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158. How to Use a Framework to Optimize Decision Making with the Author of “Choose Better” Dr. Timothy Yen
16th July 2021 • The Beyond Adversity Podcast with Dr. Brad Miller • Dr Brad Miller
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Do you ever feel like your best is not enough? Or that you know you’re not living the way you want to live but do not know how to change? Or simply feel too many negative feelings that it is hard to focus on anything else? If you said yes to any of these questions, there is hope because you do not have to live this way anymore!

Knowledge is power. People cannot act upon what they do not know. How does someone obtain knowledge of the outside world? You can read, watch informational media, or ask a friend. How about learning more about yourself and living well? You can definitely figure it out on your own through trial and error which may take 1, 5, or 10 years OR you can receive guidance by gaining more clarity and skills which can save you a great deal of time, energy, and potential heartache. If you are seeking answers to your life challenges and want it done in a supportive, non-judgmental, and professional way, then counseling with me may be the answer!

I believe in counseling as a collaborative process. That means you already have many strengths and life experiences that are vital to answering some of your life questions. My role is to highlight those strengths, uncover certain thoughts or behavioral patterns that are either working for or against you and find ways to live a life aligned with what is most important to you. My theoretical orientation is primarily family systems theory and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) which means I take the whole context of a person into account and believe it is crucial to managing one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. I also incorporate other theories and skills (e.g., Positive Psychology, Psychodynamic, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), etc.) for more integrated and holistic treatment.

Lastly, my personal faith and graduate education in therapy included biblical studies from a Christian worldview. As a result, even though I see clients of all faiths or no faith backgrounds, one of my areas of expertise is Christian member care. When integrating faith, I take a client-centered approach and honor the client’s lead in spiritual emphasis. Often, clients pursue to live a kingdom-centered life while grappling with emotional and relational challenges.

https://timyen.com/

Transcripts

Brad Miller:

We've got Dr. Timothy Youn with us today. He

Brad Miller:

has he is a clinical psychologist and in the San

Brad Miller:

Francisco Bay Area, and has a practice of his own and then but

Brad Miller:

he topic here today in our conversation today will be

Brad Miller:

around making good decisions. His book is choose better, the

Brad Miller:

optimal decision making framework. Dr. Tim yen, Welcome

Brad Miller:

to Beyond adversity. Thank you so much, Brad for having me.

Brad Miller:

Thank you for being on the on beyond the diversity today I've

Brad Miller:

been looking through your materials and your your book

Brad Miller:

choose better. It's just as a raw alignment with the needs

Brad Miller:

folks who listen to beyond adversity, who are kind of

Brad Miller:

seeking tips and tracks and advice or a pathway to get them

Brad Miller:

beyond being stuck in whatever adverse conditions they end to

Brad Miller:

find a way out. And you offer some advice, not only for your

Brad Miller:

medic from your clinical background, but also from your

Brad Miller:

life. And I guess I'd like to if you will just unpack how you

Brad Miller:

ended up going into clinical psychology in the first place.

Brad Miller:

And maybe what was maybe some event or adverse condition that

Brad Miller:

you may have had to face in your life to get to where you're at

Brad Miller:

now.

Tim Yen:

All right, where do I start? So being a psychologist

Tim Yen:

actually wasn't my original plan, they there's a definitely

Tim Yen:

a faith component to your podcast, I am able to overtly

Tim Yen:

say that there's definitely a divine kind of hand through my

Tim Yen:

life story. Originally, I wanted to be a broadcast journalists.

Tim Yen:

So it's kind of funny, because now we're doing podcasts, which

Tim Yen:

is kind of the next best thing if you want to say it that way.

Tim Yen:

I guess the adversity that happened was my father was a

Tim Yen:

businessman, his business did not do very well. Let's just say

Tim Yen:

that this was about the time that I was applying for college,

Tim Yen:

there wasn't any money, I think, for me to go to college, or

Tim Yen:

whatever reason, signing up for the military made sense to me at

Tim Yen:

the time, I was like, hey, I want Uncle Sam to pay for my

Tim Yen:

college tuition. I went to enlist. And turns out, you can't

Tim Yen:

be a journalist in the army if you're colorblind. So that's a

Tim Yen:

whole different story. But I find I'm severely colorblind,

Tim Yen:

the medical examination process finding out Oh, the job that I

Tim Yen:

wanted to go for is no longer available to me because of this

Tim Yen:

handicap, if you want to call it that. And then there weren't

Tim Yen:

that many choices left. Apparently, there's a lot of

Tim Yen:

occupations in the military that need color vision. Who knew? So

Tim Yen:

