Life Is...
By Mr. Andrews 

Life is a long series of important decisions that must all be made with insufficient data.


Our success in every endeavor, in every compartment of life, is a function of how well we are able to make the correct decisions without all the data.
This is true of business, safety, marriage, health, hobby, friendships, or any other area. Even the question “What shall I have for lunch” must be answered with insufficient data. There is no way to know for sure what your body needs most that day, or how it might subtly be adversely effected by that day’s lunch.

When we make mistakes in decision making, it is often because we have relied too heavily upon only one part of the available data. Decisions should be made based on the totality, or Gestalt of the data. This includes hard data, creating new data by using logic, and intuitive data (feelings). The best all-around mix would probably be to give each of these a weight of 1/3 in our decision process. Failure is likely to occur when we rely solely or heavily upon only one of these three types of data. The very worst is to rely on only one data point of one of these types of data.

Peace of mind is the ability to do your best, and then not worry over it. - - - Repeat

We have peace of mind when we are able to accept the fact that we must make decisions without sufficient data. We should review the available information, make a decision, and then proceed with the confidence that we have done the best we can, given what data there was. If the decision turns out to be wrong, the person with peace of mind is able to say “Well, I did the best I could with what I had to work with. “I am OK.”

Worry is the opposite of peace of mind. - - - Repeat

Worry comes from the belief that you should be able to make perfect decisions, and the sure knowledge that you cannot. - - - Repeat This puts you in an impossible place! There is no escaping self-doubt. If your decision turns out to be wrong you really beat yourself up!

Flexibility is: (made of 5 parts)

  1. The ability to make a decision without enough data to be certain.
  2. The recognition that it may be wrong.
  3. The ability to do it anyway.
  4. Being alert for new data to appear.
  5. The ability to change your course of action, if new data indicates you need to.

If changed data requires changed plans, it doesn't prove you made a mistake. One can honestly say that based on the data available then and the data available now, both decisions were correct. You are in an “I’m OK" position.

Faith is the decision to accept as truth what is unprovable. - - - Repeat

Example 1: There is insufficient data to prove or disprove that there is a God. But, as with everything else, we take what data there is, and made the decision to believe or not.

Example 2: Faith in one’s self (in one’s ability to make correct decisions in the future) is unprovable. The ability to make correct future decisions can only be inferred (reasoned) from past correct decisions, and from the soundness of the thinking skills one uses in reaching decisions. In other words, the way one goes about thinking about it.

Mr. Andrews

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