Choosing is losing: Or is it?

October 18th, 2016

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Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin-can openers. (Underworld - Born Slippy) Making choices can be terrifying! What if you make a choice and in the long run it turns out that you have made a wrong choice? Should you make choices thoughtfully and painstakingly or quickly and decisively? What is the impact of my choices? Choosing is losing: If I choose one thing I will lose the other because it will no longer be available etc. Most people are afraid to take risks because if you risk something you might miss something. Be aware of this when taking decisions: taking risks can lead to nice rewards. A few years ago a colleague came to me with a specific problem and asked my opinion on a choice he had to make. After he explained his choices I told him that I didn’t understand his hesitation because, for me, the issue boiled down to this simple question: “What is best that can happen if I choose it and what is the worst that can happen if you do not?” If you are honest with yourself and can predict the impact of your choice just go.
Let’s look at an example: Will I have a cup of coffee?

Q1: What is the best that can happen if I choose coffee? A1: I will have a great cup of coffee.

Q2: What is the worst thing that can happen if I choose coffee? A2: The coffee will be cold and I will not like it.

=> Bad coffee is not the end of the world so go for the coffee!
Example 2: You are single and interested in meeting new people: Should I approach the beauty sitting alone?

Q1: What is the best that can happen if I approach this attractive person?

A1: The person is nice, you get to know a new person and… who knows where this can lead?

Q2: What is the worst that can happen if I approach this attractive person?

A2: The person is terrible / rude / smells bad / etc.

=> At the worst, you have lost a minute of your time but at least you tried and should it work who knows where the story will lead. The rewards can be great! If you can simplify your choice to this simple question it will make it easier to make the choice. Once the choice has been made the next step is even more simple (it might be terribly difficult in practice but oh so simple in theory): “Live with your choices, see if you made a judgment call on the best /worst question, adapt your choice-making-process accordingly and keep going.” Whatever the outcome you should never feel sorry about the choice you made if you weighed the pros against the cons based on the information available to you at the moment you took your choice. For me, this was the first blog-type text I have ever written. In the best case someone will like it, try the idea behind it and will find it easier to make choices in the future. In the worst case no one will read this and I have wasted 10 minutes of my life. Please do not forget to leave remarks, or share your thoughts via the comments.
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