A decision is a decision is a decision

We all make a whole lot of decisions every single day. They come in all kinds of situations, and they have different kinds of impact on us depending on what the consequences of the decision might be.

Because of that, a lot of people struggle with making decisions. It might be that you’re worried about the consequences, or that you simply can’t know what the consequences of your decisions might be.

The thing for me to remember is that I’m never struggling with a decision itself. Decisions are never the hard part in the process, it’s what comes after the decision is made.

There’s no inherent difference in the process of deciding what to have for dinner or deciding on a career path. None at all.

There might be things to take into consideration when making the decision regarding who it impacts, what will happen to you if you choose one or the other and so on. But actually making the decision isn’t different at all.

An example:

Decision no 1: Should I go to the gym today?

If I do go to the gym, I’m going to miss out on some time with my partner. It would be quite nice to have a movie night together and cozy up on the sofa as we haven’t spent that much time together lately.

If I don’t go to the gym, I will feel bad about myself tomorrow. I do have that race coming up as well, and I really do want to perform there. I need to be in the best shape to do that.

Decision no 2: Should I switch jobs?

If I do switch jobs, I’ll miss my current colleagues and I’ll put them in a tight spot as they need to find someone to replace me. I’ll get a pay rise and I’ll have a new set of tasks that excite and challenge me a little bit.

If I don’t switch jobs, I’ll still be somewhat bored every day with what I’m doing. I’ll risk being set in my tracks at the company. I’ll still be able to hang out with the nice people that I work with and I’ll be able to negotiate a bit given that I’ve been offered a new one.

All the reasons above, regardless of which decision you’re trying to make, are valid and I would say quite common. When making decisions, most people I’ve spoken to tend to see both positive and negative outcomes from their decisions.

The mistake that I want to point too is the fact that we value these two decisions. The second decision would by most people be labeled “A big decision”. That’s true in terms of consequences, changing jobs would probably create more stress, anomaly and volatility than (not) go to the gym.

But the process is the same. The decision itself isn’t bigger or smaller, the impact it has might be.

One decision isn’t harder to make than the other, the process of reaching the decision might be. In some cases there are more variables to take in to account. I attribute those to the research stages rather than the execution of making the decision.

The key point

Decisions themselves are inherently all the same. The consequences aren’t. The research process isn’t. The variables aren’t. But actually making the decision is.

Things to do:

  • When making a decision, big or small, acknowledge it. See it, notice it and see the process around making it.
  • When you’ve started noticing yourself making decisions, start making them consciously. Take a little moment to see if you want to change your decisions that you make on a regular basis.

Things not to do:

  • Don’t make decisions big or small. They’re the same. The context around them isn’t though, and be aware of that.
  • Reflect on past decisions, but don’t dwell. It won’t make your life any better!

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Caspian Almerud

Caspian Almerud

Do stuff.

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