Welcome back mate!
Decisions. We make them all day. Even mundane decisions such as checking
for new messages on your phone count. Let’s learn about how we Zimbabweans
approach this topic.
Before we get started, let’s learn a few new Shona
Hanzi chii? – What did he/she say?
Gugura – google it!
Saka toita sei? – So what should we do?
So which decision making method does a typical Zimbabwean use?
Well the answer is rather disappointing. I realized that the problem
isn’t limited to Zimbabweans only, but it applies to citizens from around the
world. We wait for others to make decisions for us.
When a teacher asks for an answer from students, the two most common
words the students will whisper are: “Hanzi chii?,” and “Saka toita sei.” Of
course there will be a few students who have the confidence and courage to give
an answer, but the majority will spend the whole time whispering those words. I
have seen this scenario to be true at Higher Education Institutions, and even
in the workplace when a figure of authority asks for a response from the
audience. Most people shy away from making decisions, and leave their lives at
the mercy of those who are confident (but those who have the confidence to make
decisions for them might be selfish, and have no regard for the welfare of the general
In addition, Zimbabwean people use the gugura method of decision making.
They google personal questions, copy and paste the results, and expect a search
engine’s results to provide a magical, long-lasting solution to their problems.
These scenarios are quite similar to what happens in other societies in
the world. A natural consequence of this is that we end up making poor
decisions that usually aim at treating the symptom and not the problem.
Why are we so afraid of
The answer is very
You see, as we grow, we are told to follow rules. We are told to get rid of our child-like curiosity. We are told not to ask questions, and most importantly, we are told to never ever make mistakes. These rules are made in all societies in the world (always by people that we don’t know), and they call these rules “Social Norms.” Anyone who breaks them faces the wrath of the society in the form of scorn, hate-speech, being ridiculed, and in some extreme cases – violence. As a result, we find it better to let others make decisions for us. Let another classmate make a decision for us. Let google make a decision for me. Let anyone who isn’t me make a life changing decision for me is the attitude that we have. Well, without the confidence to make mistakes, growth in any facet of one’s life will be impossible – and decision making NEEDS the confidence to make a decision which may be wrong. This is why people shy away from making decisions. They are scared to bear the responsibility of being wrong.
* Don Miguel Ruiz, in
his book “The Four Agreements” gives a rather good explanation about how the
world “poisoned us” and how to break free from the “poison” the world put into
us. I would strongly encourage you to give the book a look as I found it quite
What can we do to improve our decision making process?
ASK GOOD QUESTIONS.
How can we do this? By having the confidence to make mistakes in making decisions. Have the guts to be wrong. Learn from what you get wrong. Make better mistakes. You will eventually find yourself asking good questions. Good questions lead to great decisions. This is because good questions allow an individual to dig deeper – to get
beyond the symptoms and arrive at the root of the problem.
Sounds strange? Let me give a simple example to explain.
Chimusoro (that’s my Shona’s
teacher’s favourite fictional character) wants a phone to buy. Well to know
which phone to buy, he needs to ask himself the following questions:
- Why do I need a phone?
- What function(s) will I need the phone
- Which phone is best suited to perform
- What is the budget?
- How soon do I need the phone?
- Where can I buy it from?
- What is my budget?
Through asking himself these questions, he discovers that he thought he needed a phone because he wanted to get a few new lines and a separate WhatsApp accounts for personal communication so that he could avoid communicating with a few guys he owed money. This act of asking questions revealed that he has serious money
problems. He laughs to himself after realizing that he thought the problem was
that he needed a new phone, but the problem was actually a problem with his
habits. He then decides to research on how to improve his bad money problems.
After doing research, he discovered that there is a term for being good with
money – Financial Intelligence. He reads books such as “Rich Dad - Poor Dad”
and makes his life better.
I think you now see the merits of a good decision making process. It allows you to treat the problem, and not the symptom.
Where can I get resources to help make better decisions in Zimbabwe?
Well this blog is a good start – It is aimed at helping you make the best everyday decisions to live your life to the fullest in this beautiful country of Zimbabwe.
Mikael Krogerus - The Decision Book
Daniel Kahneman - Thinking Fast and Slow
MyGrowthFund SA – Vusi Thembekwayo gives very valuable advice on making good financial decisions in his master classes.
Amy Landino – She gives excellent
advice on making good decisions to manage your time in the best way possible.
Patrice Washington – Her videos are just amazing. My words won’t do justice – head over to her channel and see for yourself.
I will talk more about these and other guys in a future article.
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See you next week!