Using Values as the Driving Force for Decision-Making

It’s not hard to make good decisions when you know what your values are
Using Values as the Driving Force for Decision Making

Know yourself! Because when your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.

Karsten Noack




Life is full of choices


Yes, life is full of choices. Where you go, what you do, and who you become are the result of daily decisions you make.

Values are what we care about. As such, values should be the driving force for our decision-making. They should be the basis for the time and effort we spend thinking about decisions. But this is not the way it is. It is not even close to the way it is. Instead, decision-making usually focuses on the choices among alternatives.

Indeed, it is common to look at a decision problem and be influenced by the alternatives available. It seems as if the alternatives present themselves and the decision-making process begins when at least two alternatives are present. I think this occurs almost in all decision situations but it shouldn’t be like that. It should be possible to go about decision-making in another way.




Know your values


It is your values that are more fundamental to making decisions not looking at the alternatives to decide the best outcome.

Ask yourself why do you feel you need to choose an alternative option instead of letting things play out and see what happens?

The consequences of choosing alternative options may contradict your true values that are important to you and therefore this warrants attention.

The reason you are interested in making a decision in any situation is the desire to avoid undesirable situations and achieve good opportunities.

In any decision process, the alternatives are the means to achieving the more fundamental values you really want.

In my work, I consider the role that realizing your values play in decision-making. The approach is prescriptive: it concerns how values should be used to improve decision-making. The premise is that focusing early and sincerely on values will lead to more desirable results, and even to more appealing situations than you currently face.




Focus on what is important for you


In short, we should spend more of our decision-making time concentrating on what is really important: articulating and understanding our values and using these values to select meaningful decisions to ponder, to create better alternatives than those already identified, and to evaluate more carefully the desirability of the alternatives.

Using values as the driving force for your decision-making.