A Human Approach

Jae Rang Headshot

Personal Choice

Aha Moment Monday

How do you choose?

I’d like to paint my office so I typed in “paint colours” on the Behr site.  There were 83,577 results.
So I went to the paint store, narrowed it down to a dozen chips, and taped them to my wall.
I looked at them in different lights, against my furniture and tried to choose rationally but that choice just didn’t speak to me…so I’m back to square one.

I pride myself on being decisive – my secret weapon being my intuitive factor –  so this agonizing over picking a paint colour isn’t familiar territory.

A friend of mine just lets his wife choose.  I think handing off the decision involves two choices: 1) the choice of not choosing and 2) the choice of accepting another’s decision.
Another friend of mine is a decorator who chooses so quickly that the idea is already on the wall before I’ve unpacked my drop sheet.

Whatever the mechanism to choose, I think we can agree that it’s always a battle between analytics and emotions.

Weighing things rationally, like crunching numbers or listing pros and cons, can reveal a conclusion but that doesn’t mean it always feels right.
Emotions, on the other hand, can be so powerful in making decisions like you slamming on the brakes when a child runs onto the street to chase his ball.

But which should win to ensure we made the right decision?
Is it worth the torment?

Aha ~ You can always choose again

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.””  Deepak Chopra

“Experience” is a key word here.

You’re offered a new position different than what you have.  It sounds amazing but you’re troubled when you try to mentally project yourself into the new position and making a decision to leave the one you’re currently enjoying.  The source of the agony is that you don’t have experience in that new position.  You only know what you know in your current one.  This applies to vacation spots, relationships, cars and even having kids.  (You’re always w-a-y more comfortable raising the third child than you were the first.)  Even without past experience, you’re always creating new ones.

In an online conversation entitled, “How boredom makes you brilliant” started by the host of WNYC’s Note to Self podcast, there is discussion in favour of some level of quiet time on a regular basis.  Over-stimulation and incessant multi-tasking block your ability to draw on resources that can bring about a comfortable decision. “The best decision-makers let the situation guide them,” writes Catherine Price in an article that includes 7 steps to making decisions. “… the safer it is to go with your intuition, since your subconscious has a wealth of reliable information from which to draw.”

And when it’s all said and done, Catherine suggests, “… ask yourself how you felt afterward and what about the experience you can apply in the future.”

Whatever the outcome, there is always something to learn and new choices to make.

Have your Aha Moment Mondays delivered right to your inbox… sign up here.

Leave a Comment