Why Difficult vs. Big Decisions are Different Things
Life & Career, About Human, Society
The Dimension of Making Decisions You’ve Never Thought About
How are Difficult & Big (or Easy & Small) Decisions Different?
Even the simplest acts can consume thought and decision energy. The shoes you will wear today. The thickness of your clothes according to the weather. Things you need to have in your bag. Your meeting agenda. Time periods to arrange to meet other people. Locations to meet people. All the decisions we make daily…
What you’re going to eat, drink, read, watch; who you’re going to text; which social media update you’ll follow; which picture or status you’ll share and like; and others.
You get the situation. You already know it so well and live this reality. But all these we’ve mentioned so far are small decisions. If you pay attention, I’m not saying ‘easy’ decisions. Because it’s not just the effect of a decision that determines its easiness or difficulty.
Difficulty and bigness are separate notions. The first factor in determining the difficulty of a decision is how many options you’re choosing from at one time. The second factor is how complicated the pros and cons of the options are. The third is how much effect it has in other areas of life. And the fourth is your decision-making energy at that moment.
Small – Difficult Decisions
Let’s exemplify. Buying a cover for your phone might be difficult. After all, you’ll carry it with you all the time. It needs to be ergonomic in different situations, fit your pocket or your bag, provide protection when it falls. For some, it shouldn’t be too vulgar, and for others it should be attention-grabbing. There are tens of big and hundreds of small companies in the market that produce phone covers. There are many models these companies produce that fit different tastes and needs. Some are almost the price of a cheap phone. Some are for single use. Different colours, features and other variables. When you look at all of these, you can see buying a phone cover can be a difficult decision. But is it a big decision?
Or let’s put it this way. You got a new apartment. You need to renew the lighting system of the living room. Should it be led, halogen or fluorescence? How should the light warmth be? Do you want a warm yellow or a bright white? Should it be a ceiling light, a floor lamp or an adjustable light? Where should it be located? You cannot use the same light for every room. Which light to use in other rooms? Also, how much electricity will they consume? Should savings or classiness be important?
We know that the lighting system we will use in the living room is not that big of a decision. But it’s not being big doesn’t make it easy. There are still so many variables. The pros and cons effects are still complicated. It still effects other areas of life (different situations in the living room like reading a book, having guests, watching movies, eating etc.). Thus it is a difficult decision.
So, to clear up, things that make a decision difficult:
1. Abundance of options
2. Complexity of the features of the options
3. How much of the life areas the decision affects
4. Person’s decision-making energy
(Read “Make Important Life Decisions in the Morning” for the fourth point.)
There are Big – Easy Decisions as well.
On the other side of the scale, there are big decisions. Big decisions can be difficult for the reasons above; but they don’t have to.
For example, there might be a big decision ahead for a private sector employee why gets a chance to be promoted after 7 years of working. Yet if he doesn’t have any other options but to decline the offer, if this choice will increase his income but will not radically affect other areas of his life, and if the options don’t have pros and cons to be analysed in detail; this can be an easy decision.
In a different scenario, imagine a person – who want to quit because he has been mobbed in the company he’s working for two years – gets an offer from the competition company for a job with similar qualities and quantities; with a salary increase as well. Changing jobs is always a big decision but it can be very easy as well.
Let’s make it a bit more personal.
You’re almost 30. The question in mind is “should I get married?”. A big decision. There’s no doubt to it. It might be one of the mots important and biggest steps a person can take in adulthood. So what would make it an easy decision, and what would make it difficult? If you have many suitors, or if you are going after many people :), the decision will get a bit difficult. The more different the style, behaviour, morals, values and priorities of the people you want to marry, the more difficult the choice will be.
Marriage is undoubtedly a situation that affects many areas of life. But for example, if you’re deciding to marry someone from work, this will affect not only you personal and emotional life but also your work life. So it will get more difficult than usual. Marriage decision is always big, but it can be very difficult as well. In another scenario, if you’re in love with someone, if you have harmony, if the parents are supporting the marriage, if you live in similar neighborhoods and work at different jobs, if your goals in life match; this decision is still big but it can be big and easy.
Take a look at your life and decisions ahead of you.
I believe if you manage to analyse the bigness and difficulties of your life decisions as “different things”, you will benefit from this directly. This distinction will bring you a clarity of mind especially when you’re indecisive.
Think of the topics that you’re indecisive about. Try by asking yourself if they are caused by the difficulty of the bigness of these decisions. You might discover new points of view.
Wishing you luck with all these decisions!