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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 41: Consider your options

In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.

Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Master

You need to open your mind into wide focus to consider all possibilities, and that is where creative thinking comes in. But then your valuing faculty must come into play to identify the feasible options – the ones that may or can be done, the practicable ones.

Notice the word options rather than alternatives. For an alternative is literally one of two courses open. Decision makers who lack skill tend to jump far too quickly to the either–or alternatives. They do not give enough time and mental energy to generating at least three or four possibilities.

When considering your options, remember that ...

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