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  • Writer's pictureDan Garcia

Better Decisions with Zero Based Thinking

Making difficult decisions

If you find yourself stressed over making a difficult critical decision about a current situation you're in there's a way to simplify the process and manage the anxiety you may be feeling.

Zero-Based Thinking, ZBT is a powerful, effective decision-making technique. It is a way of evaluating your current situation and deciding if you should continue in the same direction. It is fundamentally based on imagining yourself back at the zero point before a particular decision was made, and if you can still change direction, make those decisions today. Developed by author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy more than a decade ago, it asks the question, “Knowing what I now know, (KWINK) is there anything that I am doing today that I wouldn’t start again if I had to do it over?” there are investments, friendships, career decisions and relationships in your life that, knowing what you now know, you wouldn’t get involved in today.

ZBT can help you in many areas of your life, such as:

- Career: Are you happy with your current job or career path? Do you enjoy what you do and feel fulfilled by it? Do you have the skills and opportunities to grow and advance? If not, what would you rather do instead? How can you make the transition (perhaps a side hustle) to a more satisfying career?

- Relationships: Are you satisfied in your current relationships with family, friends, business partner, or spouse? Ask yourself "If I met them today, knowing what I now know, would I be in this situation." Do they support you, respect you, and bring out the best in you? Do you share common values and goals? If not, what can you do to improve your relationships or find new ones that are more compatible with you? These are challenging questions to ask, and even tougher to answer objectively, and honestly. Do it, be honest with yourself.

- Health: Are you taking good care of your physical and mental health? Do you have any habits or behaviors that are harming your health or well-being? Any toxic situations or relationships you need to eliminate? If so, what can you do to change them now or seek help if needed?

- Money Management: Ask yourself, "knowing what I now know, would I have made this investment, or started this company." If yes, hold it, and enjoy it. If your answer is No, get out of the situation as soon as possible, cut your losses and move on. Wishful thinking doesn't work. Are you managing your money wisely and living within your means? Do you have a budget and a savings plan? Do you have any liabilities that are weighing you down? If so, how can you eliminate them, pay them off or reduce the liability as soon as possible?

- Happiness: Are you happy with your life overall? Do you have a sense of purpose and meaning? Do you have a positive attitude and gratitude for what you have? If not, what can you do to increase your happiness and satisfaction right now. You only have one life; you don't know your expiration date. Live your best life now, find your happiness.

Utilize Zero Based Thinking. It can help you identify what is working and what is not working in your life. Using hindsight and experience it can help you make better choices that align with your true values and goals in mind. It can also help you avoid regrets and mistakes that can cost you time, money, energy, or happiness in the long run.

To apply ZBT, follow these steps:

1. Choose an area of your life that you want to improve, change or need to decide on.

2. Ask yourself: "Knowing what I now know, would I still make the same decision?" Be honest and objective with yourself.

3. If the answer is yes, congratulate yourself and keep doing what you are doing.

4. If the answer is no, identify what needs to change and why. Define the benefits of changing. And the lost opportunities of staying in the same situation.

5. Make a plan to change your situation, right now. Set realistic specific goals and action steps. Seek support and guidance if needed.

6. Take action now and monitor your progress. Celebrate your achievements and learn from your challenges.

Zero based thinking is not about dwelling on the past or regretting your decisions. It is about learning from your experiences and making better decisions for the future. It's about taking responsibility for your life and creating the best possible outcomes for yourself. Develop a new way of evaluating a current situation with ZBT.

"Always, Swing for the Stars" -Danny Garcia

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