Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish quotes on decision making

Founder Farnam Street. Reader & writer. Student & teacher. Leader and follower.

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Common causes of bad decisions: 1. Assumptions from small sample sizes 2. Wanting the world to work the way we want 3. Conforming to expectations/authority/group 4. Blindness to large trends 5. Inability to determine "and then what" 6. Using incorrect maps


If a decision is reversible, make it as soon as possible. If a decision is irreversible, make it as late as possible. When the stakes are low, inaction hurts you. When the stakes are high, speed can kill you.


Every choice you make is a step toward or away from the person you want to become. No single choice will get you where you want to go. Only repeated steps over time in the same direction will move you forward.


You have to be willing to look like an idiot in the short run to outperform in the long run. While copying what others already do helps achieve average results quickly, common approaches never outperform. What ends as being better starts as being different.


In the moment some choices seem small: we eat the chocolate bar, take a shortcut, or cancel a date. However, the accumulation of those tiny decisions adds up over months and years and makes a huge difference. Today’s choices become tomorrow’s reality.


You choose who you are. You own your attitude. You own your integrity. You own your response. You own your character. You own your capacity to love. You own your willingness to help others. You own how you talk to others and yourself. You own your happiness.


Focus on *how* you respond You don’t control ... What people say about you; The situation you're put in; Where you start in life; If people treat you fairly; What other people do; You control *how* you respond.


I don’t think great decision makers necessarily are good problem solvers. Rather, great decision makers are masterful problem avoiders.


Choosing the right problems to work on matters more than the effort you bring. Don't waste your energy on linear problems. The right problems offer embedded leverage.


If a decision is reversible and inconsequential, make it as soon as possible. Speed matters. If a decision is irreversible and consequential, gather as much information as possible before deciding. Wait until the last possible moment. Being right matters.


If you don't say yes in the first 5 minutes, say no.


The smarter you are, the more likely you decide as late as possible.


Learning to be ok with being uncomfortable and not having an immediate need to resolve that uncomfort is a superpower. In situations like this, most of the time we make suboptimal decisions to make us feel better in the moment.


In the short run, lying is easy and honesty is hard. In the long run, honesty is easy and lying is hard. What you choose today makes your tomorrow.


Reversible decisions should be made as soon as possible. Irreversible decisions should be made as late as possible.


One of the biggest things that keeps us from achieving better outcomes: We'd rather not get help than let other people know we might need help.


One of the biggest problems in organizations is that people with no relevant knowledge help make the decisions.


Your actions reveal not what you want, but what you choose.


It often takes just as much work to go after a mediocre opportunity as it does a great one.


When making an agreement or decision think down and out. Down into your body. What does your head say? What about your heart? Out into the future — Fast forward 5 weeks, 5 months, 5 years. How do you feel about it ? What would cause it not to work? Etc. Now decide.


Outcomes are a function of ordinary actions performed repeatedly over a long period of time. If you find yourself chasing secrets, shortcuts, or complicated you’re on the wrong track.


People who say “I was going to but” tend to have worse outcomes than people who say “I was going to and I didn’t because.” The former is passive and it makes it seem like you had no control, like the world is acting on you. The latter is active: you made a choice.


The most talented person is rarely the right person.


Hard choices make an easy life.


If you agree to something, agree to give it your all and treat it like the most important thing in the world. If you can’t do that, just say no.


If you can't decide between two or more viable options, take the one that looks harder in the short term.


A lot of things that work for you also work against you. Inertia is a great example. If you keep doing what you've always done, you're going to get the same results you've always gotten. Decades get wasted expecting different results from the same inputs.


Decisions are the choices we make to overcome existing problems, avoid future problems, or seize opportunities. Good decisions make life easier not harder.


You don't have to do anything, you choose to. You might not like the reasons for doing something, but you have a choice. The world is never the same after you realize this.


Your environment is a highway to your subconscious operating system. This direct path influences our thoughts, feelings, and decisions. But we can alter its design to put us on the path to success.


When you focus on what you'd prefer to be true, you miss what is true.


You choose who you are with your actions each day.


Fear is thinking something bad might happen in the future. The more we fixate on the "something," the more paralyzed we get. Deciding not to act is often about avoiding the feeling of fear in the present. Courage isn't the absence of fear. Courage is acting in the face of fear.


You can't make a good decision if you don't ask the right questions.


Elimination rules save time. When one gets triggered, stop and walk away. Most people make a decision by processing information from A-Z and trading things off. Eg. While I don't trust the person, there are other things that make up for it. This is inefficient and ineffective.


What we choose to do is a reflection on how we see ourselves.


One of my biggest mistakes in the past year was spending 9 months agonizing over a decision and trying to have the best decision rather than an approximately correct one.


The easiest way for organizations to improve decision making instantly is to remove decisions from groups and assign them to individuals.


Human nature doesn’t change much. The methods by which we attempt to achieve our desires changes.


We are evolutionary programmed to want the the same things. What sets us apart is the resources at our disposal and how we choose to pursue them.


Thinking better isn’t about being a genius. It is about the processes we use to uncover reality and the choices we make once we do.


If you want to go fast make quick decisions. If you want to go far carve out time to think.


Focus on how you will decide, not the decision.


Bad choices. Bad consequences.

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