Best decision in the past 5 years?

Think about the best decision you’ve made in the past 5 years.

Now, say it aloud.

Great.

Did the outcome from the decision work out well?

If the answer to this was yes, it is likely you, like most people, are conflating decisions and outcomes.

A wise friend asked me this question recently. And, my instinct was to pick a decision that worked out well, too. I missed a couple of great decisions that didn’t have good outcomes in the short run.

Good decisions aren’t the same as good outcomes. Good decisions may not have good outcomes in the short run. But, in the long run, things tend to work out.

This is a powerful lesson in decision making. I’ve also found it to be a powerful lesson in how to be happier. A focus on process, in this case decision making, helps us keep our outcomes in perspectives. Regardless of the outcome, if it was a bad process, we learn how to run a better process. And, if we ran a good process, we learn to ignore the short term outcome and focus on the long term. We win either way.