On making (tough) decisions

Most people think making decisions is a conscious, rational process.
It isn’t. It is an unconscious affair that goes on for ages and ages, and at some point it calls on the conscious part of the brain, tells it what the decision is and asks it to rationalise it.

– You want me to do what!?
– We want you to cycle around the world
– Are you mad?
– We think it’ll be fun.
– No, it won’t, it’d be hardship, cold nights, rain.
There will be dogs, malaria and people playing loud rap-music.
It’s dangerous.
– Oh, of course not, we think it’s gonna be a laugh.
– How am I going to tell my family and friends?
– How should we know? That’s your responsibility. You deal with it.

Here’s an interesting TED talk on making hard decisions: link

In short: I had to decide for myself whether I wanted to go out and explore the world once more, or stay comfortably at home doing my job in an air conditioned office and, more importantly, having a secure future. I learnt that it’s not a matter of making a choice, weighing the pros and cons, working out a very complex formula, but rather a question of trying to define myself and the kind of person I want to be.

I also learnt that I made that decision a long time ago.


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