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Conclusion

We all live a life driven by our decisions. What is clear from this chapter is that, though no one fully masters the decisions determining the quality of life, all of us can improve our decision-making by the following two measures:

  1. Reflecting critically on the nature and role of decisions in our lives;

  2. Systematically adopting strategies that enhance the reasonability of our decision-making, in the light of that nature and role;

  3. Frequently comparing our global philosophy (or world view) with the actual facts of our lives, seeking to find our contradictions and inconsistencies and gaining a more comprehensive view of the direction and quality of our lives.

In constructing these strategies, what is in our interest is to think and act so as to maximize our awareness of:

  • The patterns that underlie our decision-making;

  • The extent to which our decisions presently are based on immediate gratification and short-term goals;

  • The "big decisions" we face;

  • Our ultimate and most primary goals;

  • The alternatives available to us;

  • The self-discipline necessary to act on the "best" alternative;

  • The need for adequate time for self-reflection in our decision-making;

  • The need to be systematic;

  • The nine dimensions of decision-making;

  • Knowledge of the major decisions of our childhood;

  • Knowledge of the major decisions of our adolescence.

Becoming an excellent decision-maker is not separable from becoming a good thinker. Decisions are too deeply embedded into the fabric of our lives to be treated as isolated events that we could "automatically" master. An excellent decision-maker has self-understanding, understands how to use the fundamentals of critical thinking, is well aware of the problem of egocentrism and socio-centrism in thought, and is intellectually humble, perseverant, and fair-minded.

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