Making Optimal Decisions

We can access Universal Intelligence using our intuition, which is our innate ability to know or understand something without reasoning or proof.  It’s sometimes called a “gut feeling” or a “hunch.”  We all have experienced this ability. However, sometimes we don’t follow this guidance because we allow our reasoning mind (our thoughts) to get in the way, which causes us to doubt our intuition.

The key point is our intuition will always guide us to the optimal decision in any situation because it is accessing infinite intelligence.  Here’s how you can access and enhance your intuitive abilities:

  • First, you must be in a calm, centered state, free of any tension, upset, anxiety, fear, or other negative emotion.  To accomplish this, take several slow, deep, continuous breaths.  Inhale fully and, just before you complete the inhale, start exhaling. Then, before you complete your exhale, begin another inhale.  In other words, breathe without pausing between each inhale and exhale.  Do this at a pace that is comfortable for you. Continue until you feel completely relaxed.
  • Second, using your internal voice or speaking out loud, ask a simple question like, “What is optimal for me to do?”
  • Third, calmly wait for a response. Be aware that your intuition may communicate with you via auditory (hearing words), visual (seeing an image), or sensory cues.  For me, I either feel a nudge/inclination or have a thought. It may take some time for you to recognize when you are receiving intuitive guidance.  Be gentle with yourself as you gradually enhance your ability to identify and receive this information.
  • Fourth, follow the guidance you receive and notice the results of your action.  Doing this will help you learn to trust your intuition.
  • Fifth, practice this process regularly.  Soon, it will become easy and natural for you.

If you already experience regular communication with your intuition, then I encourage you to consistently follow the guidance you are receiving. Then notice the results you achieve in your business, and your personal life.

You can also receive intuitive guidance without consciously following the steps above.  For me, it appears as a thought or idea that comes to me at random times.  It might happen when I’m in the shower (i.e., feeling relaxed and not “thinking” about anything), or when I am “daydreaming,” or in a quiet moment.

A True Story

[NOTE: I started to describe a personal example of experiencing intuitive guidance. However, after writing a few sentences, I had the “inspired thought” to use a different, more relevant business example.  “Thank you, intuitive guidance!”]  😉 

About five years ago, I was in Las Vegas Lakes, Nevada, attending a business networking conference called CEO Space to promote a new business I was building.  One afternoon I decided to watch a presentation by Jack Canfield, co-author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series.  As I entered the large room containing about 300 people, I “randomly” chose to turn left and sit in an aisle near the back of the room.  A few minutes later, a man I did not know sat down to my right.  

As Mr. Canfield began, he asked us to do an exercise. He instructed us to turn our chairs, face a partner, then share our “life mission” with each other.  I turned to the man on my right, and we agreed to do the exercise together.  With our chairs facing each other, I asked him to start.  After he spoke the first couple of sentences, I instinctively reached into my pocket, pulled out one of my business cards, and handed it to him to read. He had just spoken the tagline on my card!!! We paused, looked at each other, and I said, “We’ve got to talk.”  He agreed. The next evening over a 3-hour dinner, we shared our life stories and discovered how closely aligned we were in our business missions.  Six months later, I joined his company, and we have been business partners ever since.

Epilogue:  Individually, we each have shared this story with people many times.  But it was only about a year ago that I heard his description of how we met.  As he tells the story, he walked into that large meeting room, paused, and said to himself, “Where should I sit?” The response he received was a voice in his head that said, “Turn left and sit there.”  Hmmmmmm. I still get “chills” through my body whenever I tell this story.

I now regularly experience exceptional results in my business and personal life, including being introduced to Compumatrix a few years ago.  I encourage you to use this gift you have been given. It will enable you to make optimal decisions consistently. Then, watch your business and personal life soar beyond your wildest dreams!!!

About the author

Dr. Paul Repicky has had a varied career in business and academia. As an instructional designer, he developed training programs for health care companies and commercial airlines. His business experience includes corporate consultant, project manager in several mid-sized companies and as an entrepreneur, as he founded and led six start-up companies. His passions include teaching, understanding human behavior, physical and mental health, and surfing.

Comments

  1. Very sage advice, Dr. Paul! This is something that I try to practice often, in all areas of my life. Without a doubt, however, wise and well-discerned decisions in business require extra effort (at least for me!). Your most important recommendation, for me, was to remain calm during the discernment process. That is…refrain from indulging in emotions – they will surely lead you astray (they have a way of taking over), and business is no place for wayward, overly emotional thoughts!

