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The art of making tough decisions

In 2018, a pilot made an emergency landing after the jet engine of a passenger plane ripped apart mid-air. If you hear the audio clip from the cockpit, which became public, you will notice how calmly the pilot spoke with air traffic control. She even surprised herself with her level of calmness. Everyone was amazed at her ability to make such a tough decision with so much precision single-handedly.

You might not be in a similar situation where you need to make a life-or-death decision but every single day, you’ve got to make decisions at your workplace. Some of these decisions are relatively simple while many are critical and tough ones. In today’s world, there is an abundance of information and training available on decision-making. Yet, in times of crisis and uncertainty, people still tend to freeze. Many say, “I don’t know if I want to make a decision” because, in times like these, we tend to operate with a victim mindset rather than a leadership mindset.

Working with some successful people, I have observed that they follow a straightforward yet powerful decision-making equation, which can be written as Decision = Event + Feeling.

While the vast majority of us focus on the event and our actions, successful people consciously focus on the feeling element in decision-making. They know that they cannot control the events in their lives, but can master how they experience them. And that is what differentiates the end results.

For example, the biggest reason people dread making tough decisions is that they are afraid things won’t work out as planned. If your decisions are based on your fear, the results won’t be great.


According to studies, our feelings can affect not just the nature of the decision but also the speed at which we make it. Anger can lead to impatience and rash decision-making. Fear can slow down the decision-making process. There is an old saying ‘Don’t make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions’. Successful people recognize and understand their feelings to look at decisions as objectively and rationally as possible.

Unfortunately, most people aren’t good at managing or even recognizing their emotions. Decision-making isn’t so much about skills and knowledge. It is an inner element to be mastered.

So it is imperative to be aware of the ‘feeling’ factor in decision-making. When you have faith in yourself and possess the confidence and self-belief to trust your instincts truly, you are instilled with the ability to make the right decisions without second-guessing your mind.

Master your inner leader, and you will master everything around you.

Hope this helps in your journey toward success.

Your Good Friend + Mentor

Payal Nanjiani

Connect with me on Instagram here @payal Nanjiani


Note: This article of Payal, was also featured in Deccan Herald, Read it here.**



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