I’ve been giving thought to how- and why- I make decisions, especially the hard ones. I really subscribe to the Scott Adams approach, which he called “systems thinking.”
This basically states, among other things, that systems are more powerful than goals… and as a Steven Covey/ Seven Habits guy that almost hurts. If you want to reduce stress (as a goal), it’s the systems you use that will propel you there: (variations of diet, exercise, rest, recovery, mediation, etc.). Wanting something is not as powerful as doing something over and over, toward that end- and avoiding the detrimental things that tempt us along the way.
In business, my simplified and slightly adapted version consists of two criteria. Number one: I’m choosing projects based on the relationships and skills they will help me to develop, so that even if that project fails, I am succeeding in developing relationships and skills that can transcend that project and apply to other things. Second: I have to feel a very visceral excitement about the project; most often this comes down to taking a real world problem and making it better with technology. I really don’t try to change the world so much as improve it, a bit at a time. Then, as Pete Seger said, those teaspoons of good tip one day and there’s a day that seems like everything changed.
It did… but I’ll bet it happened one system at a time.