How to improve your snap decision-making

Don’t be afraid to make decisions, even the wrong ones.

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Last month, I repeated the same mistake that I made last December.

A service technician of a company offered me a lower service fee as long as I would not declare the actual service done when their company called me. My mistake was I took the offer.

It was a win-win offer for me and the technician. I would pay a lower fee and the technician would get the full amount that I paid instead of receiving a small commission from the company.

It was a win-win offer, right? But, not for the company… and not for me and the technician in the long run:

  • The two companies, no matter how large they are, suffered from losses. The technicians used their respective companies’ resources and were also paid for their time. However, the companies did not get the right amount of payment.

  • Both times, I had problems with the service I received after two weeks. But, I couldn’t go after the companies to fix the problems because the actual services I received were not declared. It was also hard for me to reach the technicians even after they promised me the that they would take care of any problems themselves.

  • For the technicians, if they keep doing that and the companies they are working with suffer from losses repeatedly, the companies may be dissolved in the future and the technicians would lose their jobs. Not to mention, they may get fired if their respective companies find out. (For one of those technicians, the company did find out that he offered the same arrangement for many of the company’s clients and he was fired.)

Both of those times, the technicians made me the offer on the spot where I had to decide then and there. I had to make a decision quickly.

Under pressure, I made the wrong decision. Not only did I make the wrong long-term decision, I also did not do the right thing.

Decision-making is already hard enough when you have ample time to make a decision. Having very little time to do so makes it even harder.

So how do you improve your decision-making, especially the snap ones? Here are some things I learned from my past two mistakes:

  1. Keep making decisions. Don’t be afraid to make decisions, even the wrong ones. Decision-making is like a muscle. It gets better when you keep practicing it.

  2. Learn from your decisions, especially from your mistakes. Note down your learnings if you have to. (After my repeating my mistake, I took down notes to avoid making the same mistake the third time.)

  3. Know your values... and rank them. I value honesty and doing the right thing. But, I also value being frugal. When I had to make a quick decision, I valued my frugality over my honesty and I failed to do the right thing. Now, I’m learning to value honesty and doing the right thing even if it means spending a little bit more.

  4. Catch yourself when you are under pressure. If you can, step away from the conversation. Ask your spouse or someone with you for advice. Break the flow of the conversation. That will help you think clearly and make the right decision based on your values.

I’m happy to share that just last week, another service representative gave me a similar offer, but I refused. I guess somehow, I’m already learning from my mistakes. (But, I also felt disheartened because of employees who are doing those kinds things to the companies who are paying them.)

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How to work on your dreams when you have limited time

Make time for what you really, really, really want to do.

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From 10 in the morning up until midnight — that has been my usual working hours for the past three months.

I love my work. I love what I do and the people I am working with.

But with limited time to spare to work on my dreams, I have to come up with a solution. (Not to mention, I also have my own share of household chores. I also try to squeeze in as much quality time as I can with my wife and daughter.)

To get back on track, here are some ideas that I’ll be trying to be able to work on my dreams with my limited time:

  1. Make time for what I really, really, really want to do. That is, writing and sketching. Even just 15 minutes a day.

  2. Break what I need to accomplish into the smallest chunks that I can work on each day. So, if I wish to write a short book that is around 20,000 to 30,000 words. I can do that and more in one year by writing even just a hundred words per day.

  3. Start small to start now. I also wish to be able to write a blog post daily again. Writing 500 or a thousand words can be paralyzing. But if I start with just 100 words a day, I can get started again.

  4. Take away what’s stopping me from doing what I have to do. Remove the obstacles. Reduce the friction. I had been writing my thoughts on my journal for the past few months. But I hadn’t posted them on the blog because I had to write them again by typing them on my laptop. It added an extra step for me to be able to post. So, why not write my thoughts directly on my laptop instead?

  5. Do it imperfectly. Do it afraid. This post is unpolished. Probably unfinished as well. But if I don’t publish this imperfect post now, when will I be able to post again? I’m taking an unsure step. But at least I’m going somewhere.

I guess that’s it for now. Let’s see how this goes.

Write to you on Wednesday, if time permits.

No, I’ll write to you on Wednesday. I’ll commit to it.

