Backtracking Your Decisions

Summary: “Improve decision making by backtracking the events that lead to the outcomes you are producing.”

One way to explore the quality of your decisions is to backtrack the events that lead to outcomes you are producing. All your decisions create one of three possible categories of outcomes: positive outcomes, negative outcomes, or neutral outcomes.

When you experience a negative or neutral outcome, and you desire a positive outcome in similar circumstances in the future, backtrack through the specific decisions and sequence of events that lead to the undesired outcome until you discover any decision that can be altered in a way to produce a positive future outcome.

For positive outcomes, it is also valuable to backtrack and isolate the decisions that were instrumental in creating the favorable outcome. This will help you repeat the successful outcome in the future.

In a similar fashion, if you want to really learn from successful people, don’t just ask them about their success in general. Ask them to tell you about the specific decisions that lead to their positive outcomes.

Backtracking your current outcomes gives you the necessary details to improve future outcomes. This is just another way to raise your level of awareness with regard to the importance of decision-making.

This is also a good process for helping others improve their decision-making. Leaders can help their followers work through this process, parents can help their children work through this process, spouses can help each other work thought this process. Keep it up until the person you are helping has a genuine “aha” experience and pinpoints a decision to alter next time around.

Pay attention to your current decisions! They are creating your future circumstances and determining whether or not you will joyfully participate in life tomorrow and beyond.

Joyfully participate in life today…Chris

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