How do we make decisions in a way that they create the best possible outcome? This is the point that I would like to discuss and explore in relation to the new controversial TV Series on CBS called “The Briefcase”
Each episode features 2 middle class families struggling with their finances. Each family is given a briefcase with 100 thousand dollars in it and are told that “They have a decision to make”. They can keep all of the money. Give part of it away. Or give all of it away to the other family that is also struggling. Though neither family knows that the other one was also given a brief case and has to make the same decision.
At first as I was watching the show, I was thinking how manipulative it was towards the families where in only specific amounts of information was being released in a strategic way so as to elicit the most entertainment value possible during the 72 hour time frame in which the families had to make their decision.
Basically both families were experiencing financial hardship, but the details of each family was not being revealed to the other one so the decision whether to keep the money for themselves or help another family in need was in a way a blind decision. As the show progressed, more and more information about the other family was released.
At first I thought “That’s not fair” “This is not how ‘real life’ works” But what I have realized, is that this is in fact actually how real life works! I started to look at my own experience with decision making and how many times I faced moments where I had to make a decision where I still wanted more information but didn’t have it and still was required to make a decision.
So this show did in a way really exaggerate this decision making process, but I did find it interesting that I could still find examples in real life that were as manipulative as this show was being.
I mean, think of sales for instance where you have 2 people negotiating over the value of something, and one person says this price and the other person counter-offers and so on and so on, and its like a test of nerves until a value is arrived at. Meanwhile neither person is being totally upfront but is engaging the other in away to get the most for themselves.
Or like when you meet someone, and you are walking the whole dating ritual point only revealing so much information, and really presenting yourself in a modified and edited way and then the other person has to make a decision based on the information they have even if its not accurate and incomplete.
So in fact people everyday are faced with these such scenarios where the information is being manipulated, or simply that you don’t have all the information but still you must make a decision.
Now one point that came up in the TV Series was the whole point about “Doing The Right Thing” and both of the families really struggled with this point. It was interesting to see the turmoil that each family was going through trying to figure out and understand what the right thing to do was. Do I keep all the money for myself? Or Do I give it away? What is the right thing to do? And this was such a fascinating question to be faced with.
Fascinating because ultimately we are all faced with this question daily. “What is the right thing to do”
So here I would like to share a principle that has greatly supported me in my life in making these such decisions.
I was shown this principle when I was around 26 or 27 years old and its interesting to think that I wasn’t aware of this until then. And it amazes me to think that most human beings on earth are not actually aware of such a principle with regards to guiding ones decisions in life. No wonder we have fucked up this world the way we have.
So the principle that I was introduced to and that I have been practicing since, is the principle of “Doing What is Best For ALL”
It is actually a form of math equation to determine in each and every moment and each and every decision what in fact WOULD CREATE THE BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME.
So this has definitely taken some time for me to develop within myself because for the first 26 years of my life my decisions, as most individuals decisions are, was being governed by SELF INTEREST.
So when I am faced with tough decisions in my life, I simply look at it from the perspective “What would be best for ALL”
Due to conditioning myself to always make decisions in Self Interest, It is still a challenging procedure to now re-direct myself to make decisions based on the BEST INTEREST OF ALL, and not just for myself alone.
So in the case of “The Briefcase”, what I would suggest to the families required to make such financial decisions is I would suggest, to simply work with the information you have and to do what would be BEST FOR ALL INVOLVED.
To learn more about this principle, please read the JOURNEY TO LIFE BLOGS. Blogs written by a growing group of individuals endeavoring to live this principle in their daily lives. You can find these blogs at the 7 Year Journey To Life facebook page.