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Created for the seventh

Every thing we are doing should be leading us to and preparing us for heaven.

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In a podcast by Dr. Scott Hahn, he shared how every thing God made during the first six days of creation was created to be consecrated on the seventh day — to be blessed, to be holy, or to be set apart for His purpose.

It reminds me of the opening paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):

God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. — An excerpt from the CCC paragraph 1

God created us for the seventh day, for eternity with Him — to share in His eternal and blessed life.

This is an eternity of praising God, glorifying Him, remaining in His love, and putting Him above all else.

Praising God, glorifying Him, remaining in His love, and putting Him above all else… Isn’t this like the Holy Mass where we praise God and put Him above all else and be with Him in the Eucharist?

In a more immediate sense, we are created for Sunday. Every thing we are doing should be leading us to and preparing us for the Liturgy.

In the eternal sense, we are created for everlasting life with God. Every thing we are doing should be leading us to and preparing us for heaven.

As the Sunday Liturgy is the highlight of our week, eternity is the highlight and purpose of our lives.

Is the work you’re doing leading you to eternity? How about the words you say, the food you eat, your eating or spending habits, your hobbies, or how you spend your free time? Are you glorifying God through how you are living your life?

Will you spend this week, from today until Saturday, preparing yourself for Sunday?

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Alive through the saints

Jesus was alive in the lives of the saints — through their journeys, their works, their courage to share the Gospel, and their martyrdom.

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When visiting old churches, I love looking at murals and stained glass windows depicting the lives of saints.

In just a few paintings or windows, you will learn the journeys and the works of the saints. You will also learn where and to whom they shared the Gospel. Most of the time, they lived and shared the Gospel in pagan territories. And sometimes, you will learn how they were martyred for their faith and their works.

What never fails to be impressed upon me is how Jesus was truly alive in the saints.

Jesus was alive in their own lives — through their journeys, their works, their courage to share the Gospel, and their martyrdom.

For us, the Christians of today, we believe that Jesus is alive.

He is alive during our prayers. He is alive in our personal and private lives. He is alive in the Mass, in the Eucharist, in our services.

But, is He also alive in our public lives?

Do we let other people know that He is alive — through our actions, our words, and our lives?

Do we have the courage or the audacity to share with others that He is truly alive?

We need more modern day saints. We need more Christians through whom other people will know that Jesus truly lives — through their words, their works, and their lives.

Will you be one of those saints?

Jesus is alive in you.

P.S. Do you know why old churches have these murals, sculptures, or stained glass windows? When we visited an old church, our guide told us that this was called “visual catechesis.” Hundreds of years ago, many people were illiterate. They could not read or write. But through paintings, murals, sculptures, and stained glass windows, they were able to learn more about the Gospel and the lives of many saints who shared and even gave up their lives for the Gospel. Such is the beauty of our faith.

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Create new possibilities

God has given us the ability to change what is possible in our lives. He has given us the ability to shape our future.

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There are some things in life that seem impossible.

For me, it is writing a book, running a successful business, and becoming a full-time blogger.

For some, maybe it is going up the career ladder or finding the love of their lives. And for hundreds of millions around the world, it’s getting out of poverty.

Two weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a condition in my left eye where my vision has become impaired. It has become harder for me to work with this condition and my dreams only seemed to become even more impossible.

In times of desperation, I only prayed even more. And while my eye cannot see clearly, it is my faith that makes me see ever more clearly that God is with me. And with God, nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37)

He is the One who gave us the ability to change what is possible in our lives. He has given us the ability to shape our future. Creating us in His likeness, He has given us the ability to create new possibilities in our lives.

Remember then the Lord, your God, for he is the one who gives you the power to get wealth, by fulfilling, as he has now done, the covenant he swore to your ancestors. — Deuteronomy 8:18

This ability is the bridge that will allow us to get out of our impossible situations and into the limitless possibilities that God has in store for us.

It starts with believing that God is with us. Then, we reimagine what’s possible in our lives. Finally, we put in the work with faith.

Are you in a difficult or impossible situation? Create new possibilities.

P.S. And when you have created new possibilities in your life, help others do the same.

As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace. — 1 Peter 4:10

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