I was really left with some not so exciting prospects, like

Tim Yen:

petroleum engineer, some some very different from journalism

Tim Yen:

type of work, one of the few jobs left over at the time of

Tim Yen:

interests was mental health. So that's kind of what got my

Tim Yen:

journey started was mental health was the only thing I was

Tim Yen:

interested with what was left over. And there wasn't even a

Tim Yen:

position open for me at the time. And I essentially somewhat

Tim Yen:

low key threatened the recruiter and said, Hey, if you don't give

Tim Yen:

me the mental health position, then I quit. Right? I'm not

Tim Yen:

going to enlist. And of course, recruiter trying to make us

Tim Yen:

quit, I'm sure he's like, No, no, no, like, you've gone

Tim Yen:

through 99% of the process, I am not losing you. Alright, I'm

Tim Yen:

gonna call Washington DC, we're going to make this happen. And

Tim Yen:

that's how I became a mental health specialist in the

Tim Yen:

military. Fast forward many years, it was something that I

Tim Yen:

found really meaningful, and I decided to pursue my graduate

Tim Yen:

degree. So I can be equipped to help as many people as I can,

Tim Yen:

oh, that

Brad Miller:

is awesome. And so you pushed through this barrier

Brad Miller:

that was there in the inner in the military. Prior to that,

Brad Miller:

with whatever the situation was at home regarding the business,

Brad Miller:

not working out so well with your with your father. So you

Brad Miller:

made some progress and push through and then you emerge now

Brad Miller:

and you have your own your own practice. I take it and you've

Brad Miller:

you went to college and got your clinical training and a degree

Brad Miller:

in psychology and and here you are, you've put out thanks. So

Brad Miller:

tell me a little bit now about what in this whole process and

Brad Miller:

what then motivated you about this whole area of decision

Brad Miller:

making? You know, the title of your book is choosing choose

Brad Miller:

better, the ultimate decision framework. So you had to make

Brad Miller:

some decisions yourself. And now you're helping others. What What

Brad Miller:

led you to, to want to write this book here town?

Tim Yen:

Yeah. So long story short, I met with a friend who

Tim Yen:

is a high exec CEO, actually are VP of a tech company in Taiwan,

Tim Yen:

and we had dinner. And I asked her the question, hey, as a

Tim Yen:

consultant because I do some consulting work, executive

Tim Yen:

coaching type work. So I asked her, Hey, like, what can I bring

Tim Yen:

to the table to really help your company? So the idea actually

Tim Yen:

came from her. She said, help my people think better, right, like

Tim Yen:

critical thinking skills because there's so much pressure a

Tim Yen:

deadline multiple professionals, especially teas that have

Tim Yen:

conflicting self interest in terms of how things should go.

Tim Yen:

So she asked me, is there a way that you can help my people

Tim Yen:

think better choose better. And so that got my, my wheels

Tim Yen:

turning as to what I can do to support her. And then I fall

Tim Yen:

back on my clinical work thought back on all the clients that I

Tim Yen:

work with. And it really kind of boiled down to decision making,

Tim Yen:

how do people make decisions depending on where they end up?

Tim Yen:

It's usually a chain of decisions for for better or for

Tim Yen:

worse. And so I just really contemplated on what's been

Tim Yen:

working with my work with clients. And it really boiled

Tim Yen:

down to some of these major pillars of decision making.

Brad Miller:

So if the emphasis was and your the question posed

Brad Miller:

to you was, help my company help my people help myself think

Brad Miller:

better, to make better decisions. So that meant the

Brad Miller:

question was what the problem was that they were not thinking

Brad Miller:

there was a lack of clarity or lack of decision making, and

Brad Miller:

somehow being stuck would have would be the terminology I might

Brad Miller:

use. So this is an issue then in the corporate world. It's also

Brad Miller:

is what I'm taking you you found out. And if you're dealing with

Brad Miller:

clients in psychology, you find that people are stuck by their

Brad Miller:

own personal lives and whatever situation is a divorce or health

Brad Miller:

related issue, or depression or, you know, being a debt or

Brad Miller:

whatever it is, they get stuck. So what do you find the out

Brad Miller:

there? What keeps?

Tim Yen:

Here's my question for you. If this if this video was

Tim Yen:

head came to you, what keeps people stuck, whether it's on a

Tim Yen:

corporate thing where their bottom line is, you know, being

Tim Yen:

corporately successful financially, or in people's

Tim Yen:

personalized, what type of things keep people stuck, so

Tim Yen:

many things. But the big thing, if I were to boil it down, is

Tim Yen:

some level of fear, right, some some level of fear, or anxiety

Tim Yen:

around failure, about making the wrong choice, and whatever

Tim Yen:

devastating consequences that may lead. And so there is this

Tim Yen:

illusion that if people don't choose at all, somehow they

Tim Yen:

bypass the potential risk or pain that comes from making the

Tim Yen:

wrong choice. We live in a society where I would say for

Tim Yen:

better, but sometimes, for worse, we have so much access to

Tim Yen:

knowledge. I mean, at our fingertips, you just Google

Tim Yen:

something, you can learn about so many different things. And

Tim Yen:

you realize there's just so much options out there. And that

Tim Yen:

somewhat perpetuates the fear that maybe if I choose this,

Tim Yen:

that may not be the best choice for me. So it does get

Tim Yen:

convoluted in our decision making process, because people

Tim Yen:

are trying to sift through a lot of pieces of information. And

Tim Yen:

the framework that I offer in my book is focused on the right

Tim Yen:

piece of that information, as opposed to just drinking from a

Tim Yen:

fire hydrant and having tons of information. And not really

Tim Yen:

knowing how to sort through that.

