• mr. ikigai

LIFE SKILL: DECISION-MAKING

Updated: Apr 9, 2018


For each day, from the moment we open our eyes and our consciousness we are already making a decision. It is an auto function of the human brain as it was with the pumping of the heart, the breathing of the lungs, the cycle of the blood, and so on. Making a decision is a very important skill, not only for survival, but a life skill as a whole. It is a naturally complex process that involves gamut of all things that can possibly get affected by that decision.


In a workplace set up, a controlled environment, sound and calculated decision-making is an important trait that organisations are looking for an employee. One must have proven experience with decision-making most often accompanied by problem-solving skills. Usually, people who are entrusted management roles and responsibilities are the ones making decisions for the company their working for. Each situation is either guided by a standard operating procedure or will be under their judgment call, which means they will have to exercise their innate skills in making at the very least a calculated decision that works best for the company in all possible circumstances.


I have seen people and situation in the middle of making a decision and I noticed that similar to project management’s approach to risk management, people tend to accept, avoid, transfer and/or mitigate a decision. Oh, I am not jut talking about work-related decision-making here, again, I’ve seen it in quite every situation in a person’s life. Let me give you some examples:


ACCEPTANCE


Not so long after I finished college and immediately started working, I have taken over the driver’s seat in our home when it comes to financial obligations. I was an instant bread winner. This is very common for most Asian families. Only after about 2-3 years of working non-stop that I started to ask questions such as “Why am I in this situation?” “How come other people that I know are living a more comfortable life than myself?” “What will happen to my personal dreams and aspirations?” And sure, these are valid questions. One should dare to ask in order to find answers.


As for me, I didn’t have to search for the answers to these questions for so long. I almost instantaneously got the answers right in front of me: family. By simply knowing that these special people in my life need me, I have already ACCEPTED the decision to take the driver’s seat. Whenever I have to make a decision that would affect my family’s welfare by not being able to support their needs, on whether or not a job is way too difficult or uncomfortable for me, on why I should not give up so easily, I have to always consider them because of my decision to fully support them. And by making this decision, I know it is by necessity that I should be a responsible provider.


AVOIDANCE


I am a product of a broken family. Broken in the best sense of the word because my parents are no longer together (so long ago). They were the modern and unconventional family of the 80s. The so called “it’s complicated” relationship status. And because of this, my dad has managed to press on his bachelor’s life. He is such a gigolo or in a vey low fashion language was a male prostitute! He was then the today’s version of “fuckboy” or that guy who won’t commit to anything, most specially with responsibilities. But according to my dad, with an iota of agreement from my side, he is slightly a good version for being the lover and an intermittent father to his children.


He was the classic example of a guy who became a father as a “noun” and not so as a “verb”. Sure you know what I mean and this is an act of avoidance. I was lucky enough that I grew up knowing I have a dad and that he is just around somewhere . He did manage to support a little for a while but we have survived through most years with the joint efforts of my mom and my grandmother. Being a provider is bits and pieces of being a husband and a father and sadly for our case, my dad eventually decided to AVOID his responsibilities over us. Perhaps, it’s the best decision he can make then.


TRANSFER


To me, the image of my mom is that of a modern woman. She’s strong, free-spirited, less dramatic and care-free. At a young age of about 17 or 18 years old, because of an ailing father to stroke and dementia, the decision-maker role of their family that time was TRANSFERRED to her. She has not much of a choice because the situation pressed her to take ownership of the “decision-maker” and that of the “provider” status. Perhaps, it has become an easy decision for me to take care of our family when it was already my turn because of the good examples of my mother as solid provider.


She managed to built a home for her dad and mom. She gave her mom a much comfortable life. She raised a sister. She fed and helped a bunch of people with or without her knowing it. She struggled, survived and provided for my sister and I. And now, she is still taking care of us with my nephew putting colours and vibrance in all our lives. I am grateful she made the decision to accept the responsibilities of that of a man. She is my inspiration.


MITIGATE


I was my grandma’s boy. I grew up under the caring watch of my beloved grandma. And it’s not surprising that we share a lot of moments together, including those times I would often hear her say she doesn’t want to grow very old. She would sometimes ask questions like “Will you take care of me when I can no longer carry myself to the toilet?” “Are you going to take care of me when I am already very sickly?” I vividly remember not responding in all of her questions, but, inside my mind it was torture. The mere thought of losing her was a nightmare for me. During those days, I couldn’t imagine life pass me without her. She was also my life.


Years after grandma passed away was I able to understand her last words and actions. She said she doesn’t want to grow very old because she is mitigating our family the burden of taking care for her. She is mitigating the possible expenses when it’s already necessary to take her in and out of the hospital. She has mitigated each and everyone in the family with the responsibility of looking after an elderly member and be able to go on with our lives. Sure, her life is not of her own, but as I saw that it was her decision to follow the light to MITIGATE the cost of having her around. I hate it! I miss her so much. But I always trust she knows better. I long for the day I would see her again.


Decisions, whether big or small, can either be accepted, avoided, transferred or mitigated. What important is in every decision that you make don’t forget to seek the will of the Lord and when your decision is made “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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