Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Decision- How one should make? (Part-2)


Trust in yourself. Your perceptions are often more accurate than you are willing to believe.
-Claudia Black

What happens in decision making is that we have given choices and we have to select one. How do we select? We select by comparison. First we set an ideal and then compare each choice with the ideal and the choices which do not match are cut. The word 'decision' is itself derived from two Latin words 'de and caedere' meaning to cut off. The matching or nearly matching is selected and we act accordingly. Now the question arises that from where do we get choices? The answer is from past experiences or probable outcomes.

Let me give you a situation. Suppose a person is just arrived on earth and he had no prior experiences of anything, his memory was empty and he started a grocery store. He met his first customer and the customer wanted to purchase on credit and agreed to pay by the evening. Since he had no prior experiences of this type, he had to select on random basis. The outcome is 2 i.e. either he would pay or not pay; hence, the probability is 1/2. He sold the item to the customer. The customer also kept his promise and paid by the said time. Next day also another customer came and offered the same and he sold but that customer did not kept his promise and didn't pay by the said time. Third day a different customer came and demanded the same term. Now he had two prior experiences; in one promise was kept and in another promise was not kept. By combining the two separate incidences into one, the probability was still 1/2. So he trusted this customer and sold the item but this customer also failed to pay by the said time. On fourth day, a new customer came and promised the same terms as promised by previous customers but this time the person refused to sell because he had a reason to deny. In his last three experiences only one out of three paid and remaining two failed. The probability of paying is 1/3 and the probability of not paying is 2/3 which is greater than the probability of paying. Hence, his decision is justified. Is it? If we look from another perspective, this is a new event and the probability of paying is still 1/2, so it is not wrong to predict that he might get the payment this time.

It is deduced from the constant studies of Sir Roger Penrose, the eminent physicist of these days, on physical basis of consciousness applying quantum physics and Einstein's general theory of relativity on Plank's scale that consciousness involves a factor which is neither deterministic nor probabilistic but non-computable. Conscious choices and understanding may be non-computable and free will may be seen as a combination of deterministic pre-conscious processes acted on by a non-computable influence. This can explain why we generally do things in an orderly, deterministic fashion, but occasionally our actions or thoughts are surprising, even to ourselves. The finding seems true because in our hypothetical situation why the person chose to sell to the first customer despite the probability of payment being 1/2 is unexplainable.

There is also a way of choosing, called intuition, other than reasoning, which is non computable. It is also valid in situations of decision making where we do not know anything about ideal solution or the choices available and often referred as hunch. Let me clear by citing examples. We all are familiar with aromatic compounds. The basis of aromatic compounds is benzene ring which structure was revealed to August Kekule in a reverie of a snake seizing its own tail. We also know the famous story of Archimedes, who, while bathing in his bathtub got the idea of specific density and the displacement of water by it which later turned into famous Archimedes' Principle of Buoyancy, ran naked into the court of king shouting "Eureka Eureka" meaning I have found. The falling of an apple before the eyes of late Isaac Newton led to the theory of gravitation is also an established fact.

There was a scientist who was less publicized but had more than 200 patents in his name. He earned his living using faculty of intuition in making decision for individuals and corporation. He was Dr. Elmer R. Gates. He had a sound proof room which contained a table with papers & pen and a chair where he sat for ideas. Whenever he had to make decisions or seek ideas, he sat in that room thought over the problem and choices if available and remained there quietly until solutions began to flash in his mind.

I heard a story of a man who went to high mountains of Tibet to learn how to use faculty of intuition from a Buddhist monk. He arrived after long trekking of mountain. Upon his arriving, the monk gave him a cup and started to pour tea in it from kettle. He kept pouring. The cup overflowed but he didn't stop. The man shouted "what the hell happened to you? I heard a lot about you. I travelled such a difficult journey to learn from you but you seem to be a mad one. All my effort went into vain." The monk replied "in order to gain you must have some empty space to fill. Just trash out your mind."

The faculty of intuition functions only when the conscious mind is at harmony with nature and found to be more active in artistic persons such as painter, writer, musician and poet because they rely on inner perception. It is also a well known fact to the people who have keen imaginations that their best decisions come through the faculty of intuition. That is why; Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge.

We used intuitive faculty frequently in our childhoods but have become weak through inaction. It can be revived and made alert through use. This faculty needs to be trusted, the more a person relies on it, the better it functions. Just empty your mind, practice silence, non-judgment and spend time in nature.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become, everything else is secondary.
-Steve Jobs

10 comments:

  1. perfect.. sounds inspiring one.. thanks bro for the awesome article update indeed.. ;)

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    1. Thanks bro for cheering the post :)

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  2. This is a very interesting perspective Ravish. I like the use of probability and the consciousness theory. It brings in a whole new idea about decision making and also leads to how our experiences make a difference to the decision making trend. Smart one indeed :)

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    1. Thanks Vinay for finding it interesting and useful.

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  3. True.
    Nice interesting stories to illustrate your point, Ravish:)

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    1. I'm glad Anita that you like the stories :)

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  4. A great post loved the probability part while citing the example. Being an intuitive person I am playing with the concept that weather our intuitions are unconsciously linked to our memories?

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    1. Datta, Think in context of Jungian Collective Unconscious. Hope this post will give you more clues: http://rvsh.in/UN7RlH

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  5. Adding to this one more thought: Intuition is a relationship, the more you trust it, the more stronger it becomes. Very nice write up Ravish :)

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    1. Very well said Roohi. Intuition indeed likes to be trusted. The more trust it, the more reliable & useful it become. On the contrary, the more one test one's observation, the better it will work. Thanks for sharing such a useful tip on intuition here.

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