A powerful way to make the 'right' choice
We all face hard choices from time to time. Not at all unusually, many of the people that ask me to coach them are struggling with at least one difficult choice in their lives. It might be a decision about what career to pursue, where to move, or whether or when to have children.
Whatever it is, these hard choices usually feel like major, life-altering decisions and we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make the 'right' choice in these situations. However, it is this idea that there is a 'right' choice that can get us into trouble when it comes to evaluating our options.
Part of being rational involves executing on our ability to evaluate alternatives so that we can identify the better option. But if we are not careful, we may unwittingly be using the wrong criteria to try to evaluate the alternatives in our hard choice.
In her TED Talk, How to Make Hard Choices, Ruth Chang says that "Hard choices are hard because there is no best option." Each option has it's own benefits and drawbacks and neither is better overall. To make a decision in such a situation requires that you create your own reasons based on what you personally value; what you as an individual want to stand for.
It is this hidden power that each of us possesses, the power to create our own reasons for our choices, that can morph what may have felt like a gut-wrenching decision into a transformative opportunity - an opportunity to wholeheartedly become the people that we are.
Chang advises, "So when we face hard choices, we shouldn't beat our head against a wall trying to figure out which alternative is better. There is no best alternative. Instead of looking for reasons out there, we should be looking for reasons in here: Who am I to be?"