How to decide
How to decide

How to decide

Decision Making
Personal decision making guide
Published August 12, 2022


  • Principle
    • Fundamental truths or law that serves as the basis for a system of belief or behavior. Unbreakable rule and guidelines that our action should be aligned with
  • Value
    • Internal moral code based on the principle we hold to be true. Mental map of how things should be


Mental Models

i.e. how to make “smart” decisions (the reasoning of our thought process).
  • Circle of competence
  • First Principle
  • Inversion
  • Second-order thinking
  • Margin of safety
  • Two-track analysis
  • Global and local maxima
  • Compounding
  • Principle agent problem
  • Cognitive biases
    • Survivorship bias
    • Confirmation bias
    • Availability heuristic
    • Attribution error

Avoid Pitfalls

i.e. how to avoid “bad decision”.
  • Decide too fast
    • Let pedestrians define the walkways
    • Decision is 2 step process, learning must come before deciding
    • Never seize on the first available option, no matter how good it seems, before you’ve asked questions and explored.
    • Everything looks bigger up close (step back)
    • Doing nothing
    • Cognitive dissonance
  • Over-squeeze dots



i.e. My desired outcome (“good enough”) for decision making.
Make practical decisions that align best with long term interest grounded by current situation.

Self Awareness

i.e. Who I am (nature & nurture, strength & weakness, desire & fear)
Only through a deep understanding of who I am then can I make decisions that are rational or reasonable.
Tools I use for better self awareness
  • Meditation (Mindfulness & Clarity)
  • Self Reflection (Daily, Weekly Journaling)


i.e. the rules I’m following and sticking with when making decisions in similar situations
  • Embrace reality and deal with it
  • Be radically open-minded
    • Understand ego and blind spots
    • Understand people are wired very differently and appreciate “thoughtful disagreement”
    • Triangulate view with believable people who are willing to disagree
  • Antifragile


Career Change

  • Promotion can be appealing (zoom in) but at cost of unwanted liability (zoom out)
  • Change is inevitable but “timing is everything”