Don’t always judge by what you see | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

An anecdote was given by one of the richest men in Asia whose name is Jack Ma. He said, “If you give a monkey bananas and money, the monkey will choose bananas because it does not know that money can buy plenty of bananas.” Now that’s something we should all think about for a while and see how it can be applied in our lives as humans.

The first thing we must remember is the fact that the man who made the stamen was talking to human beings and not bananas. If he was, then the statement was not for monkeys, but for human beings to ponder on.

How many times have we taken a decision about a job that seems better because of the promised benefits? How many times have we chosen a life partner who initially seemed more promising but turns out to be an ordinary package with empty content? How many times have you chosen one product over the other only to realize the product you despised was the better one?

What lesson can we deduce from this short anecdote about choosing bananas over money? It clearly speaks of not making a decision based on the obvious benefit from the choices that we have in life. Sometimes, we are presented with opportunities and we don’t ever think twice about those opportunities. We just immediately decide on what looks clear to us only to realize later that what we left out was the better option. There are times we may never even find out that we made a wrong choice so we don’t get a chance to change our choices and we consistently make the wrong choice by choosing what’s seemingly better from the outlook.

How do we avoid making decisions solely on what’s obvious?

The first and the most important thing, except where one is pressed for time and decisions have to be made in seconds, is to seek proper counsel from experts. Sometimes, you think your decision is good and there’s nothing that seems wrong in all the premises for the logic of that decision. It may appear as though you have it carefully thought through and you shouldn’t waste a second more to act. You will be shocked at the possible perspectives or insights that experts may have on the same thing that already looks perfect to you. I know that monkeys can’t talk but let’s say that the money that was offered money and bananas was smart enough to ask someone about the decision, the money would have been told that money can buy a lot of bananas.

People who go far in life always have some people they consult when they need to take important decisions. Those decisions may not always seem good initially but relying on the benefit of hindsight and trusting experience to follow those decisions usually prove right.

The next thing to do in some situations is to ensure you don’t act immediately. Sometimes, a rush of adrenaline can push us to make a certain decision. When everything settles down, we suddenly realize we had taken a decision in the heat of the moment. There are many decisions we take in a hurry that don’t require immediate actions. While I always tell people not to procrastinate, it is also pertinent to understand the difference between procrastination and taking a “planned time” to make the right decision for what needs to be done.

What will be the benefit in taking a decision in a hurry and at the end of the day you don’t get the benefit from what you planned? You even end up losing money and start everything all over. In some cases, decisions taken based on what seems obvious can cause irredeemable damage or loss.  

While we can take all the time in the world and still make a wrong decision, we would have reduced all the possible mistakes by taking some time to think through what needs to be done and consulting other people. There are too many things that seem good on the outside and they are really good but there are other things that are far better though they don’t look it.

Are you about to take a decision? Is the decision urgent? Do you have the time to consult others before this decision? Please think again before making a final decision.

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