Thursday, March 15, 2007

NPR - Choices III

I've written about choices in other posts, first about the concept of bounded rationality and second in the number of choices we choose to see and decide with in our lives. This post is about other choices that aren't often obvious or even considered but are part of the multiple choices we continually face in life. These aren't mutually exclusive choices, but merely facets of the choices.

The first is where the choices are simply getting better or worse, and staying the same isn't an option. Sometimes it's hard to see this or see this as choices, but these choices are fairly straight forward in what happens after you decide. For example, I've taken hiatuses from my exercise program of running and weight training, often for months due to work or life events. And when I think abouto starting again, the choice is simple, exercise and get better or not exercise and get worse. These decisions are often no-brainers, but there are times when the decision takes time to convince yourself.

The second is the "no-win" situation where none of the choices have any real benefits except it's often the differences in losses or changes. These are the ones we encounter in our life and really hate to face, let alone contemplate and decide. You know it's going to hurt in some way and you have to sort through the lessor of evils and severity of each. And often it's more a process of elimination from the worst to the least which works.

The third is the push-pull choies. With many choices, the factors in the decision have both push and pull factors, meaning for everyone pulling you toward it there are factors pushing you away or to others. These are often the most commonly encountered as everything has advantages and disadvantages. For example the decision to retire. There are numerous reasons to retiring, such as freedom, time, personal interests, and so on. And there are reasons to staying, such as career, professonal interests, opportunities, and so on. It's the weight of the factors for the push and pull of each choice that determines the final balance.

The fourth is the no decision, which is different than simply waiting, and the worse procrastinating. This is often what we do, simply don't make a decision hoping for something to change which changes the choices or for finding new information about the choices. It can be mistaken for waiting or delaying the decision, and the difference isn't always clear. A no decision implies uncertainity in the choices and waiting is indecision with everything there. A factor sometimes is time, a no decision usually isn't time critical where often waiting only adds to the stress in the decision.

The photo? I thought it was interesting to see that each of the children had a choice in the face of the moving ferry on a windy day. They could face the wind, turn and feel the wind at your back, seek cover from the worst of it while still feeling it, or just leaving to a safe place. Each of them made a decision shown in the photo. Something we can learn from children?

No comments:

Post a Comment