"We must make decisions, here and now, even though the best means and the best goals can never be discerned with certainty. An aim, an ambition, provides the structure necessary for action. An aim provides a destination, a point of contrast against the present, and a framework, within which all things can be evaluated. An aim defines progress and makes such progress exciting. An aim reduces anxiety, because if you have no aim everything can mean anything or nothing, and neither of those two options makes for a tranquil spirit. Thus, we have to think, and plan, and limit, and posit, in order to live at all." – 12 Rules for Life - Jordan B. Peterson
Peterson associates decision making with aim and the process of aiming. Aim can be defined as the thing we are pointing at or the act of aiming itself, to intend or direct for particularly effect or purpose. Peterson speaks to the effect. Aim provides a structure necessary for acting. This structure affords us with "a framework, within which all things can be evaluated", which is how aim helps us make decisions.
A decision is a conclusion or resolution made after evaluating the effects of conditions, current and planned actions, and progress towards where we are aiming at. The kind of things we might evaluate include:
Uncertainty - threats and opportunities
Results - progress
Effectiveness - progress against effort
Capability - competency and capacity
Character - virtues and values
Peterson, continues to say, "if you pay attention, when you are seeking something, you will move towards your goal. More importantly, however, you will acquire the information that allows your goal itself to transform … If you bend everything totally, blindly and willfully towards the attainment of a goal, and only that goal, you will never be able to discover if another goal would serve you, and the world, better."
What Peterson is saying is profound and very much applicable to both personal and corporate achievement. The goals themselves will not save us. We need to be open to changing them and reorient ourselves as reality manifests itself. It is precisely this that makes what we are aiming at so important. Peterson suggests the more our aim has to do with character and ability the better we can prevail against adversity and challenges both in our personal and corporate lives.
Perhaps the most important decision then is where we are aiming. That is why when we aim we need to aim high or as Peterson writes, "we need to orient ourselves towards the most possible good." I believe this text from the World English Bible says it well:
"whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things.
(World English Bible - Philippians 4:8 )
Thinking about these things will help orient our goals and even our values, that is, what we think is important. Who knows what our lives, families, community, or even our businesses might look like if we did.