The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.
Our goal in making decisions is to get the most of what we truly want—and what we want is a function of what we value. Luckily, it's not necessary to tackle our entire value system when making a specific decision—we simply have to answer the following question: What do we truly want in this decision situation?
While a good set of alternatives is essential for any choice, we cannot effectively compare alternatives until we've articulated what we want. “What makes this alternative more attractive than another?” That can be a difficult question to answer when:
Ultimately we need to reach clarity about which alternative we prefer and why we prefer it. This chapter explores the values and tradeoffs that make that possible.
For the purposes of this book, values are the things we care about when we make a decision. Some values can be judged directly. For example, a professional restoration specialist can estimate the monetary value he will receive from the sale of a refurbished automobile. In his profession, the sale price of automobiles gives him a direct indication of value—what it is worth to him. In other circumstances, value metrics