Net Positive and Net Negative Decision Making

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Studies have suggested that we humans make approximately 35,000 decisions each day. This sounds like an enormous number, but the vast majority of our decisions are very small, like where we sit or look next to which lane we choose on the highway. On occasion, we can make some really big decisions too, like putting in an offer to buy a house, saying "I do" or choosing a surgeon.

For the sake of this article, let's assume that only 1% of the decisions we make each day will affect our overall wellbeing in one or more of the following five key areas: physical, occupational, economic, mental and social (POEMS acronym).

Time for some simple math. One percent of 35,000 equals 350 somewhat important decisions each day. That's 2,450 meaningful decisions per week and 127,750 each year. This data reveals something I think we can all agree on ... we make a heck of a lot of choices. This is a good thing, as it gives us plenty of opportunities to do things right!

The next step is to examine the efficacy of the 350 meaningful decisions we make each day. Are these choices net positive or net negative to our wellbeing? In short, is each choice helping or hurting us.

This is probably rudimentary, but listed below are some examples for each category:

Physical Wellbeing - Letting alarm clock wake you after only 4 1/2 hours of sleep is net negative. Eating a double quarter pounder with cheese for lunch is net negative. Choosing to workout for 30 minutes is net positive.

Occupational Wellbeing - Bad mouthing a colleague is net negative. Hating your boss is net negative. Deciding not to create and follow a career plan is net negative. Working to improve your skills is net positive.

Economic Wellbeing - Spending what you don't have is net negative. Gambling and high risk investments are net negative. Creating and sticking to a budget are net positive.

Mental Wellbeing - Lying and suppressing true feelings are net negative. Harboring resentment or jealousy is net negative. Choosing to do drugs is net negative. Pursuing new things with passion and moderation is net positive.

Social - Harassing or bullying someone is net negative. All forms or lewd behavior are net negative. Volunteer work and community service are net positive.

Okay, I'm sure you get the picture. Unfortunately, there are many who don't. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, approximately 48% of Americans admit to struggling or suffering as opposed to thriving. That's more than 150M people! Take a look around you, nearly half of the people you see are in this bracket; which is likely to include yourself.

If it's only 1% of the decisions we make each day that impact our wellbeing, then how can so many get it wrong? In order to answer this, I need to revert back to a topic in my previous blog (link below) to touch on Cognitive Awareness and Cognitive Dissonance. Personal Brand Loyalty

Our actions need to support our values and beliefs, and in order to do so, we need to identify what these values and beliefs are. For this reason, "Who are you?" is one of the first questions asked in my book, Welcome to the Big Leagues. Knowing this is a must!

Now, back to the 48% of those in this country who are struggling. What can be done for them? Unfortunately, when people are depressed they suffer in the ability to make value-based decisions. Nothing feels right, feels good or seems appealing. Essentially, they give up Cognitive Control; a fundamental skill to guide behavior and suppress inappropriate responses.

We cannot afford to remain oblivious to the overall value and risk versus reward of each decision. We must start taking control of our choices now. Even if we get it wrong, we will have plenty of opportunities to get it right. Even the best in baseball only get a hit 3 out of 10 times. Does this mean that they should stop trying? Of course not, baseball players know this, deal with failure 70% of the time and work extremely hard to avoid a slump.

The only thing worse than giving up is remaining unaware.

There are winning strategies to help thrive in each of the five key areas of wellbeing. I go through this in more detail in Chapter 7 of Welcome to the Big Leagues and I'm also working on a presentation about this subject. Hopefully, I will be able to reach my target audience with it soon.

If you are part of this graduating Class of 2014, you are about to start an exciting new chapter of your life. It's now time to up your game and "Empowerize" yourself  to make the right choices. Each day, try to make those 350 decisions reflect the highest you.

Start small. As small as removing the F-word from your vocabulary. Presidents, great business leaders and many other thriving Americans don't use it or need it to drive a point, so why should you? It's time to shake old habits and start fresh with the aim of being your best.

If you had a greasy fast food burger for lunch, eat a salad for dinner. Every poor food choice we make will have a net negative result. Counter these by making twice as many net positive decisions.

Instead of pointing the finger to someone, think twice to see if you are escaping personal responsibility.

"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month." -Theodore Roosevelt

"In the long run, we shape our lives, and ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility." -Eleanor Roosevelt

Phase 2 of the project will be to examine how your decisions and actions affect the wellness of those around you. As we all face the battle to uphold a positive wellbeing, there is zero room for collateral damage. Good luck and be great!

 

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"As a manager and mentor of recent college graduates throughout my whole career, I have finally found a guide book to recommend to those that want to succeed. Welcome to the Big Leagues gives straight-forward advice to new entrants to the maze that is corporate America. Passionate, practical and with a purpose!"

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"A positive wake-up call to remind us on how to do things right again. Welcome to the Big Leagues logically details the methodologies needed for building a blue print towards success. I wish I had this when I was entering the working world after my undergraduate degree. Every college graduate with the aspiration of performing at full potential should read Continue Reading

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"I've read Welcome to the Big Leagues twice and found it to be just like watching a movie, where you pick up more the second time around. This book is very powerful and packed with real world advice that college students, graduates, and millennials will all benefit from."

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"Carmine presents this treatise against the backdrop of professional baseball; it is a highly entertaining read, providing humor and insight to cement his points and advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues is not only a guide for the corporate neophyte, but a useful guide for evaluation at any level in one’s career. After 30 years in technology development, I have found Continue Reading

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"The corporate rookie of today could benefit from additional support, as the demanding and competitive business landscape has become less forgiving of mistakes and poor decisions. Welcome to the Big Leagues emphasizes the importance of actively managing a host of critical success factors like the ability to drive results, strong collaboration and fiscal responsibility. It provides readers with the much needed Continue Reading

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"Carmine identifies the critical components that are necessary to live, survive and succeed in the corporate world. He does so in a manner that parallels the world of baseball and adds a dash of humor along the way."

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"Finally a 'manual' for true professionalism in today's corporate workplace. From my seat, I have witnessed far too many times a recurring theme: Rookies, newcomers, young employees all looking to go from A to Z without any stops in between. This book should be a mandatory read for all job applicants and veterans like us who could surely use a refresher. Carmine Continue Reading

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Welcome to the Big Leagues: Nine Innings of Essential Tips for the Corporate Rookie
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David Tu, President, DCL Inc

"Very creative! Welcome to the Big Leagues is a unique thesis on how to make an impact on the corporate environment. Using baseball as the backdrop, the reader is able to easily absorb and remember the lessons, the author, Carmine Del Sordi, is conveying. Very few business books speak to both physical and mental wellbeing; which further makes it essential Continue Reading

"Every business rookie and professional will recognize themselves somewhere in Welcome to the Big Leagues, as it presents thought provoking stories and solutions to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Del Sordi creates a powerful tool that helps readers to align actions with who they want to be and where they want to go in life."

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"Every business rookie and professional will recognize themselves somewhere in Welcome to the Big Leagues, as it presents thought provoking stories and solutions to the challenges we face in our daily lives. Del Sordi creates a powerful tool that helps readers to align actions with who they want to be and where they want to go in life."
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