Brad Miller:

You hit on a rookie thing there I think, Tim, which

Brad Miller:

is focused on the right information, because avoidance,

Brad Miller:

distraction, denial, they are a huge part of our of our social

Brad Miller:

framework right now, aren't they just part of what goes on?

Brad Miller:

There's so much de luge of everything else, that sometimes

Brad Miller:

people get stuck in that distraction and avoidance. Do

Brad Miller:

you agree with that?

Tim Yen:

Absolutely. And and I would also say being stuck is

Tim Yen:

one posture. But for some people, they go the other

Tim Yen:

direction, which is they don't really think through their

Tim Yen:

decision, and they just impulsively on a whim on some

Tim Yen:

sort of emotion are just on one piece of information, they make

Tim Yen:

a decision, that also becomes regrettable.

Brad Miller:

Yeah. Our reaction to whatever these current

Brad Miller:

stimuli is they just kind of react to the stimuli that is

Brad Miller:

there. So So what do you think using your book as a frame your

Brad Miller:

talk about a framework of how to make decisions here? What are

Brad Miller:

some of these things that do you know, the actions, the bold

Brad Miller:

actions, or whatever it is that people take that you teach,

Brad Miller:

then, like your friend in Taiwan, or others, how do you

Brad Miller:

teach? What are some of the first steps to take to get this

Brad Miller:

focus this flow, that you can kind of narrow down the scope of

Brad Miller:

what you need to do to make some progress?

Tim Yen:

So with my background and clinical psychology, we

Tim Yen:

cannot escape the topic of emotions. So that's actually the

Tim Yen:

first piece of the equation is understanding. How do you feel

Tim Yen:

about this adversity? What what kind of feelings come up, but to

Tim Yen:

take it one step deeper? Which is what are my emotions, trying

Tim Yen:

to tell me What is the function behind this emotion? One example

Tim Yen:

I use a lot is anger. Like when we feel angry, oftentimes people

Tim Yen:

are like, Oh, I just don't want to feel this way, or I just need

Tim Yen:

the anger to go away. But in fact, our emotions are our

Tim Yen:

friends, as I would like to say, because our emotions are trying

Tim Yen:

to tell us something really important. Because if we didn't

Tim Yen:

care about something that we were dealing with, you probably

Tim Yen:

wouldn't feel much of anything at all right? So emotions is the

Tim Yen:

first thing that I have people listen to, and be aware of,

Tim Yen:

because it hits your brain at about 1/10 of a second, it hits

Tim Yen:

you so fast, we are best not to ignore our emotions. And so

Tim Yen:

whatever adversity that they may be facing, there's going to be

Tim Yen:

certain kinds of emotions, it could be fear, anxiety, anger,

Tim Yen:

sadness, whatever the emotion may be. That's probably the

Tim Yen:

first clue is understanding what those emotions are trying to

Tim Yen:

tell me. It gives you some really important data points. Do

Tim Yen:

you

Brad Miller:

have give people any direction or any guides on

Brad Miller:

how to identify and properly to understand the emotion at hand,

Brad Miller:

because some people you know, have an angry emotion and want

Brad Miller:

to lash out and so on. reacted, maybe not in a destructive way.

Brad Miller:

But give us some sensibility about how to identify and

Brad Miller:

properly understand emotions so we can do something constructive

Brad Miller:

with them.

Tim Yen:

Yeah, so first and foremost, we need to understand

Tim Yen:

what each emotion means. And that's something that most

Tim Yen:

people don't teach. We just feel a lot of different things. But

Tim Yen:

there's always a function behind the feeling. And so I draw from

Tim Yen:

Dr. Paul Ekman, his work, he's like the guru of emotions. And

Tim Yen:

each emotion he discovered, I want to say, seven universal

Tim Yen:

emotions, like across culture that we experienced as human

Tim Yen:

beings. And each one actually serves a purpose. And when you

Tim Yen:

understand the purpose of that emotion, then you begin asking

Tim Yen:

the right questions. For example, anger, anger is an

Tim Yen:

emotion that comes up for us when we feel like something is

Tim Yen:

unfair, or unjust, but it's actually a justice, emotion, we

Tim Yen:

get angry when we feel like hey, something's not right. And it

Tim Yen:

should not be this way. Now, if you know that, that's what anger

Tim Yen:

is triggering, then you start asking the question, what about

Tim Yen:

this situation? Do I feel is unjust? And that starts giving

Tim Yen:

you language real quick to understanding what is the

Tim Yen:

problem for me, right? I'm not saying that it's objective Lee

Tim Yen:

true, like the person that is arguing with you may not see

Tim Yen:

that as an injustice. But at least you can have some language

Tim Yen:

around why you're feeling the way that you do. And my book

Tim Yen:

kind of breaks it down a little bit each emotion and kind of

Tim Yen:

