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Choices & Consequences

by Roy Chambers (follow)
life (68)      choice (33)      understanding (16)     
Choice seems to make people upset. Psychologist refer the one interesting phenomena called post decisional regret, which occurs whenever we make a big choice: we often regret the choice made.

Attribution: Flickr - Kyle Pearce

The richer nations become the unhappier they are, and this might have to do with the fact that wealth brings choice, and perhaps more post decisional regret.

Generally we don't want to give up making choices but we want to be happier with the choices that we make.

All choices have consequences

No matter what we choose we lose. We choose to buy a small car then we lose out on the room, but if we choose a larger car we lose out on fuel economy and have the hassle of parking a larger car.

Attribution: Flickr - einalem

**Before making a choice be aware of what we might miss*

When we make a choice, be aware of what we are missing out on when we make that choice. Many people are so caught up in what they want, the negative consequences come as a surprise. Better to be aware of them from the beginning.

After making a choice focus on the positive value of our choice

Instead of missing what we don't have, focus on the value what we do have. You will see people do this all the time. In the example of a person who has just bought a car, they will spontaneously tell you why they are happy with their choice. It helps make them focus on the positives in their decision.

Attribution: Flickr - geralt

Find value in your bad choices

A lot of times the worst problems come around big choices. Choose to buy the wrong house and it is a lot of effort to sell it, choose the wrong job and you could be stuck in for years.

Attribution: Flickr - Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig

Life is full of these bad choices, but all of them also have some value as well and we have to make the best of what we end up with. After all, in reality we were probably choosing between two bad options. What really matters is accepting our choice and making the most of it.

Move on from your bad choices

The worst type of decisions are those that you refuse to reverse. Like a couple I saw who had taken the wrong bus and refused to get off, despite the fact that several times we saw connecting buses coming along that would take them to where they wanted to be. Instead they just sat on the bus following their wrong choice.

Attribution: Flickr - Bryan Rosengrant

The power of choice is that we can choose again and reverse our decisions. That doesn't mean being wishy washy and changing your mind all the time, it is about identifying a bad choice and then finding a better choice to make.

Finally: make choices boldly

Many people spend their life avoiding choices. Which means they decide nothing and often achieve very little. We make a lot of bad choices in our life, or sometimes make wise choices that turn out later to be bad.

Attribution: Flickr - Nadia J. Mahfix

Yet choices have to be made and it is important to make them in both an informed and definitive manner.

I like the phrase "Make all decisions in the space of seven breaths" or to put it a better way, gather all the necessary information, then clear your mind and by the time you have taken seven breaths you will have decided.

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