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How a ‘Cutting Board’ can Help in Decision Making

We all have decisions to make every day as we prioritize tasks, responsibilities, people, and events in our lives.  It often comes down to a decision of weighing the long-term value versus the immediate sacrifice we must make in making those decisions. 

This is especially true when it involves managing a limited budget and balancing both personal and business needs. 

We often tend to put off making the more important (larger expenditure) decisions thinking that somehow things will change soon making the decision easier, less risky or less of a sacrifice. 

Let me share with you how I use a ‘cutting board’ to help me with such decisions.  I’ve found that this method helps me to make the right decisions most all of the time. 

So one day I was in the kitchen section of a department store looking to buy a cutting board for my new home.  I quickly found the cutting boards and there was quite an assortment to choose from.  When I first arrived at the store, in my mind this was a no-brainer, just a simple thing.   I expected to find what I wanted quickly and spend about $10, get in and get out, like I always do. 

Upon reviewing the assortment in front of me to choose from, all of a sudden it wasn’t such a simple thing anymore.   There was plastic, laminated bamboo, teak, small, medium, large, different designs and of course different prices.    Hmmm.  

I found the one I had envisioned in my mind when I first came looking.  It was smallish, simple and cost $10.  Just what I thought I was looking for.  But this other one which I really liked was quite a bit larger, was flat on one side and had a groove around it to catch meat juices on the other side and cost $40 which was not what I  originally wanted to spend for such a simple thing. 

I began thinking about how I would use it and what practical value each one really had.  I’d look at one, and then the other.  I’d think about the price and then I’d think about the long-term benefits and my original thinking was really being challenged by this new option I was looking at. 

I thought to myself, ‘I’m thinking about the price today because I didn’t intend on spending $40 when I came in.   But this bigger one is very nice and I’d surely be getting much more value out of it each and every day that I used it, possibly for the rest of my life.   In the future, when I’m enjoying using it, I won’t be thinking about the price, only how I enjoy using it.  The price consideration is only something I’ll be dealing with for today.  

So I bought the $40 cutting board.  I enjoy using it almost every day and I’ve never thought about the price again after that first consideration.  That has left my mind.  All that remains for me to deal with now is the ‘value’ I continue to receive. 

We can use this example when making other purchase decisions.  For example, the Full Membership and the Global Entrepreneur Membership to the Lighthouse Law Club are quite a bit more costly than an ice cream cone but the ice cream cone will be gone in 5 minutes and offer no more value despite the easy price.   Choosing one Lighthouse membership or the other is a commitment.  But when put into the context of the long-term impact that either one of these will have on the results you achieve for the rest of your life, the cost is a bargain in view of the long-term value one can receive, just like the ‘Cutting Board’. 

I hope that helps! 

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