    1. Thank you for your insights, Zeejay. I find it useful that whenever I make a decision that didn’t turn out so well, I look back at my state of mind when I made the decision. Inevitably I realize the I made the decision from a place of fear, anger or any other form of upset. This retrospective reflection has become an important learning tool for me.

  2. Thank you Dr. Paul Repicky, Very wise advice,to be successful in any decision or business,we must be moderate,if we can’t control our emotions, the best solution is to remain silent,breathing in and out is very useful, I do it every day,get information about any company or business and then focus on any results,always evaluate your decision, emotional decisions can lead to any failure.

    1. Awesome, Zahra! It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on the process. I find it requires me to be “conscious” of how I feel when I am making decisions. This is important because, for me, because this I have only been doing this for the past few years. Thus, it can be easy for me to slip back into my old ways. Like anything else we learn, it takes practice.

  3. Dr Paul, right on the money again. I have given up on using logic to make my decisions. Love the “Ask the question and WAIT” part. Gut feelings or intuition is a saviour for many things in my life now. Every time I have gone against it, I have been burned in one way or another. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but sure has made a difference.

    1. Right on, Albert! I believe one of the key points you are making is, we have to learn to TRUST our intuition. This is especially important since it often takes us in a direction that is different than our logical mind would have us go. For me, it’s like having an insight into the future, without actually “seeing” that future or the steps to get there. I find the whole process is like being in flow, easy and relaxed.

  4. A very nice blog, Paul, full of useful and inspirational information. I definitely believe in the Universal Intellect or as I have heard it also called, the Collective Consciousness. I have also attended seminars with Jack Canfield and learned to be aware of my abilities to make decisions based on intuition, experience, and sometimes emotion, depending upon the circumstance.

    1. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Gloria. Yes, Collective Consciousness is one of the many terms for it. Whatever we name it, I appreciate that each of us is capable of accessing it, in our own way, and using it as a resource. It sure does make decision-making easier to have such a wonderful resource available.

  5. Thank you, thank you Dr. Paul. The title of your blog post had me intrigued right from the beginning! Love to read about stories that have such happy endings as yours did. I believe intuition is so strong, and every time I have ignored mine, I am very often times very, very sorry I didn’t listen! Your five points to guide us in making optimal, intuitive decisions are very valuable!

    1. Janis, thank you for your kind words. I also have ignored my intuition and the results were not good. I continue to do my best to be aware of my intuitive guidance and notice when I am receiving information from it. Then, the important part is to trust in and follow that guidance. I admit I don’t always pay attention to the information I am receiving, but I am getting better at it.

  6. Thank you for the reminder of the universal presence in our lives. I know I have a tendency to ignore it. I will worry and worry about a problem and then lo and behold the answer will come to me out of the blue. I call it serendipity when this happens. Then I am reminded of the truth that there is a universal presence who is there all of the time if we would only listen. I too have attended Jack Canfields seminars and learned much from them. Trust that small voice.

    1. Maxine, I love your description how you worry and worry and then the answer appears out of the blue. I believe that living in “flow” is simply eliminating the “worrying” part you described, or what some people describe as “trying to figure it out.” Then all you have to do is ask, wait for the answer then trust what you received and take the appropriate action.

  7. What a fascinating and intriguing blog. How often do we forget the universal presence? It is so refreshing to take in all that relevant information and learn to apply it. Particularly as it relates to our Compumatrix business. And make no mistake it is OUR business and how we advance it and take advantage of the opportunities relies on our ability and intuition and getting things right.

    1. I agree, Patrick. I expect that during the creation and development of Compumatrix there must have been a lot of unknowns to address and a lot of uncharted waters to navigate. This is where intuition is really helpful. I trust Henry and his team have been following their guidance and making optimal decisions to the best of their ability. And, yes, we all have the opportunity to apply those principles in our respective businesses.

  8. Great article Paul about how we make Business and Personal decisions.I personally believe that personal decisions are much different to business decisions.As we can afford to make mistakes in our decision making in our personal lives but it could be very costly if we make wrong decisions in our business.Therefore we need to think vary carefully in making business decisions,as that could have a long term impact for our business.

    1. Thank you for your perspective, Ali. For me, I prefer to follow my intuition in both my business and personal decision-making. In fact, I use it whether the decision is extremely important or a simple, less consequential one. I do it because it’s easier for me and always results in an optimal outcome.

