Choosing Wisely


Sometimes decision-making is easy: choose A or choose B, say yes to one and no to the other. In society today, more often than not, there are a variety of choices. In many ways, variety is the spice of life and most Americans delight in true freedom of choice, whether it involves work, lifestyle, friends, belief systems, political candidates or places to live. However, we do have to make up our minds dozens of times a day about moderately important items, and dozens of times in our lives, about crucial, life-effecting choices. Because of mobility, education and resources that many of us have, the need to choose has multiplied exponentially over the past century. How can we deal with decision-making overload? 

At fifteen years old, while walking down the street one day, it hit me. I had more than one choice about things. Some people were advising me to go one way on a certain issue, others were suggesting the opposite, and both were saying there were only two choices. I began to see that there were several other possible choices, and that I needed to see all of them and evaluate each in relation to the other choices. That insight was HUGE for a fifteen-year-old … it has stayed with me ever since. When I have to choose between one or the other, I try very hard to determine if these are, in fact, my only choices. 

Every choice has consequences – good or bad. Being able to think through the consequence of very important choices, and actually imagine them is an important step. The next step is to get beyond the thought process to the level of feeling and intuition. Sometimes the rational mind says one thing, but the heart says another. The real question … what to decide despite the conflicting elements from outside, and the conflicting emotions within? 

The answer to that question is … you have to know the choices and consequences well BEFORE you make up your mind.

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