Choosing How Mistakes Affect Our Beliefs

Michael Ken
4 min readOct 3, 2021
Photo by Oliver Roos on Unsplash

We make decisions every day, and some decisions are small while others go on to affect us for our entire lifetime. How we make decisions is an essential factor in determining the quality of our lives. Most people never really think about how they make decisions or wonder if there is a different or better way of doing this.

There are, however, two common ways most people process information. Each has a radically different methodology that produces different results in how we experience interactions with our environment, other people, and ourselves.

Before examining which technique you use and how it can change the quality of your life, we should remember some basic facts about how we make decisions. Most people try not to make mistakes, and we attempt to make decisions that will produce some favorable results. By this, I mean to say that we make decisions that we believe will have a particular, predictable consequence. We expect that most of our choices will be correct.

How We Make Decisions

We ascertain the most likely consequence based on our understanding, experience, and education about how the world works. We use some basic rules about how the world functions, which inform us about the results we are likely to produce when we make a specific action. For example, if we are kind to people, we expect people to be kind back, and if we are tailgating a car while driving down the highway, we should not be surprised when the other driver becomes angry or scared.

Likewise, life has taught us various rules about life according to our individual experiences. “Nothing good comes for free,” “some things are too good to be true,” “if you are a good person, then life will reward you.” The list goes on and on. These are all examples of rules we believe govern reality. And we use these rules to determine the most likely outcome of any given decision we make.

But what happens when our expectation falls short? What happens when you make a decision that turns out to be wrong?

Being Wrong

Before we make a decision, we consult our beliefs and use this base to help us determine what outcome we seek and what decision is most likely to produce that result. But when we are…



Michael Ken

My journal about life in the woods. Visit to see my complete journal, photographs, and articles.