THE SIMS METHOD
A New Criteria For Creative Thinking and Decision Making of Contemplated Action
The chart above graphically depicts the decision making criteria I eventually learned to consciously employ, and particularly around major decisions. We don’t face many of these, but these are the ones which significantly alter our destiny. For example I could have taken a job right out of an MBA program, but I felt at some level that my destiny lay in Hawaii. Ultimately I packed my bags, and bought a one way ticket to Hawaii without a clue as to what I would do. . Sometimes we have a great deal of time to mull over a decision. But more frequently, even big decisions are being required at the last minute. The significant job offer ; or the opportunity to start a business; or the major move away from friends, relatives, and connections perhaps even to a dangerous location are good examples.
Intuitive decision making training and strategies are more likely to be part of the equation, and therefore essential as a matter of survival in the 21rst century. The objective is to develop trust in this new territory and its’ maps with the same degree of confidence that existed in the more linear decision making model with which we are so familiar.
Here then are the parameters of the model.
(1) Set your goal for the “best outcome for all concerned” as it relates to the action contemplated. If for group decision making, think of it as harvesting the group mind by aligning the group creative thinking process.
This intention is a foundation order to the collective unconscious and your ultimate team builders, or what I have termed your invisible partners.
(2) Evaluate action contemplated through a values screen. Is it ethical? Is it purposeful? Is it harmful? Is it in line with your core values? If not, stop. Consider a new action. I am not saying that your desired outcome might not occur if you did not use the values screen above. Perhaps it might. I am suggesting that perhaps your life’s journey might be smoother if you do apply the values screen.
(3 ) Risk assessment is perhaps the biggest challenge in this overall decision process. The higher the risk the greater the consequences resulting from an unfavorable decision. Yet an early failure might be a necessary step to a better solution. There is the story of the Chinese peasant whose prize horse escapes. The next door neighbor says to him,” Oh, what a tragedy.” The peasant says, “Maybe so maybe not. The peasant sends his son out the next morning, riding a mule, to recover the horse. The son falls off and breaks a leg, but recovers the horse. The next door neighbor says, “Oh what a tragedy.” The peasant says, “Maybe so, maybe not.” The next day the Chinese army sweeps through the village conscripting every able bodied young man. The peasant’s son is spared.
(4) Practicing consciously using the same decision making process for low risk as well as high risk will hone the skills much as diving skills are improved incrementally from low board to high board. This is very critical because we need feedback when in new territory to give ourselves confidence. Starting small without much at risk does this. Note for example when you need a parking place and get it. Or when you are late to a meeting, but then it has been delayed. Or you need to meet someone and they show up. These things look so much like coincidence that we give ourselves no credit for creating the energy that put this order in place and the results that ensued.
(5) As you move up the risk continuum evaluate the “nature of the desire or objective.” Is it for a pure experience or is it masking a fear? A pure experience would be obtaining a goal for the sheer joy of it, ie, to build a better product, one that lasts or is easier to use. Masking a fear implies that the objective is to gain an outcome so as to prevent some fear from occurring. That is, the fear inadvertently may replace the ultimate goal. The fear becomes the projection to your invisible partners of what you want. It is a diluted request. For example let’s say you want a new car to suggest to others that you are a success. The fear is that you maybe thought of as a failure without the car. Your focus in this case is on failure and failure may be more likely now to occur. Therefore If the action is masking a fear, then stop. Consider a new action.
If your objective is for a pure experience, then check your intuition. If you get a “no” then stop. Consider a new action. If you get a “yes,” then proceed until you: (a) get a successful outcome, or(b) a negative outcome. A negative outcome may not necessarily be bad. It may simply cause a new and better course of action.
(6) Before realizing an outcome you may experience synchronicities (signposts that are referred to as meaningful coincidences). There is a meeting between an inner desire and outer world occurrence. For example lets say you pick up the phone to call me, and just as you do, the phone rings and it is me calling you. You need to listen to why I called as the information now has more importance to it. I like to think of it it as your invisible partners trying to give you some information, which you need to harvest. (In this case I am serving as an unknowing conduit.) For example, let’s say I suggest for you to go to an art opening tomorrow. Either on the way, at the event, or afterwords you may meet someone, or see or hear something that will be meaningful in a positive or negative manner. If you fail to go, then the potential connections will be lost to you.
(7) If the synchronicity is positive keep proceeding. If it is negative then either stop and consider a new action or continue on until you receive a confirming second negative synchronicity. In which case, stop and consider a new action.
Harnessing your intuition by practicing low levels of risk and documenting, the feedback provides confidence to accept greater degrees of uncertainty. Consciously embracing this creates more confidence in the process and provides you a more tested and creative model for decision making.
Employing this model does not mean you do not use other linear models concurrently. Obviously big decisions require as much research as you have time for and will include risk and reward evaluations, advice from experts, friends and even adversaries. Ultimately you want all of the help you can get. Yet when all of the left brained data has been digested, you may ultimately yearn for another level of evaluation which I hope this adds. You may enjoy my guidebook, available on amazon ,which outlines a number of exercises. It is also available on Kindle.
I would welcome feedback .