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Decision Making


Dennis Gersten, M.D.

If you're like most of us, periodically you face decisions that leave you straddling the fence. You weigh one choice against another and discover that they seem equally weighted. We face such dilemmas in our work as well as throughout the rest of our lives.

Here is a powerful technique developed by Don Crawford, Ph.D., psychologist and contributing editor to Atlantis, the Imagery Newsletter.

Picture in your mind a scale. This scale is calibrated from 0 to 10. Now imagine that this scale has a needle or arrow that can point at any number on the scale.

Think of one of the choices you are contemplating. Then allow the needle to settle wherever IT chooses. If it lands on 10, that means you are 100% in favor of that choice. If it lands right in the middle on 5, you are 50% in favor of that choice; and if it ends up on zero, you do not want this choice at all.

This exercise is so simple one may wonder how it can work. The scales directly access your unconscious mind providing information that your rational mind couldn't find.

I have seen this tool used successfully for business executives making difficult corporate decisions. And my teenage daughter has also found it very helpful in buying presents for her friends. On one occasion she was torn between buying one present versus another. I asked her to picture the scales. One of the presents "came in at 9" and the other at 8. She immediately felt comfortable buying the "9." The scales are also a great indicator of how you are progressing with a decision that may require a good deal of research . . . and time. Use the scales. Then continue with brainstorming, thinking, planning and researching. Re-check the scales after you have done these other steps and see which direction the arrow on the scales is moving.

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