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Decisions Not So Black and White


It’s common and not an entirely bad thing to want to make the “right” decision instead of the “wrong” decision.

We all want our decisions to be validated in the crucible of reality.

But it is fallacious to assume either that there are only two alternatives (the right one or the wrong one), or that the reason that some decisions don’t work outĀ has to do with a fatal flaw in the original decision.

Let’s take the two problems one at a time.

First, that there is a “right” decision to be made and all other decisions are flatly “wrong”.

This either-or, blank-and-white thinking is naive at best if not outright dangerous.

Instead of a fork in the road, imagine a chess board. There are many possible moves to make. There are multiple strategies one might select and/or switch between. There is also another player involved who is making decisions with varying degrees of precision, shrewdness and finesse of their own.

Imagine then an (as yet not invented) eight-person chess game with an octagonal gigantic chess board. Multiple decision-makers and multiple dynamics resulting in an infinite array of possible outcomes.

Imagine now that it is your turn to make your next move. What will you choose? What decision will you make?

I hope it is obvious that there is no possible way to believe any longer that there is one “right” decision you must find that will assure eventual victory.

On what basis then will you make your next decision? Here decision-making becomes as much art as it is science.

The second assumption was that the failure of a decision to work out is proof that the “wrong” decision was made.

Again, we are confronted with the complex nature of reality with its many participants, multi-faceted dynamics, and environmental factors outside of our control.

That a decision does not work out does not mean it was not the best decision at the time. It means that other factors are at work, and we need to adjust accordingly.

Those fixated on judging decisions as either “right” or “wrong” are not paying attention to the next decision they need to make. They are not flexible enough to allow for adjustments along the way, because they have just proven to themselves that they or someone else is a bad decision-maker.

What about you?

What gets your attention when trying to make a decision?

If your field of vision is filled with a stark fork in the road demanding that you figure out which path is correct, you will approach your decision radically different than if you see a chess board demanding you make your next move among many.

On your side,

– Karl Edwards

Here's My Thought...

five − = 3