Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Don't Judge Your Decisions by the Results

I attended a Financial Literacy presentation the other day at the university where I work.  It was designed for the incoming freshmen; I was there just in case there were any financial aid questions.  There was only one, but attending the presentation itself was well worth my time.

For me, the most important thing the presenter said was this:

"You can't judge a decision by the result.  Judgment on results alone misleads people into making very poor decisions.  For example, if you drink too much, drive home and get there safely, the results show success when I think we can all agree that the decision making failed."

That first sentence hit my brain like a 2x4!  For years, I've been doing exactly that, judging most of my decisions by the results.  (Perhaps most people do this, but I can only speak for myself.) When the results are either bad or just not what I want/expect, I tend to assume that I made a poor decision, that I should have thought more about it, that I should have taken more time, blahblahblah...  In other words, I judge myself and decide that I am wrong.

Yet when I look back at those decisions, they were probably the best I could have made at the time, given the circumstances and what information I had.  So I've decided not to judge myself anymore on those things, but instead just continue to do the best I can with what I have, and let things work themselves out as life unfolds.

Feel free to do the same.  :-)


  1. So much wisdom in that first sentence!!

  2. That is really great wisdom! I must admit I spend a lot of time thinking "if I had done this, if I had done that!" even over little things, "why didn't I do this and save a second trip!" I am trying hard not to!

    1. I never realized how much we handicap ourselves when we assume that any decision we make that doesn't go the way we expect it to was a wrong one. Actually, I didn't realize I was doing it at all! But, better finding out late than never! :-)

  3. Replies
    1. Yes, those and all the "coulda, woulda, shoulda" songs we sing ourselves after the fact. Time to thow them out and find some new music!