How Descartes can help you make important decisions

Business Coaching

ProfectaBDI | July 22, 2022

Decisions, decisions, decisions

Should a new translator be hired? Move to a management position? Give feedback to the proofreader? Leave the company? Move to another country?




In business and personal life, we make decisions every day, and we basically never know if the decision was right until we experience the consequences. Even if we do not make a decision, it is actually a decision.



Thoughts generate feelings

Sometimes companies invest a lot of money in research just to make a decision for or against a certain project, because they know that a wrong decision could cost them millions. We will never know who or what was right, but we definitely know if we feel good or bad after the fact. And our feelings are triggered by our thoughts. If you want, you can take a look at our video about decision making and emotions as well.



To keep our thoughts going in the right direction, we want to share with you a simple but effective decision-making technique that you can use anywhere, every day.


Why is this so important? Because we want to achieve results based on our decisions, and shape our business and our lives the way we want them to be, not what fate or circumstances bring about.



Our decisions affect others too

We also want to be sure how our decision will affect others around us, so they do not have to suffer the consequences as well. We do not want to give in or give up. We just want to avoid the fear, stress and self-sabotage. Sometimes it is difficult to make small everyday decisions let alone the ones that influence the course of our lives.


First define what decision you want to make, for example, I want to accept the position of operations manager. Then ask yourself the following four questions:




Take your time and think about all the possible aspects, benefits, consequences, outcomes and actions for each question and do not worry about finding the right ideas, words or phrases. Just relax and focus on your decision.



Writing is even more powerful

Write down all your thoughts on a piece of paper or a Word file, whichever you prefer. Do not keep them in your head, because the written word has the power and you will have a good overview in the moment and later. After all, writing is the kinesthetic form that frees us.



Brainstorming itself is crucial because you will gradually gain more and more useful insights. Be sure to keep asking yourself WHAT ELSE? for each question to go deeper and deeper into your thought process.


Be brutally honest in the answers and try to imagine that you made the decision, try to see the picture, ask yourself what you hear, smell and feel in that future moment.



Your decisions are only your responsibility


You should be alone and not involve others because decisions are very personal and no one wants to be held responsible for your decisions.


Otherwise, this technique is called Descartes’ Square, after the French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes, who established this principle.


I hope this was useful and will help you make many good decisions in the future that will help you feel good.


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