Making the right choice - a critical life skill | Sunday Observer

Making the right choice - a critical life skill

People who ‘go with their gut’ are actually trusting the work their unconscious mind has already done.
People who ‘go with their gut’ are actually trusting the work their unconscious mind has already done.

Each day, we make countless choices. Life is full of hard choices and the bigger they are and the more options we have, the harder they get. Which business degree should I do? What movie should I watch? What should I eat for dinner? Which TV channel should I watch?

The ability to make the right choice is a critical life skill. One thing in common in every successful person is the quality of choices made. We tend to react very quickly when presented with two options, especially when one is seemingly better. When presented with more than two options, though, we choke up.

Practice, experience, and rule of thumb can help us make those split-second decisions which we are forced to make when encountering daily challenges. Fortunately, we don’t make do-or-die decisions very frequently – we usually have the luxury of working through a decision with acute evaluation of each choice – but when looking back, we will all realize that we have made wrong choices along the journey.

The question is; do we really make use of the time available to make the best choice possible.

Believe in something good

If we search for good, we will find it. If we search for something to complain about, we will surely find it. Choose to search for good. And choose to believe something good can and that will happen. Choose to live with hope, rather than despair. Don’t be a dope. Learn to cope. Live with hope.

We cannot choose what will happen TO us, but we can choose what happens IN us. That is; we can choose to have the right attitude, one in which we view challenges as opportunities instead of problems. Choose to be positive. When we act out of habit rather than conscious choice, the path we were traveling on is a rut, perhaps even a slippery slope.

If we don’t want to end up at the wrong place, we have to be awake. We have to be aware and make our choices consciously- skillfully.

The best way to do this is to develop the habit of always looking for opportunities. Working through a big decision can give us a kind of tunnel vision, where we get so focused on the immediate consequences of the decision at hand is that we don’t think about the eventual outcomes we expect.

Sri Lankans make decisions quickly, even when lacking information, tend to be more satisfied with their decisions. People who ‘go with their gut’ are actually trusting the work their unconscious mind has already done, rather than second-guessing it and relying on their conscious mind’s much more limited ability to deal with complex situations.

Be wise

Whatever process you use to arrive at your decision, your satisfaction with your decision will depend largely on whether you claim ownership of your choices.

If you feel pressured into a choice or not in control of the conditions, you’ll find even positive outcomes colored negatively. On the other hand, taking full responsibility for your choices can make even failure feel like a success – you’ll know you did your best and you’ll have gained valuable experience for next time. Making the right choices at the right time and making those selected choices work with focus and commitment bring definite success. 

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