Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Choosey People Choose Wisely
Flip a coin. Draw straws. Paper, rock, scissors. Make a thorough analysis of the situation, accurately diagnose what is the best course of action, and proceed hence. Weigh the pros and cons.
Choices are presented and decisions are made everyday. How those decisions are made can make all the difference in the potential positive or negative outcome of the choice.
Most decisions are fairly simply. People glance over the menu in a restaurant and chose items that appeal to their taste, fit their budget, maybe accommodate a diet or are just familiar.
Other choices are made using complicated methodologies and intensive research. The weight of a particular fiber used in the construction of a shirt and it's stain/wrinkle resistant properties vs. projected durability/useful life and actual cost vs. price.
Rational, intuitive, logical, impulsive, planned, spontaneous...so many ways to make a decision.
If there is one life skill I wish could be taught at a young age (say, 5 or 6), it would be how to make sound, rational decisions.
There were people in my life when I was young who would say things such as "Think before you act" and "Your actions have consequences," but no one that I can remember ever actually sat me down and explained the hows and whys of making sound, rational decisions.
So I ended up having to learn everything the hard way - that's what is meant, btw, when someone states they attended the school of hard knocks.
I graduated summa cum laude.
The ability to make sound, rational decisions cannot be understated, or underappreciated. Decision making, whether it's a big or small choice, is something we all do everyday, and it would seem to me that the younger we are taught how to make sound, rational decisions the better off we and the world around us would be.
These days I'm pretty good at listing the pros and cons of a decision, contrasting the benefits or disadvantages of a particular choice, considering alternatives, and then making a choice I can live with.
That's how I bought my car - I researched online and in magazines what mid-sized SUVs rated the highest over the long term, I test drove a few of them (okay, 18 of them - I might have gone a little overboard there), I asked the opinions of a few people I trust who know about cars, and then I balanced what I could afford against what was available to me for purchase.
It only took a little over a year.
Which is a vast improvement over the time, effort, energy & resources I formerly put into decisions as big as purchasing
a vehicle. Usually it was "Man, that is a nice looking truck, and it's a sweet shade of blue, too. I wonder if I can get a loan to buy it?"
Not the best way to go about buying a vehicle that I am going to need to be safe, reliable transportation for at least 5 years.
Arriving late to the rational decision making game sucks. A lot. However, it is mucho better than never arriving at all. Who knows, I now may just be able to avoid being some poor woman's worst date or know enough to turn down the "opportunity of a lifetime" in the future.
I'm saying it's possible...probable is a whole 'nother ball of wax.