The Happy Chemist

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I struggle to make decisions. I often flip-flop between two conflicting points of view, seeing the good and bad in both.

Of course, there are some decisions that are easy to make. These are where the options are black and white. For instance – whether to run a red light, or steal. Our moral compass guides us to do the right thing and we don’t even have to think about it.

But there are other decisions that are not so clear-cut. These tend to have a personal or emotional component.

For example, recently I had an extremely difficult decision to make. A positive choice would benefit the community but be to my detriment. Two factors played on my mind. Firstly, I was bought up in a home where we were encouraged to always consider the greater good. Secondly, I was concerned about the personal effect of my choice.

I had to think carefully about why I was struggling in this. I realised that often I make a choice out of fear – either because I am afraid to do something, or because I am afraid of the consequences if I don’t do something.

Neither of these is a good thing.

Upon reflection, I have concluded that fear-based decisions are made because of insecurity – fear of losing out on an opportunity, fear of loss, or perhaps a lack of confidence. It’s all in the mind – I had better do this or else such and such could happen. 

Instead, decisions should be made for a positive reason – because I am gaining something good, or because it aligns with my core values or beliefs.

Once I realised this, my tough choice became a little easier to make. Because I wasn’t just looking at it in terms of pros and cons. I had gone a little deeper, and thought about why I was tending toward one side or the other. 

So in future, thinking about the “why” should help me become more decisive. 

~ Clive

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