The overbearing pressure of making choices


In theory, decision-making is the process of making a choice from several alternatives to achieve the desired result.

WE often make life choices that will shape our future.

Consequently, we come to understand that one of the most crucial aspects of life is ‘decision-making’, as every choice requires choosing wisely.

Even when the choices may appear small at the moment, they may have a significant impact on our life. However, acknowledge that making poor choices in life is a natural aspect of being human.

What kinds of choices do we make today that will impact us later on? Decision-making can be categorised into two: sentimental and work.

An instance of making a choice in a sentimental context is this one: “Should I get into a relationship with that guy I’ve been talking to?”

On the contrary, “Should I accept the job offer from that company?” is an example of work-related life choice.

Next, do we rely on intuitive or rational processing when we attempt to answer these questions?

The process of making decisions is as fascinating as the decisions themselves.

A cross-sectional study on decision-making processes shows that intuitive processing is more involved in sentimental choices while rational processing is more involved in work choices.

Since rational decision-making is more objective and consistent, it appears to offer greater advantages in most life situations.

On the other hand, emotional decision-making, or intuitions can occasionally turn irrational. We often think that making a judgement based more on intuition and sentiment than on reason and logic might not be as reliable.

Now, let’s return to the initial query: “Should I get into a relationship with that guy I’ve been talking to?”

In this scenario, picture yourself using rational decision-making techniques. Would you pursue the ‘perfect’ person who appears to have all the textbook characteristics of a life partner but whom you have no real feelings for?

A person’s perspective on relationships and the idea of ‘love’ will undoubtedly influence their judgement of this issue.

The same concept applies to the employment question: given two entirely different job offers, which would you take — the one you are passionate about but has little security and stability, or the one that is completely the opposite of your interests but pays well and allows for career advancement?

In the end, individual differences play a role in judgement and decision-making.

As Mark Twain once said: “Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from bad decisions.”

There is no right or wrong in life — only how you choose to see the results and move on. Mistakes lead to experience.

In theory, decision-making is the process of making a choice from several alternatives to achieve the desired result.

Decision-making involves making a choice from a variety of possibilities, resources, and opportunities. Obtaining the ‘desired result’ entails having a goal or objective as a result of the mental processes the decision maker uses to make the choice.

The relevance of two fundamental human motivations — the desire to reduce uncertainty and the desire to gain advantage — is well-acknowledged by researchers in psychology.

Most importantly, choose to trust and adhere to your own choices — as long as you are prepared to take accountability for them.

Every day, we have to make hundreds of decisions. Many of them are straightforward choices like deciding what to wear when we open the closet in the morning.

We are not always ‘in command’ while making decisions. One moment, we act impulsively and let our emotions get the better of us; in the next, we become paralysed by uncertainty.

Our priorities, the decisions we make, and the way we spend our time and resources are all influenced by desire. They influence our willingness to make sacrifices via the decisions we make.

For certain people, making choices can be empowering. It means taking control of one’s life, and it is a wonderful feeling to know you have the ability to choose.

Life is ‘a series of choices we make’. With this power to choose, go as big as you desire.

Choices are powerful because they have the ability to rewrite our destiny. A right choice can alter the course of your life.

If you find yourself regretting a choice you made, there’s always a new day.

* The writer is a psychology graduate who enjoys sharing about how the human mind views the world.