what each of them mean for common speed. So people can

Tim Yen:

begin to understand what this is all about,

Brad Miller:

as you have some identifiers that helps you to

Brad Miller:

understand better the emotions, so you can relate to them

Brad Miller:

personally, and how you relate to those interpersonally. Okay,

Brad Miller:

great. That's right. But tell us what, what we're talking about

Brad Miller:

here. If we're talking about a process of change, to decide to

Brad Miller:

cut off from whatever one factor or one track is in your life to

Brad Miller:

a different one, then we're talking about life change, we're

Brad Miller:

talking about transformation. And I want to talk about a

Brad Miller:

spiritual element for a second, I know there's a faith based

Brad Miller:

element, what you teach here, once you're about what do you

Brad Miller:

think about how do you integrate some sort of a spiritual power

Brad Miller:

or source greater than yourself, that would come into play into

Brad Miller:

your process of decision making? So some a little bit about

Brad Miller:

power, spirituality and thing along that line?

Tim Yen:

Yes. So if you have some sort of spirituality or

Tim Yen:

faith pace, higher power, as you mentioned, in that there are

Tim Yen:

certain values that the higher power God if you want to call

Tim Yen:

it, call him or her that right is essential to part of your

Tim Yen:

decision making. If we're going to use let's say, a Christian

Tim Yen:

point of view, right, then we, we know that there are certain

Tim Yen:

inherent values that God hears right in his word in the lives

Tim Yen:

of his people. That's also one of them. could be as simple as

Tim Yen:

our worth, right? Like, like, where does our worth come from?

Tim Yen:

If we're going to get a little bit theological right, then then

Tim Yen:

people's worth right is is central on the fact that the

Tim Yen:

person or the being who is the creator of all things, God is

Tim Yen:

able to define worth because he's the one who creates all

Tim Yen:

things. So from God's standpoint, people are

Tim Yen:

intrinsically worthy and valuable simply because of So

Tim Yen:

that's it. If we take that value that people, myself, the people

Tim Yen:

that I interact with, are intrinsically valuable, then

Tim Yen:

what does that mean? Then there's kind of a shift that

Tim Yen:

happens, because then our worth is not found in performance, or

Tim Yen:

how we do things up our net worth, or a lot of the things

Tim Yen:

that the world measures worth in people, it shifts because now

Tim Yen:

we're saying, Hey, we're starting from a place of

Tim Yen:

intrinsic worth, then the way that we go about doing things is

Tim Yen:

a kind of an overflow of who we are, rather than trying to prove

Tim Yen:

something to someone else, that we are worthy or valuable of

Tim Yen:

their time. And so so these are the values, which is part of the

Tim Yen:

framework that I've developed is really understanding what are

Tim Yen:

the values, what are the things that truly matter to you that

Tim Yen:

make life meaningful, when you have a higher power, it

Tim Yen:

redefines our values, and that in turn, redirects or realigns

Tim Yen:

the way that we make decisions,

Brad Miller:

your values have to come from somewhere in my

Brad Miller:

opinion, they, you know, it is it, they your values, either

Brad Miller:

Maybe it comes from how you are raised and your moral values and

Brad Miller:

your, your nuclear family that you grew up at, or maybe they

Brad Miller:

are some valid educational element or, or something to do

Brad Miller:

with, maybe you read or you were influenced by some teacher,

Brad Miller:

those are all powerful elements there. But what you're saying is

Brad Miller:

the values have to be intrinsically a part of us. And

Brad Miller:

one place. And I believe it's a very important place to draw

Brad Miller:

upon that power, is from the spiritual development piece that

Brad Miller:

comes into play here. And it's hard just to come is hard, it's

Brad Miller:

just to come to that place of your own accord, I believe you

Brad Miller:

have to come to it by a different place that comes into

Brad Miller:

your life. And that's, you mentioned a Christian worldview,

Brad Miller:

and there's others as well. But we can talk about, you know,

Brad Miller:

drawing on a higher power to help this decision making

Brad Miller:

process to give you those values. Otherwise, you're just

Brad Miller:

floundering, you know, you're just kind of floundering there.

Brad Miller:

Let's go, let's go back into the emotions. Again, here for just a

Brad Miller:

minute here. Tim, you spoke about, you know, kind of the

Brad Miller:

emotions that you have to identify anger and such, let's

Brad Miller:

talk about the importance in decision making of other people

Brad Miller:

or emotional or loving or caring relationships, and how the power

Brad Miller:

that they bring into your life. And sometimes the emotion of a,

Brad Miller:

someone who cares for you can, you know, be a, a boundary on us

Brad Miller:

or some sort, but also that sometimes it can be freeing, I'd

Brad Miller:

like for you to talk about the power or the importance of

Brad Miller:

loving relationships in this decision making process good,

Brad Miller:

bad or otherwise, talk to me about that a

Tim Yen:

little bit. My hope is, it's mutual, loving relationship

Tim Yen:

is mutual, you love them. They love you. And it's kind of from

Tim Yen:

