The Decision Making Tool

Nothing groundbreaking, but the decision making tool I’ve found is invaluable…

Have you ever had trouble making a decision?

I know I have…

Many moons ago I had aspirations of completing an M.B.A. at the Schulich School of Business at York University, in Toronto, Canada.

It is regarded as one of the top 10 M.B.A. business programs in the world, in large part because of this man, Seymour Schulich, who donated a huge portion of his billion doller fortune to York.

Long story short, he made a lot of money in oil and gas, then diversified his portfolio, is now among the biggest philanthropists in Canada — particularly in health care and education — and wrote the book you see in the top right on his personal life lessons.

It’s a great little book actually, fifty or so short chapters (3-5 pages each), describing one actionable piece of advice he would give on various topics from relationships and partnerships to health, wealth and investing.

I wish I could have read this book when I was facing one of my most serious life lessons, failing my first class in school ever and debating whether or not engineering was for me. I was really stuck deciding what I wanted to do next, but decided on a short business course.

Once completed though, I realized I was really interested in entrepreneurship, not necessarily business but needed some skills in something related to entrepreneurship and so I pursued an education in Fitness and Health Promotion.

I still really enjoy the concepts of business but I have a different take on an M.B.A. these days — in the sense that I feel experience is a better way to go for me.

Obviously I never went to York, and it was ironically a tool from the first chapter of this book that helped clarify my life objectives on education and business.

It’s called, The Decision Making Tool.

Since those darker days I realized that clarity was important for major decisions but I wish I had known about this exercise in 2003 when I felt like I was going through a complete crisis.

When I did read this book in 2007 it helped shape some of the most important decisions I’ve made in the last 5 years.

I used it when I made the decision to move to B.C. in 2007.

I used it in 2009 when I decided I wanted to start writing my old blog.

Most recently I used it in 2011, to determine whether or not to quit my job and start my own fitness business, and further pursue my already started technology business.

It helped me clarify my values and I’m the happiest I can recall being in years with the help of this simply little exercise.

I’ve basically used it for every major life decision I’ve ever made since 2007, but you could use it for anything. I’ve since used it with quite a few clients, and am throwing it out there for all to use.

Thinking about losing some weight?

Want to get more fit in 2012?

Take a moment and write down all the pro’s and con’s of a decision you need to make or a problem you face. Then you score those pro’s or con’s on a scale of one to ten, on the right of the page. Ten means that pro or con is extremely valuable or important to you, one means ya sure it’s a negative or a positive but you could really care less about it in the grand scheme of things.

Add up all the scores for the pro’s page and the con’s page, whichever has the highest score is how you’re quantifying a decision.

You can still go with your gut, but this is a great way to give yourself some clarity in any pursuit.

You can grab it here, read through the instructions on the front page quickly, then blast through it in 15 minutes or less.

All the best, let me know how it goes in the comments below!

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