• Lars Christensen

Yes or No by Spencer Johnson~ 3 minute read


I finished this book in August 2021. I recommend this book 6/10.

A quick read that revolves around how to make better decisions. A book that shares the ground principles of decision-making without breaking any new ground.


You can get your copy here.

My notes and thoughts:

  • To make a better decision, I first stop proceeding with a poor decision.

  • I avoid indecisions and half-decisions based on half-truths. I use both parts of a reliable system to consistently make better decisions: a cool head and a warm heart. I use my head by asking myself a practical question, and I consult my heart by asking myself a private question. Then, after I listen to myself and others, I make a better decision and act on it.

  • When I pursue only the real need, I am more decisive, and I make better decisions sooner.

  • Pursuing only the real need in the very beginning gets me better results in the end. This means both seeing a vision of needed results in such real detail that I sense myself already achieving them, and then doing only what meets the real need. Wants are wishes. Needs are necessities. Needs are essential for success and fulfillment. To what I merely want, I ask, " What do I want to do now?" To see what is really needed, I ask, "What would I like to have done?" What do I really need from this decision? For me and for others to feel successful and fulfilled? Is my vision clearly focused on the needed results? Am I saying "Yes" to only what meets the real need, and "No" to everything else? Am I meeting the real need? I use my head by asking myself a practical question: Am I meeting the real need, informing myself of options, and thinking it through?

  • As I gather more information, I become more aware of my options.

  • Informing myself of options: A summary

  • First, I realize I probably have several options I am not aware of. As I gather the needed information, I become more aware of my options. I choose the option which meets the real need. Information is a collection of facts and feelings: that is, what really is, and how people feel about it. I gather the needed information. I observe it, or if someone gives me the information, I verify it.

  • Do I have the information I need? Who has it? Where is it? What is the best way to get it? Have I verified it myself? As I gather the needed information, what do I see my options are? Am I informing myself of options?

  • I use my head by asking myself a practical question: Am I meeting the real need, informing myself of options, and thinking it through?

  • To make better decisions, I ask, "Then what would probably happen? Then what...?Then What...? Until I think my decision through to a better result.

  • Thinking it through: A summary

  • My past decisions are my own best mentors. Looking at them realistically can teach me more than any person to avoid illusion and see reality. As I look at my results, I am not too hard on myself. I lighten up. I did the best I knew how. Now I get better results because I focus on meeting the real need, informing myself of options, and thinking things through to a better result. To see how good my results are, I measure them against my meeting the real need.

  • What would the results have to be to fill the real need? If I act on my decision, what would probably happen? Then what?...Then what? What do I fear would be the worst results? What would the best result be? What would I do in the worst/best case? How clearly do I foresee the most likely results? For me? For others? Have I thought it through?

  • I use my head by asking myself a practical question: Am I meeting the real need, informing myself of options, and thinking it through?

  • My decisions reveal my beliefs.

  • The sooner I see the truth, the sooner I make a better decision.

  • My integrity: A summary

  • My poor decisions were based on illusions, I believed at the time. My better decisions are based on realities I recognize in time. The sooner I see the truth, the sooner I make a better decision. To find the truth, I look for it. The better decision is based on the simple answer as it eventually becomes the obvious answer. To discover the truth, I look for the fiction I want to believe is true but cannot really count on. We see each other's mistakes more easily, so I often park my ego and ask others what they can see, and then I notice what really feels true to me.

  • Have I looked closely enough at my past decisions to learn from them? Have I done a reality check by observing what is really going on around me and within me? Have I noticed the obvious? Do I see the truth? Am I telling myself the truth? I consult my heart by asking myself a private question: Does my decision show I am honest with myself, trust my intuition, and deserve better?

  • My feelings often forecast the consequences.

  • My intuition: A summary

  • The more I use my intuition to look at how I feel about how I am making my decision, the more I protect myself from making costly mistakes. How I feel about how I make a decision often forecasts my results. I will not make my decision based on fear, as fear has never brought me very good results. I may make a much better decision when I am guided not by my ego but by my "Better guide."

  • Do I feel: Stressed or peaceful? Clear or confused? Drained or energized? Fearful or enthusiastic? Egotistical or guided? What would I decide if I were not afraid? Does this decision really feed right to me? As right as seeing a favorite color, or meeting a close friend, or taking a peaceful walk? If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't, and I need to change my decision. Am I trusting my intuition? I consult my heart by asking myself a private question: Does my decision show I am honest with myself, trust my intuition, and deserve better?

  • We often get the results we unknowingly believe we deserve.

  • My insight: A summary

  • My decisions are affected by my beliefs, especially about what I really believe I deserve. To discover that I really believe, I look closely at what I most often do. I may think I deserve better, but my actions show me that sometimes I do not really believe I do. The key to my consistently making better decisions is to choose to believe I deserve better and then to act on that belief.

  • Have I looked closely enough at my past decisions and actions to discover what I really believe I deserve? Do I see how my decisions reveal my beliefs? Do I believe enough in my decisions to act on it soon? What would I decide to do now if I really believed I deserved better? I consult myself by asking a private question: Does my decision show I am honest with myself, trust my intuition, and deserve better?

  • We are each our own guide to better decisions. And we can help others discover this as well.

5 views0 comments