The player who is “under the gun” in poker is at at a disadvantage due to their position. The under the gun player is the first to act in the first round of betting, which means that every single one of the other players at the table will act after them. To be under the gun is to be under pressure. Too often we over estimate the sense of urgency – the pressure involved to make decisions in our lives. So often we put ourselves under the gun when we don’t need to do so.
Sometimes we make decisions because we just don’t want to deal with the problem any longer. So we make sloppy decisions.
Don’t apply unnecessary pressure. Fortunately, we have the time to think things through. Most decisions don’t need to be decided right now. Remove the pressure.
If we desire to make better decisions we must ward off the rush to solve bias.
If you’re in a hurry, you’re also more likely to fall prey to other biases. Avoid the rush to solve bias by slowing down decisions whenever possible. Awareness is the first step to improving quality of judgment.
It’s difficult to make smart, creative decisions when we are under the gun, when we apply unnecessary pressure. Most of the decisions we make are controlled by our mental shortcuts known as cognitive biases. A brain under real pressure needs cognitive biases to help drum up a good idea as quickly as it can. These biases are built into our brains to protect us from failure yet unfortunately they also hold us back from thinking of new and better ways of our solving problems. They block us from seeing solutions creatively.
Our minds are so tricky. Our brains wired to scan for potential threats. Sometimes, even when we aren’t under pressure we spend time worrying about what might happen in the future. When we contemplate about what might happen to us, when we spend time in our own minds, guessing about what might occur, we tend to bring along unrealistic thinking and perhaps even fear to help protect us.
Trying What is New and Unknown
Our ambiguity bias keeps us from embracing change in our lives because we fear unknown outcomes and we tend to favor that which we already know. We mistakenly choose to think about the tried and tested instead of the new and novel. This leads to doing the same things over and over, expecting different results.
What You Want vs. What You Worry About
As you take action and make decisions today, try to overcome your biases and tie your “to do’s” to what you desire for tomorrow. For everything you do today will have an impact on the rewards you reap in the future. Apply just a little more thought and intention, a little more time and a little less pressure to thinking about what you want to happen instead of what you worry might happen.
Read Mini Habits
A printable version of the Cognitive Bias Codex here.
The award-winning Illustrator and Art Director, Mario Sánchez Nevado, runs the Madrid-based studio Aégis Illustration, creating artwork and designs for bands and publishing houses all over the world.Part magical storyteller, and part sobering messenger of society’s ills, Mario’s work compels a deeper consideration of the world around us.