We all make good and bad decisions in life. Good decisions are very easy to make. It's always the ones that we are not sure. It sucks the life out of us and leave us questioning our selves.
Each person is in one of the two states while making the decision:
- Satisfying – Simply chooses the option that satisfies us the most.
- Maximizing – Tries to maximize the output but bringing in more options.
Satisfying is getting what's best for you at the given time. Like what to eat at a restaurant? Or what to wear today? such kind of stuff. At some point in your life you chose to become the maximizer. You end up scrolling the whole menu and now you want to go to a better restaurant. You start to bring in more options to get to the best one starting a never ending journey. Our brains have a threshold of 7±2 options to process in our working memory. More than that and our brain may fall in analysis paralysis. How does it effects our major decision in life?
Major decision are mostly long-term commitments like work, relationships or investments. In these decisions we usually don't have many options but we do have many outcomes or scenarios.When making these decisions, we start playing the future in our minds. Scenarios depends how we perceive the situation. If we start with optimist point of view we see opportunities, solutions and our way to prosperity. The more we do it the better it gets. If we start with pessimist point of view we are just planning our doom and that's what's exactly going to happen. The more we do this the worse it gets. This is how we plan but...
"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth"- Mike Tyson
Do these thoughts have anything to do with the actual future? No! These thoughts are in our heads. But these thoughts do define our actions and our actions are what effects the reality. If you planed too much while making a decision, it's like watching a movie that you already know the ending of. It becomes boring and if does not go according to your plan your brain will trick you into correction mode instead of seeing the new opportunities presented to you.
If you start something with experimenters or a learners point of view, you will be excited to explore and try different thing even with the mundane of the tasks. This might lead you to a better unexplored path altogether. If you look at it all the decisions you ever made were bad, if you had not put in the work that made them great. Maximizing your options can put you in trouble, you can ask this fox.
The fox was telling the cat about how many ways he knows to escape the hunter. The cat knew only one way, climb the tree. While they were discussing the hunter came. The cat climbed up the tree while the fox was deciding as to what was the best way to escape the hunter. While he kept thinking the dogs came and took the fox.
The cat trusted herself. She had confidence that she could climb up the tree and so she did. It's never about the choices we make, It's the trust in ourselves that makes our choices right.