that context. But when we talk about values again, the reality

Tim Yen:

is we don't live in isolation or in a vacuum, we live with other

Tim Yen:

people. And so when we do make decisions, we we don't want to

Tim Yen:

be completely selfish in making a decision that only benefits me

Tim Yen:

or benefits myself. But we do want to ask those questions

Tim Yen:

about what to other people value in this situation. And I believe

Tim Yen:

that's the loving thing to do. It kind of reminds me of the

Tim Yen:

golden rule, right? Do unto others as you would like it to

Tim Yen:

be done to you. But then I've been told that there is a

Tim Yen:

platinum rule, which is above the golden rule, which is Do

Tim Yen:

unto others as they would like things to be done. And, and that

Tim Yen:

kind of turns the idea around a little bit because the example I

Tim Yen:

use is my dad really likes spicy food, which is true, and I don't

Tim Yen:

particularly like spicy food. But imagine that my dad just

Tim Yen:

really insisted on cooking Chinese food and serving it to

Tim Yen:

me. I mean, after all, he loves it, right? Like, that's his jam.

Tim Yen:

He loves spicy food. But I don't know if I would receive that as

Tim Yen:

very lovey. Right, because I don't value that like I don't in

Tim Yen:

fact, I really don't like spicy food. So that would be kind of

Tim Yen:

offensive almost right after I've communicated Hey, Dad,

Tim Yen:

like, this isn't really my type of food. Right? So

Brad Miller:

he says what you just said the communication

Brad Miller:

piece. You have to be loving enough to say to Dad, dad, yes.

Brad Miller:

Don't do that. Because if you don't know that, then he thinks

Brad Miller:

it's a loving act to cook up spicy food for you. So this

Brad Miller:

community exactly communication comes into play here in

Brad Miller:

regarding this loving relationship in our decision

Brad Miller:

making, doesn't it?

Tim Yen:

It does. And in a weird way, it's a, it's kind of shame

Tim Yen:

on you if you don't communicate, because people aren't psychic,

Tim Yen:

right? People can't read your mind. Now, if someone has a

Tim Yen:

very, like rigid worldview or preference, and they keep

Tim Yen:

pushing it on you, even though you have communicate to them

Tim Yen:

that, hey, that's not very loving, I don't want to receive

Tim Yen:

that as loving, then that's when the boundaries come in. And we

Tim Yen:

say, hey, look, I know your intentions may be good. But

Tim Yen:

after communicating to you that that's not something I

Tim Yen:

appreciate, you still insist on doing it, then I'm afraid we

Tim Yen:

cannot interact in this kind of way, until you're able to

Tim Yen:

respect my wishes. So, so yes, all that to say right, the

Tim Yen:

values of others is very important to understand, in

Tim Yen:

order to be in a loving relationship.

Brad Miller:

And yet, if we're going to make optimal, optimal

Brad Miller:

decision making, it is very important to make it not in a

Brad Miller:

vacuum not on your own, you need to make it somehow in

Brad Miller:

relationship with others. I know, you as a psychologist,

Brad Miller:

people often won't, you know, ask you to be that other voice

Brad Miller:

to speak into their life to help them make a decision. And

Brad Miller:

sometimes if you're making a decision regarding any life

Brad Miller:

changing event, marriage, divorce, going off to college,

Brad Miller:

going to grad school, where to have surgery or not you it is

Brad Miller:

important to bring into play the advice sometimes the consent,

Brad Miller:

sometimes that's the reaction, reflection of other people who

Brad Miller:

care about you say something about that.

Tim Yen:

Yes, the key word is consider, right, I think it's

Tim Yen:

important to at least consider what the people who love you

Tim Yen:

think about your decision and having a checkpoint, having some

Tim Yen:

level of, again, consideration for what they may think or feel.

Tim Yen:

Now it again, goes back to your own values again, and saying,

Tim Yen:

hey, what matters to me, may or may not align with what matters

Tim Yen:

to other people. So that's where the critical thinking comes into

Tim Yen:

play. Like how important really, is it to make this decision?

Tim Yen:

After considering the fact that maybe the people who love you

Tim Yen:

have a differing opinion, my hope is, we have a open mind and

Tim Yen:

open heart to consider what they have to say, because they do you

Tim Yen:

love you, right, and they have your best interests in mind.

Tim Yen:

Hopefully, if they don't, for whatever reason, that's just

Tim Yen:

another piece of the puzzle to consider. But I least love them

Tim Yen:

enough to listen and consider what they have to say.

