• David Strittmatter

Vaccination - why making this decision is so clear to me

Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision. - Anthony Robbins
Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

Summary:

  • The decision to be vaccinated comes down to 3 factors: (1) I'm rather a risk-seeking than a risk-avoiding person (2) I love technology (3) I always think long-term

  • I try my best to profound my decisions in logic

  • Every day, we have to make hundreds of minor decisions. And every once in a while, we have to make a major decision. While good decisions lead to wealth, bad decisions lead to misery

Practical advice:

  • To find your values, you need to ask yourself what's important to you and how you can express that in actionable principles

  • What greatly helps to identify your values is to think about major decisions you made in the past and why you made them

  • Once you determined your values, apply them to your decision-making process as often as you can


Dear friend,


A few days ago, someone from my YouTube community asked me what I thought about vaccinations. First, I was hesitant to answer - the topic is emotional and highly polarized. And, I haven't really spent much time on this topic.


Yet, it made me think. I've got a clear opinion on whether I should be vaccinated. To put it like this, I couldn't really wait until I received my shot. Once I was allowed to be vaccinated, I did my best to organize an appointment to get it. I even drove 150 km.


My very clear view on this topic is due to 3 reasons: (1) I'm rather a risk-seeking than a risk-avoiding person. (2) I love technology. Technology allows me to live the life I dream of. (3) I always think long-term.


In today's blog article, I explicate these 3 decision-making factors and how they made my decision regarding vaccination so easy and write about decision-making principles and how they can help us to make decisions more easily.


3 reasons why I got vaccinated


There are various reasons why we should and why we shouldn't be vaccinated against COVID. I write this article not to argue for any of the sites but to explicate my decision-making process. On an individual level, every person has to decide what's best for him/her. The following explanations are my personal views and don't intend to convince anybody to be vaccinated. Rather, I intend to explicate my decision-making process applied to this topic.

So, I've got a very clear view of the topic and I would say it's quite logical. I try my best to profound my decisions in logic. Thus, in case I'm writing some illogical bullshit, your feedback is highly appreciated.


For me, the decision to be vaccinated comes down to 3 factors: (1) I'm rather a risk-seeking than a risk-avoiding person. (2) I love technology. Technology allows me to live the life I dream of. (3) I always think long-term.


(1) Receiving a COVID shot is associated with a certain risk. Nothing to argue about. Simultaneously, getting COVID is also associated with a certain risk. Nothing to argue about. What's more worth a discussion is whether the risks of a COVID shot are higher than those of getting the disease itself. With regard to the most recent data, though, it's evident that COVID itself is significantly more likely to pose a larger risk for my health than a COVID shot.

Now, assuming getting COVID is riskier than getting vaccinated and taking into account that the likelihood of getting COVID during a lifetime is nearly 100% as COVID won't likely disappear, it is a no-brainer to me that getting the shot is the better alternative.


Even if the likelihood to get sick of COVID during my lifetime was just about 5% or so, I'd get the shot. As a rather risk-seeking person, I rather take more risk (even an over proportional amount) if the outcome is better. And as the risk of severe health consequences of COVID, such as long-term damaged lungs, is higher than that of a shot, I'd go for the shot.


(2) I'm a strong proponent of technological progress. Technology is what will enable us to live in a world without hunger and thirst, to live in peace and harmony. Humanity has always been in wars due to the scarcity of resources. Technology allows us to make the most out of these resources so that for everyone there's enough. In most Western societies that almost works (taking into account we solve the climate and nitrogen crisis - through technology). And I'm very optimistic that we will make that work globally one day, too.


Now, regarding the COVID vaccine, I don't fear the new m-RNA technology on which Pfizzer/BioNTech and Moderna are based but rather strongly believe in it. I think that's just the beginning of new biotechnology we can finally make use of to solve among the most difficult problems in our world, e.g. many cutting-edge cancer therapies based on this technology are promising.


(3) My most important value is to think long-term. I want to always think long-term when making a decision whether it's where I will work, whom I spent my time with, or the decision to get a COVID shot.


As this notion of long-term thinking is rather unspecific, I derived concrete questions I always ask myself when I'm faced with a decision: What happens if everybody acted as I do? Do I want my siblings, future children, or friends to act in the same way?


And honestly, while it's a rather difficult question to be vaccinated on an individual level, it's a very simple question on a collective level. If all people were vaccinated, COVID had no chance anymore and the most vulnerable people of our society would be significantly safer again. Vaccinations are good on a society level. In my opinion, someone who gets vaccinated despite being afraid of it is doing a great service to our society.


Decision-making principles


Life is all about decisions. Every day, we have to make hundreds of minor decisions. And every once in a while, we have to make a major decision. While good decisions lead to wealth, bad decisions lead to misery. Probably a reason, why we often procrastinate in making major decisions.


Having decision-making principles can help us to make decisions more easily and better. Whenever we struggle in making a decision, we can apply them.


One of my decision-making principles is to minimize the amount of regret in my life. Whenever there's a major decision to be made, I imagine myself in my 80s and contemplate the different outcomes of the options. For instance, before I started my YouTube channel, I had thought through the consequences of starting it or using the time for something else. Two years later, I'm still very confident that starting it was the right decision.


The good thing about applying decision-making principles is that we make decisions more consciously and can refine our decision-making principles based on our experience to make even better decisions. For example, I aim to make more decisions based on probabilities. The more often I will do that, the better I will become in applying this principle, making my decisions better.


Imagine you have to decide between two job/internship offers that seem equivalent. How would you make this decision?


Become a better decision-maker


The 1 thing that greatly has helped me to make better decisions was to be clear on my values. Our values are the things in life that matter most to us. For me, there are 5 values: (1) Long-term thinking (2) Never satisfied always grateful (3) Always doing my best (4) Appreciation of life (5) Fun, pleasure, and joy.


To find your values, you need to ask yourself what's important to you and how you can express that in actionable principles. I want to live a happy and fulfilled life, and to do so, I've got these 5 values.


What greatly helped to identify my values was to think about major decisions I made in the past and why I made them, e.g. breaking up with a girlfriend, going to high school, studying business, being the leader of a student organization, going on multiple diets, setting the goal to be an A student, ...


Finding our values takes time. I reflected a lot on my values before I wrote them down and called them as such. Today, I still regularly reflect on them and check whether they are still the right ones. Yet, the investment of finding them and writing them down was one of the best investments in my life.


Once you determined your values, apply them to your decision-making process as often as you can. You need to decide whether you go to a party or study for an exam? Go through your values. You need to decide whether you invest in a certain asset? Go through your values. You need to decide whether you should accept a certain job offer? Go through your values.

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