Our Decisions Shape Our Lives

By making a decision, we choose to cut off one alternative future to pursue another. Our decisions shape our lives.

“Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you.” –John C. Maxwell


“Decision” and “scissors” have the same root. By making a decision, we choose to cut off one alternative future to pursue another. Our decisions shape our lives. The purpose of making good—quality—decisions is to get more of what we truly want out of life. This website provides a foundation for understanding and teaching quality decision-making.

Many decisions are easy and can be made quickly, whereas others are both important and difficult. The ideas and methods presented here apply to any decision, simple or complex. They are drawn from an extensive body of theory and practice from multiple disciplines including decision theory, psychology, group dynamics, mathematics, economics, and probability.

Head and Heart Guide Quality Decisions

In making decisions, we need to rely on both the head and the heart. Quality decisions make sense and feel right. Yet we must be aware that we all tend to solve problems from our comfort zone and tend to emphasize either our head or heart. Further, we have different personal styles in how we approach decision-making—for example, methodological versus intuitive. Also impeding our decision-making capability are our biases, which affect how we filter and interpret information and prompt us to bolster our beliefs by seeking information that confirms our way of thinking. Understanding our preferences and biases helps us leverage our natural strengths and anticipate where we might want to work harder or seek help.

A Process to Reconcile Head and Heart

This website explains the importance of declaring a conscious choice in making a decision, of using the six elements of decision quality (DQ) to structure decision-making, and of iterating through a proven decision-making process to reach a quality decision. In addition, we present tips for knowing ourselves better so we can counteract our biases. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go....

–Dr. Seuss

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

–Robert Frost