Brad Miller:

But ultimately, it is your decision. And you have

Brad Miller:

to live with that, you know, the accolades or the consequences of

Brad Miller:

that. So let's talk for a minute about the actual process the

Brad Miller:

cognitive application of your process here. Because it is when

Brad Miller:

you say a framework. In your book, you say it's a framework

Brad Miller:

that means that there is a process here there is things

Brad Miller:

that you can do, you know, ABCD, whatever it is like to tell us

Brad Miller:

more about that in terms of what are the what is the actual

Brad Miller:

framework? What is the process? What are the disciplines? What

Brad Miller:

are the habits? What are the change of behaviors that you

Brad Miller:

advocate here, that people do in order to make, as you say, to

Brad Miller:

choose better to make good decisions,

Tim Yen:

but a framework, if you want to use an analogy, it's

Tim Yen:

similar to what pilots use before they take off on their

Tim Yen:

plane. If you think about a pilot's are pretty smart people

Tim Yen:

I would say to to become a pilot, and there are sometimes

Tim Yen:

hundreds of people. Their lives are in this pilots pants,

Tim Yen:

depending on sure if you landed the plane well or not. And for

Tim Yen:

someone as smart as a pilot, they have a checklist of things

Tim Yen:

that they review. It's almost like a protocol to make sure

Tim Yen:

that everything is as it should be. The brakes work. The lights

Tim Yen:

work that the cockpit Control Panel works like there's just

Tim Yen:

literally a checklist of things that seem like no brainers like

Tim Yen:

no brainer things that if you've been doing it for 20 years, you

Tim Yen:

would kind of know, but they are required to go through this

Tim Yen:

checklist anyways, because they don't they can't afford to make

Tim Yen:

a mistake. With this with the safety protocol. If a pilot uses

Tim Yen:

a checklist to make sure that they have their bases covered.

Tim Yen:

Why don't we do that for the importance decisions in our

Tim Yen:

lives. Why do we leave it up to chance? Right? Or why do we

Tim Yen:

leave it up to just kind of how we feel. So that's really brain

Tim Yen:

work is a protocol, a checklist of sorts for people to go

Tim Yen:

through before they arrive at their optimal decision. So let

Tim Yen:

me review quickly kind of what that framework looks like. And

Tim Yen:

we actually reviewed three of the four, just in our

Tim Yen:

conversation, naturally, we actually hit three of the four

Tim Yen:

boxes. Okay, box number one is your emotions. So the question

Tim Yen:

you ask yourself before you make any decision is, what feelings

Tim Yen:

are coming up for me? And what do they mean? Right? What are

Tim Yen:

they trying to tell me? The second part of the framework,

Tim Yen:

right is values of self. So understanding, okay, in this

Tim Yen:

situation, what truly matters to me? What what kind of values

Tim Yen:

character traits that do I really want to exercise or

Tim Yen:

exemplify? Making sure that that's part of my decision.

Tim Yen:

pillar number three, right is values of others. So the people

Tim Yen:

that are involved in my decision, what do they care

Tim Yen:

about? I want to consider what they care about. And hopefully

Tim Yen:

my decision is a win win proposition, right, that we both

Tim Yen:

come up on top right, as much as possible, right, that's the

Tim Yen:

third pillar. The fourth one is what I call reality factors. So

Tim Yen:

there are certain things in our decision making that is not up

Tim Yen:

for discussion. They just exist in our world, things like the

Tim Yen:

sun will come up at a certain hour, the sun will set at a

Tim Yen:

certain hour, right? My salary is fixed at this number, and how

Tim Yen:

do I make a decision regarding those reality factors. Sometimes

Tim Yen:

I use the example of gravity, right? Like you don't have to,

Tim Yen:

like gravity, understand gravity. But gravity will still

Tim Yen:

affect your life, regardless of what you think or feel about it.

Tim Yen:

So that's what I call a reality factor or factors. And

Brad Miller:

last year, we all had this crazy COVID crisis,

Brad Miller:

which was the reality which descended on all of us that we

Brad Miller:

had two new reality we had to deal with. So sorry to interrupt

Brad Miller:

you. But I just think that the that your reality doesn't always

Brad Miller:

stay static is what I'm trying to say.

Tim Yen:

That's right. It's not always up to you, right? What

Tim Yen:

reality factors are at play? And so when we consider these four

Tim Yen:

things, kind of asking that question and kind of jotting

Tim Yen:

down some ideas as to what is part of my situation, then

Tim Yen:

we're, we're just more equipped to come up with a few options,

Tim Yen:

right? Okay, now that I know these things, what are my

Tim Yen:

choices? Good, bad, the ugly, like, what are my choices? What

Tim Yen:

are some of the potential consequences. And when we go

Tim Yen:

through this framework, we just have a new sense of confidence

Tim Yen:

that we did our due diligence, before we made a decision. And

Tim Yen:

for a lot of people, especially those who are more reactionary,

Tim Yen:

more impulsive, just the fact that they slow down to work

Tim Yen:

through the framework. Darry be 80% of the odds of making a bad

Tim Yen:

decision, just the fact that he sat down and thought through,

Tim Yen:

okay, what is it that I really want to do? And why do I want to

Tim Yen:

do this? That's a huge victory for those who make decisions on

Tim Yen:

a whim. So well, that that's, that's the framework. Yeah, in a

Tim Yen:

nutshell,

Brad Miller:

let's talk about application of it for a second.

