When you find yourself in the middle of a crossroad, choosing the right way can be difficult. Do you go left or right; turn back or move forward? It’s the same when faced with a tough call.
Decision-making is a very important soft skill very few people have. It’s not just about being able to pick one option over the other. Making the right decision that benefits everyone is always the goal. How do you even make that call?
Butterflies and chaos
Can a butterfly really cause a tornado in Texas weeks later, as Jeff Goldblum suggested in the film Jurassic Park?
Chaos theory dictates that even a small, minuscule change can make something behave differently. Applying it to decision-making, there’s no way for you to take account of everything when making a decision. There will always be another factor that might change the outcomes.
To put it succinctly, “Every little influence has a major impact on what’s going to happen,” said mathematics professor and chaos theorist James Yorke in an interview.
Whatever your decision will be, it might lead to different outcomes.
If you need to choose between staying in your job and taking a job offer you just received, what would you pick?
Decision-making isn’t a simple task you could just push the date of or shirk away from. The more you take your time to think or immerse yourself in information, the more you doubt. You need to be surgical, precise; you need to quickly assess all possible consequences. After all, time isn’t a luxury you have when it comes to making the right call.
What happens if you leave your company? Would they even allow you to resign? What if they gave you a better offer? Weigh in your options; in the end, you either leave unscathed or with a few cuts.
Advice is always welcome
Never underestimate the power of good parental advice. If you find yourself uncertain of what you need to do, then there’s nothing like having a heart-to-heart talk with your mom or dad. Your parents have a wealth of experience and wisdom like notches on their belts. They may not have experienced the same thing as you, but their experiences might give you an idea of how to tackle your problem.
You can also guide yourself as the New York Times once suggested. It’s always easy to be on the giving end of advice. When you’re talking to a friend, you easily give them an insight they may not even notice. Once you get over the mental gymnastics of advising yourself, you can make the right call.
For example, ask yourself: What would you say to a friend who wants to shift careers? Do you discourage them from it? Or do you tell them they should go for it? You’ll probably say, “Leaping into the unknown can be a rewarding experience, but it can also hurt you,” and ask your friend to follow their heart. Gut instincts are often right.
After all the hullabaloo, what’s left is to accept the outcome. Regretting decisions will not benefit you at all; it will only bog you down. There’s more to life than mulling over what-ifs. After all, the best milestones we achieve in life often came from the hardest decisions we make. They’re the proof that you made the right call.