Let me clear my throat

20 May

Does the Web get cobwebs? It’s been ages since I had something to say, and so there were some relatively anxious moments when I struggled to recall my password, and wondered whether the powers that be at WordPress had reallocated my virtual real estate to others with more time on their hands and words in their fingers. But as it turns out, the cloud is forgiving, and so here we are.

In the meantime, it’s good to be back. A recent week off left me with lots of thinking time, and via discussions with friends and family, the issue of choices and how we make them came up time and again. What should I pick? How should I choose? Is this better, or that? It’s amazing how many times these types of questions come up in day-to-day living.

It seems to me that one sign of growing up is that this choosing business gets harder, not easier, especially for the big stuff. Gone are the days of easy assertion – I don’t want broccoli, I like the blue one, let’s go this way. Instead, we think about the what-ifs, the trade-offs, the what-will-they-thinks. And hey, those are probably the right things to consider. If it was easy, we would have done it, right? If I look back on some of the big choices I’ve made, there are some common threads I’ve noticed.

  • They were outcome-driven, not process-driven. I had no idea how I was going to make it happen, but I knew what I wanted to have at the end
  • They were the sum of many smaller choices. Every time I got to a potential “fork in the road” I chose the path that got me closer to the outcome
  • They all had potential upside and downside consequences. I coached myself to articulate the best possible as well as the (much easier) worst possible things that could happen as a result of my choice.
  • They were mine. I shared the options with many people and discussed them thoroughly, but I made the choices on my own.

Now this isn’t a recipe, and it’s definitely not advice. But I am curious about whether other people’s brains work this way too. How do you make choices? What are your ‘go to’ questions or criteria for making decisions? If you choose to share, that would be cool.

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