Making Good Decisions

Most people approach most decisions as win-lose situations. Win if you pick the best option and lose if you don’t. It’s as if every decision they make is a carnival game with cosmic consequences.

The reality is that our lives are full of good options and as long as we decide and keep moving forward we are likely to find good outcomes.

A great example of this is the way people feel about buying cars. In the big picture, whether you pay $34,000 or $30,000 for your car makes little difference. But if you and a friend just bought the same truck and you find out you paid $4,000 more you will likely feel terrible. The happiness of the new purchase disappears and you feel like a loser.

This win-lose mindset paralyzes us. It takes up energy and time and makes us unhappy.

We are incredibly lucky to live in a world where we have amazing options. Whether it is where you live, what you do for work, where you go on vacation when you start a family or almost anything else in your life there is no one right decision. There are certainly decisions that will lead you closer to outcomes you would prefer, but with big life decisions, like taking jobs or moving, there will always be an element of the unknown.

The best way to approach those situations is not to think longer, harder, or to waste paper on pro and con lists. But, instead to trust the context you have put yourself in and remember that even if another route could have hypothetically turned out better, you will never know for sure. You will only ever know the timeline you are on and the timeline you are on will likely turn out well.

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