Brad Miller:

What I mean by that is, if that's the framework, tell us

Brad Miller:

about, I'd like to hear a good news story about how the app

Brad Miller:

your process has been applied to somebody's life. And something

Brad Miller:

has happened that has helped transform them from being stuck

Brad Miller:

to make a decision that's led them to a better place.

Tim Yen:

I actually, when I was in the process of writing the

Tim Yen:

book, I decided to use the framework directly with a

Tim Yen:

client, just to see how the client would respond. And would

Tim Yen:

it help, in this case, her work through this dilemma? So I'll

Tim Yen:

share her story and kind of how we use the framework. Sure. So

Tim Yen:

let's let's give you some context. She is a single mom of

Tim Yen:

a few children, but most of them are grown. So she she takes care

Tim Yen:

of her 16 year old daughter, and she came across a dilemma where

Tim Yen:

her other daughter, who's probably in her mid 20s, was

Tim Yen:

wanting to come back home to visit her visit the six year old

Tim Yen:

daughter. But the problem was, the older daughter is in the

Tim Yen:

adult industry, if you want to call it that. And you know,

Tim Yen:

there's some concerns about that influence of her lifestyle on

Tim Yen:

the 16 year old daughter. Now, my client, the single mom, she

Tim Yen:

she wants the daughters to have a relationship or the sisters

Tim Yen:

right says just have a relationship. But her ex husband

Tim Yen:

doesn't write her ex husband's like, I don't agree with her

Tim Yen:

lifestyle. She's a bad influence. I don't think she

Tim Yen:

should come over what do you do? Right? What What does this mom

Tim Yen:

do in this situation? So there you go. That's the situation,

Tim Yen:

let's use a framework to help this mom along in coming up with

Tim Yen:

a decision that works for her. So, oh, and the other thing, the

Tim Yen:

daughter that the little sister, I guess, also wants to feed her

Tim Yen:

older sister as well, but it's almost like this. Mom, don't

Tim Yen:

tell dad. If she comes like, you know, it's a really

Brad Miller:

a lot of layers of this, isn't there? Yes.

Tim Yen:

Yeah, yeah. So we'll just use that as an example. So

Tim Yen:

um, so I come in, and I'm like, Alright, you want to try out

Tim Yen:

this framework? Right? Let's, let's see if we can use a

Tim Yen:

framework to help you choose better. She's like, shoot, yeah,

Tim Yen:

I'm stuck. I don't know what I should be doing. Let's use the

Tim Yen:

framework. So I asked her. So let's start with the feelings

Tim Yen:

like what kind of feelings come up for you about this situation.

Tim Yen:

And so what she told me was, the first one definitely was your

Tim Yen:

anxiety because her ex husband's abusive, so she did not want to

Tim Yen:

trigger that kind of situation. As I said, I definitely feel

Tim Yen:

fear that I'll get caught. If I were to let my daughters

Tim Yen:

reunite. I feel angry, that I'm put in this position in the

Tim Yen:

first place. Like, I don't know why I'm stuck in the middle of

Tim Yen:

having to make this call. So I'm pretty mad, that the fact that

Tim Yen:

I'm feeling this way. And she's like, and I feel kind of sad,

Tim Yen:

actually, that there's this wedge just kind of barrier

Tim Yen:

between my two daughters, I want them to have a relationship.

Tim Yen:

Like, okay, cool. So you kind of understand the feelings. And I

Tim Yen:

was like, Alright, let's, and we kind of know why or why she

Tim Yen:

feels this way. Now we move to the next sector. I was like,

Tim Yen:

Well, what values are in place? Like, what? What matters to you

Tim Yen:

about the situation? And as you can probably tell, already, he

Tim Yen:

wants the sisters to have a relationship, right? So she

Tim Yen:

goes, if you were to ask me, I want, like, what I care about is

Tim Yen:

my family has a healthy relationship with each other,

Tim Yen:

regardless of what kind of lifestyle she she chooses to

Tim Yen:

live in. It should not take away from my daughter's having a

Tim Yen:

relationship. And so so that was really clear her mind, she goes

Tim Yen:

that that's really important to me. Yes, I don't want the

Tim Yen:

consequences of what my ex husband may do. But if we're

Tim Yen:

talking about what I value, that's what I value. Sure, on

Tim Yen:

some level, she values being non confrontational, not having

Tim Yen:

conflict, she has some level of value about that. But when she

Tim Yen:

were to rank the values, she was like, yeah, having my daughters

Tim Yen:

have a relationship is more important to me. Great. All

Tim Yen:

right. Part three values of others. What do other people

Tim Yen:

care about in this situation? Well, I know where my two

Tim Yen:

daughters Stan, they both want, they both value their

Tim Yen:

relationship. So that's pretty clear. And then my ex husband,

Tim Yen:

clearly what he values is some sort of bad influence that would

Tim Yen:

happen and therefore he does not want them to be together. Okay,

Tim Yen:

noted, right? Those are things that are in play reality

Tim Yen:

factors, some reality factors are they that the sisters have

Tim Yen:

not seen each other for several years at this point. So that

Tim Yen:

that's part of the equation. So it's really rare. It's really

Tim Yen:

rare for the daughter to come home. Another reality factor is

Tim Yen:

that, based on history, at least the husband, the ex husband's

Tim Yen:

going to get really mad, probably verbally abusive, all

Tim Yen:

these types of things like yeah, that's, that's probably part of

Tim Yen:

the equation. So So those are just a few things, right? I

Tim Yen:

don't know other reality factors is like, where would they stay?

