We could all benefit from looking at things from a different perspective. It’s easier said than done. Seeing the bigger picture can help decision making. Help us sticking to our goals more easily instead of falling trap to everyday temptations. Usually, we tend to make decisions based on the immediate results without looking at the second and third order consequences. Often, those decisions come back to bite us if we haven’t thought about the implications down the road. Either to change your choice or to be honest with yourself about your wants and goals. Our mind often tries to trick us make us forget the bigger picture or our actual goal. We are driven to get that immediate dopamine hit. Looking at the bigger picture does not give you the temporary satisfaction that our mind craves. Just taking a second to consider the second-order consequences can radically change your life.
Example: True want = Z
To fulfill your daily needs, you have to make a decision X which results in Y but if Y ≠ Z then change your decision X. Search for alternatives where Alternative decision Q = Z in the long run.
Want = Get fit.
Everyday need: food. Decision: Pizza. But pizza ≠ Get fit. But your brain convinces you it’s ok you’re hungry now. You’ll work out more tomorrow. But nevertheless X ≠ Z.
Using this as a guiding principle has really changed how I go about making day to day decisions. It has helped me identify what I really want. If I’m unwilling to change my decision X even after considering it won’t help me get to Z, then the want Z is probably not that important to me. Reality check! This helps me recognize my priorities. It has helped me be honest with myself. Sometimes we say we want something just cos we saw someone talking about it without genuinely wanting it.
Whether your goal is to start a business, top your class, stop a bad habit, learn a new skill, get 6 packs or run a marathon look at your everyday decisions from 2nd order consequence. If anything it’ll make you realize if the goal you set is something you really really want or you’re just lying to yourself.