There is a direct connection between homicide and learning how to make better decisions. While initially this may seem odd, if you are willing to take a quick journey back in time, I will explain…
The English words homicide, genocide, and suicide all trace back to French and then further back to Latin, with the suffix -cide meaning “to kill” or “to cut”. Homicide is to kill a person, genocide to kill a specific group, and suicide to kill oneself. Think of any number of words with the suffix –cide and you will discover plenty of death.
The word “decide” is no different. The prefix de- is derived from Latin, meaning “away from” or “off”. Today in Spanish the word “de” means from, of, or off. So decide literally means to “cut off” or “cut away from”.
Understanding the etymology of the word “decide” can help transform the way you make decisions.
As you determine which path to try, instead of keeping all of your options on the table, focus on which options you should kill or cut away. Like homicide or any other –cide, when you kill something it is dead, you cannot bring it back to life and this has three significant implications for decision-making:
Richard Feenstra is an educational psychologist, with a focus on judgment and decision making.
Bobby Hoffman is the author of "Hack Your Motivation" and a professor of educational psychology at the University of Central Florida.