Tim Yen:

Well, her house is big enough. So that's, that's good. She has

Tim Yen:

a room to stay, that's fine. The older sister is not going to

Tim Yen:

stay that long. It's just going to be for for a week, at most,

Tim Yen:

maybe a weekend. Okay, so then I was like, Alright, now that

Tim Yen:

we've gathered all these data points, all these things that we

Tim Yen:

want to consider, what are your options? Right, she's, well, One

Tim Yen:

option is where I was feeling stuck at is I let my daughter's

Tim Yen:

hang out. But then I have to keep a secret. But I'm actually

Tim Yen:

not okay with that. Because I don't think I'm doing anything

Tim Yen:

wrong. I don't know why I have to keep this thing a secret. So

Tim Yen:

she goes with that is one option. But I don't feel good

Tim Yen:

about that. She's I could have them just not see each other and

Tim Yen:

there's no conflict at all. But then it kind of breaks my

Tim Yen:

younger daughter's heart and my older daughter's heart as well.

Tim Yen:

And I don't feel good about that either. It kind of goes against

Tim Yen:

my own values. And then of course, the third one is I do

Tim Yen:

have them come together. And I let my ex husband know, just

Tim Yen:

right out the gates, hey, I have my daughter on my week, I can

Tim Yen:

choose what I want to do with with them. And of course,

Tim Yen:

there's some fear, some anxiety about about making that

Tim Yen:

decision. But what was crazy about the whole process is as

Tim Yen:

she went through the framework, there was a newfound confidence

Tim Yen:

because she knew this is what truly mattered to her. And as a

Tim Yen:

mom, she wanted to protect her daughter, and she wanted to live

Tim Yen:

a life of integrity. So that was probably another value that came

Tim Yen:

up in our conversation. She's like, I don't want to have to

Tim Yen:

lie about any of this. So fast forward. That's exactly what she

Tim Yen:

did. And the consequences. Were not nearly as devastating as

Tim Yen:

that she thought she would I think the ex husband huffed and

Tim Yen:

puffed and wasn't happy about it. But the fact that she was so

Tim Yen:

I guess deliberate in making this decision, which is not like

Tim Yen:

her, by the way, she's normally very kind of wishy washy,

Tim Yen:

avoidance, right. But that was the best decision for her

Brad Miller:

about to better, it goes back to the fear thing we

Brad Miller:

talked about kind of originally, in my opinion that, you know,

Brad Miller:

once you face the fear, the the anxiety of the indecision, can

Brad Miller:

tear you up just as much as whatever facing whatever the

Brad Miller:

consequences of the decision are, even if, in this instance,

Brad Miller:

say the ex husband went off, Ed still might have been even, but

Brad Miller:

still better than this whole thing lingering on forever. So

Brad Miller:

so well, well, well done, well done in terms of cc in some

Brad Miller:

practical application. And I could just see how this process

Brad Miller:

can be helpful for people who have have had adversity in their

Brad Miller:

life. And they need to find some way to channel that and to come

Brad Miller:

out to a better place. So how can people find out more about

Brad Miller:

you about your framework, about your book and about your work

Brad Miller:

and just just tell us, Tim, about how people can be in

Brad Miller:

contact with you learn more about what you're about and get

Brad Miller:

your book, definitely. So they can go on my professional

Brad Miller:

website, which is just my name, www

Tim Yen:

dot 10 yen.com. And I have a link there where you can

Tim Yen:

purchase the book on Amazon. And of course, you can just go on

Tim Yen:

Amazon and type choose better, you can buy yourself a copy,

Tim Yen:

which will give you a lot more details as to how you can

Tim Yen:

implement the framework into your own life. Again, I also do

Tim Yen:

coaching and run workshops, that sort of thing. So I can help

Tim Yen:

companies with decision making, if that's something of interest,

Tim Yen:

either as an individual to be coached, or some some help with

Tim Yen:

companies or teams. They can also shoot me a contact on my

Tim Yen:

website. Again, it's Timmy and calm. And then on the bottom, I

Tim Yen:

have a bunch of social media links that you can follow me in

Tim Yen:

the work that I do, you know, on Instagram, which is choose

Tim Yen:

better consulting, that's the handle a few other outlets

Brad Miller:

on your site. There's lots of helpful helpful

Brad Miller:

resources there. And you've been helpful to our audience here

Brad Miller:

today, Tim, and we appreciate you being our guest. Again, the

Brad Miller:

book is choose better, the optimal decision making

Brad Miller:

framework. He blogs at Tim yen.com. Our guest today on

Brad Miller:

beyond adversity. Dr. Timothy yen, thanks for being our guest

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