Note (written after I wrote the words below): This article will confuse you. Or it will be very clear to you. There are no bullet points or headlines. Read it at your own discretion. ;)
In general I’m very good at making decisions. The more seemingly difficult the decision the easier it is for me. You know those big “at a crossroads” type decisions? The kind that can greatly affect your future? Yeah, those are easy.
Big decisions usually have only 2 clearcut options. Do X or Y. Truthfully only one option ever really feels right. Many times this “feels right” decision is also the one that scares us the most, hence our apprehension in pulling the trigger. I didn’t get a BB gun when I was 13 to refrain from pulling triggers. :) (Blame gangsta rap, it’s an easy … target. Pun!)
The decisions I struggle with are the little ones because the little decisions are the ones that, ironically enough, usually have the most options. The Paradox of Choice! What do I have for lunch? Oh, I don’t know, how about any number of a million choices within a 3 minute walk or 1 second walk to my fridge. :)
Lately I’ve been struggling with the decision about where I should head for my next destination. I have a bit of a time constraint. It’s about 5 weeks. Based on the paradox of choice, this should make my decision easier. But I don’t think about vacation, I think about “how do I make use of every single day of my visa and maybe a little extra?” So if I’m going to take a shorter trip it feels like a waste to only go somewhere for 5 weeks.
I asked on Facebook where you would go if you had to choose one destination for 5 weeks. (Check out the responses here.) In a way I was hoping your answers might make my decision easier. In fact, now there are more places I want to go to. :)
“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion.” – Chinese proverb.
The problem here is that none of my ideas scare me. I don’t get a distinct “yeah, this one” feeling. (Deciding where you’re going to travel isn’t necessarily life changing or world shattering, although it can be.) Not every decision has to be a scary one, of course. Otherwise, I’d be eating a lot of stray dogs.
I’ve never consciously broken down my decision making process because I don’t have much of a decision making process. Let’s create a decision making process, shall we?
First, to make a decision you need to, as clearly as possible, know your options.
What are the options?
In my case, I have 3 options. B, R, and S. Let’s call them Bricks, Riboflavin, and Submarines.
Second, are any of the options obviously out of the question?
Sometimes it’s glaringly obvious that one of our options are just not a good fit. Maybe it’s current timing, maybe it’s forever out of the question, or maybe it’s something that we hadn’t seen before. Whatever the case, you might be able to immediately disregard one or more of your options.
In my case I love Bricks, Riboflavin, and Submarines equally. I can use Bricks during “riots” to “protect” the homestead. Riboflavin is a necessary nutrient. And Submarines are both sandwiches and underwater boats. I can get behind all of that!
If you’ve removed one or more of the options, does it make your decision easier? No? Moving on …
Third, what would happen if you flipped a coin?
If you flipped a coin or played some other game of chance to make your decision would you be OK with the outcome?
Personally, this option doesn’t work too well for me in my situation. Without a compelling reason behind my decision it just won’t feel good to me. I need something tangible in my particular situation.
Do you need something tangible as well? Moving on …
Fourth, what are the benefits of each decision?
Some people make pro/con lists, but how about we stick to just the pros first?
In my case:
- I’ve never experienced throwing Bricks at a “riot” before and I’ve always wanted to. In that way it will be an incredible growth experience.
- Although I get Riboflavin daily, I’ve never consciously taken it. Living consciously is important.
- As for Submarines: The last time I ate sandwiches on an underwater boat it was one of the best times of my life! I would love to experience that again.
Are any of these positives compelling enough? No? Moving on …
Fifth, what are the negatives of each decision?
- If I’m going to throw Bricks I want to throw a lot of them. And 5 weeks isn’t enough time to do much damage.
- Do I ever really need to consciously take Riboflavin? I’m not so sure. Maybe I should get some blood work done.
- Submarines are stressful. Cramped quarters with lots of other people. But I love being underwater without touching it. It’s a unique experience that not many others get to experience and I’m not so sure I’ll have too many more opportunities to experience this.
Whoa, I just made my decision. Thanks for hanging with me. See you on the little yellow submarine. That is not a drug reference you Beatles fan you. It is, however, a metaphor. :)
What is your decision making process?