Choices and Decisions

As a lad – I’ve longed to write that for many years – I had a competitive relationship with my older brother (to tell the truth, I was convinced that I was actually the eldest as my birthday was earlier in the year than his – I know , flawed logic, but not to a five year old).

To avoid squabbling we had a cutting the cake rule. If I cut, then my brother Ian could choose the slice. Here was a great example of choice and decision making.

Every time I cut into a cake I am reminded of this little pantomime. And about how we make both choices and decisions.

Of course, there are moments when we make decisions without knowing what choices exist. Then there are Hobson Choices … You need it and there is no option available. Easy eh?

I began to wonder the other day about the number of choices – and therefore decisions – which we make each and every day. My research – well, asking about three people – produced widely different answers, ranging from 300 to 30000.

How many Choices and Decisions do you think you make every day? Those accurate people amongst us – the Accurate Actuaries probably – will need to define what is a Choice and what is a Decision. To my mind they are anything to do with your waking day – and there could be some involving sleep but let’s not go there.

You wake up. Choice – bed, loo, up and away. Decision. To keep quiet or not. Decision. To get dressed or to emulate Noel Coward? Decision. Breakfast – to eat? Decision. Cereal or porridge. Choice. Decision.

And so it goes on.

Then of course you have a choice of attitude and subsequent behaviours. Calm and collected or Disgusted Tonbridge Wells? Choice.

Grumpy or charming? Choice. And so it goes on.

Do you elect to make a Decision first or to review the Choices first? But, how can you select the choices unless you have already made a decision to select the choices? So, the sequence is Primary Decision – Choice Analysis – Decision about which Choice to adopt … and then further Decision as to how to implement the Choice. There may well be multiple options making selecting the right Choice that much harder. You may make a Decision to select the Best Worst Choice or perhaps the Worst Best Choice.

And it is only 7.32am.

Then there are Decisions Not to Make a Decision. To reach that point you – and the others you are with – will have to have made a Decision to make a Decision Not to Make a Decision. So, you have made a Decision after all.

Does every Choice have an associated Decision? Yes – because even if you choose – as above, not to make a Decision you have made a Decision. You therefore make a Choice of Making a Choice. That is in itself a Decision.

And it is only 8.17am.

No wonder your brain uses up to 30% of your daily calorie intake.

More than likely, Dear Reader, you will VERY shortly make a Decision to stop reading this. After all, you do have a Choice.

Or you can carry on … the Choice is yours. Come on, buck up. Make a Decision.

And it is only 9.33am.

Choices and Decisions© Duncan Christie-Miller