  9. what a strong read– Paul R — putting many parts of everyday business and Life in itself –into a great article — after many years of small business proprietorship and over 60+ years of living — mistakes are a part — and learning is never ending imho — and thank you for sharing —

    1. Absolutely! We all make mistakes and, hopefully, we learn from them. I also appreciate the simplicity and ease that comes from following my intuitive guidance, which has dramatically lowered the number of mistakes I make. At 74 years-of-age I appreciate living with less stress and more flow. I wish I had been more attuned to my intuition earlier in life, but it is what it is.

  10. Thank you for this thoughtful and very timely message Dr. Paul. Today of all days coming in to read this was the reminder I needed. Stress is a part of everyone’s life and sometimes we all need the reminder to breathe that rolling breath until you feel the stress lifting. So many times I forget that full technique and then wonder why it didn’t work as well. Or why do I feel so disconnected? Be centered, grounded and just breathe.

    1. I’m glad my message was helpful, Jane. You raise an important point. The process only works if you use it. With all the challenges of everyday life, which are even more prevalent with the current situation in the world, it’s easy to forget to breathe and get centered. But, ironically, it is a great way to handle the stress. I find it helpful to put reminders to “Breathe” using sticky notes on my computer, car dashboard, bathroom mirror, refrigerator, etc. – places I visit frequently.

  11. Lovely blog Dr Paul and I am with you in every part of it. For the last 31 years, I have been teaching people how to listen to that quiet voice within and how to tap into that universal collective consciousness. Many times in life I have gone against the logical mind and instead just dropped into a quiet space where I can hear my inner voice sometimes whispering and sometimes shouting….I am grateful for those ‘coincidences’ in life, that were once described “As God’s way of working a miracle but remaining anonymous”.
    Thank you

    1. Thank you for your beautiful expression of tapping into the universal collective consciousness. I have been strongly analytical for the vast majority of my life. I have been practicing this process for only a few years and wish I had learned this many years ago. I find that noticing and appreciating the “coincidences” helps to reinforce my use of these principles.

  12. What a thought – provoking read, Dr. Repicky. Why struggle with making decisions when there is an infinite source of wisdom available to anyone willing to tap into it? While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I prefer to call the source of this infinite knowledge “God”, a loving Father who wants the best for His creation. Because of my personality my first instinct is to find a logical explanation for every decision I make. It takes practice for me to calm my mind down long enough to discover what it is God actually wants me to do.

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful perspective. I particularly appreciate your comment about your first instinct to use your logical mind in decision-making. That has been my go-to strategy for most of my life. However, now that I have learned to use and trust my intuitive guidance I find it much easier to use and to make optimal decisions.

  13. I believe common sense is the one of the most important qualities a person can have. As a mature woman, I have learned many things by trial and error, many things come by experience, but sometimes you fail and fail doing the same mistake. I have met a few “intelligent” people who have read a ton of books, have two degrees and lack common sense and are unable to make sound decisions or are driven by other factors.

    1. Aida, I appreciate your reminder regarding common sense. It reminds me of the saying, “common sense is not so common.” My thought is that common sense is another way of saying simple logic using information that is generally known. I do think that using intuition is a different process that accesses information outside of our mind-body system.

  14. A very good read and a succinct reminder of our status as human beings. As one comment stated they felt that inner sense of guidance to be a “God” sense. Along that line I will
    postulate this observation. While the “creator” created many of what we call living things or animals on this earth “He” only breathed “His” essence into one of those
    beings “created”, MAN. Therefore one can easily conclude that this is the single essence that makes man different and the core that generates that deep inner
    motivation for good decisions as one travels the pathway of life.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful perspective, David. Humans are certainly gifted with the ability to achieve higher levels of consciousness than other living beings. I am very grateful for the ability to receive guidance from a higher source. Also, my experience is that that guidance is truly superior to anything I can produce from the content in my mind-body system.

  15. A very interesting and informative Blog Dr. Paul.Intuition in our daily lives plays a great role without us realizing it.Dipping into the Universal Collective Consciousness is a boon that we all have to avail of.The cumulative knowledge and experiences We acquire during our life times goes a long way to strengthen our Decision making With added benefit of Our inner self urging us to heed to our intuitions.Breathing,Meditation,evoking Chakras with cool and calm mind will be one sure way to make a correct and useful decision.

    1. Bharat, I appreciate your addition to the conversation. It appears you have a good handle on the process of accessing intuition. I particularly like your additions of using meditation and evoking Chakras to the ways we can get in touch with our inner knowingness. Whatever method we choose to get there, the answers we get are worth the effort.

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