So, The Sniper Mind made Book Authority’s 100 Best Decision Making Books of All Time list.
Being featured alongside books by Ray Dalio, Nicholas Taleb and Nobel Laureate winner Daniel Kahneman made my three-year-long deep dive into the world of neuroscience and brain analytics worth every sleepless night I spent researching and writing it (and there were many). Recommendations to the Book Authority list are made by some of the top names of the business world (Richard Branson, Tim Ferriss, Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos as well as regular readers) and are then weighed against social media mentions, public sentiment and book reviews.
The field is always crowded and for a book to stick out enough to be noticed is an immense honor. It is also a sobering thought. In writing the book I embarked on a mission not just to write a book that would help business people make better decisions but to create a road map to better decision making for everyone in every situation.
There’s some difficulty in that. Not because it is hard to improve someone’s decision making process. We are, apparently, so bad at making decisions that improving the process is the easiest part. The hard part is to get us to accept that we are bad at making decisions.
It’s like somebody telling us: I know you can breathe, but you have to learn to breathe properly. That need becomes apparent only when we find ourselves out of breath trying to perform some intricate task (running, playing a wind instrument, singing, etc). Decision making is no different. Sure, we all make decisions all the time. But ask us to face a complex, fluid situation with insufficient data and we revert to emotion in order to respond and afterwards, logic in order to justify our response.
You’re right. It’s backwards. Here’s why: the brain, trying to make sense of the world reacts to sensory stimuli this is true even when there is no clear, overriding sense of understanding of what we do. Amoebas are smarter than we think (or we’re just plain dumber than we think).
My contention is that it really doesn’t have to be like this. We can train ourselves to overcome our inherent blindspots and instinctive biases and perform to a much higher standard. But for that to happen we need to acknowledge that our decision making is problematic.
Here’s how to do that. Ask yourself:
- Am I where I want to be in life?
- Do I feel happy doing what I do each day?
- Do I feel I have a sense of purpose in what I do?
- Do I have a deep sense of self with explicit values?
The answers you give to these four basic questions will define for you whether you are in charge of your life, making decisions that take you in the right direction or are, instead, just reacting to circumstances. That is the true measure of controlled decision making. The Sniper Mind helps you achieve it. Read a free sample of The Sniper Mind.