In this part of the process, you do the math involved to figure out the option that is more likely to meet your preferred outcome. You should think about your options in terms of likelihoods, or probabilities. There are two things you are predicting. First, you imagine all of the possible outcomes that could happen for each of the options you generated. And you predict how likely each outcome is, in percentages.
Second, you determine how much you care about (value) each of the outcomes, by giving them different point values. You’ll end up multiplying the percentages by the values. The higher totals signal the best options to consider.
By predicting outcomes, we develop the discipline of acknowledging that events might not turn out the way we hope. When we combine these negative perspectives with our natural tendency to focus on positive outcomes, we can form a more realistic picture of the future.
The language of probability is especially helpful for talking about the likelihoods of certain outcomes happening. Our predictions can change from “I’ll be there on time” to “There is a 70% chance that I’ll be there on time based on the traffic conditions.” This also reminds us that the future is always uncertain, and events can have outcomes that we don’t want to expect. If there is a 70% chance we’ll be on time, we are also declaring a 30% chance that we’ll be late. Using probability to make predictions highlights the uncertainty built into the future, and we are less surprised when we get an outcome we don’t want.