Choices We Make

Last updated 30 Dec 2016 . 4 min read

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Throughout one’s professional career, the one thing that will probably determine the path one’s career takes more than the education and the professional qualifications one has or the hard work one puts in, is something a little less obvious. Namely, the choices one makes.

On the face of it, making choices might seem easy. Some choices might seem like no choices, with the obvious choice staring one in the face. The others might need careful deliberation and weighing of pros and cons and the third category altogether might require asking a third person to step in and help one take a decision based on subjective factors which might be impaired by emotive factors which prevent us from taking an informed decision. At the end of it all, decision taking is something that most people struggle with and there is always that niggling sense of self doubt as to whether one has done the right thing at all, or whether one could have chosen differently for a better outcome.

Most of life is binary. From our binary symmetrical selves as human beings to our binary brains, and therefore, choice making is also another facet that we often weigh the prosaic and the practical against the emotive and the heartfelt. The latter often, is not what works in the professional set up. So how do you take a choice that keeps your emotional factors in place, while simultaneously being practical enough to make a decision that will be in your best interests?

Here are some methods that might be helpful:

Make a pros and cons list. As with most things, writing down pros and cons on a sheet of paper in two separate column might help you come to a decision depending on what is the heavier side of the sheet at the end of it all.

Ask yourself why ten times over. If you can give yourself enough, convincing answers as to why you should take the decision you plan to take it will probably be in your best interests to take it.

Ask someone whose judgement you trust and place all the factors before them honestly. Tell them to think about it and give you an honest answer after considering all the points.

Speak to people you trust within your organisation or in your field of work and get their opinion. Sometimes someone can bring in an insight you would have normally not even thought of.

Think back to a time in your life when you had to make a similar choice and correlate the situation and your experience from the choice you eventually made at that point.

Deliberate about the ethics of the choice you have to make, sometimes just whether something is right or wrong is your choice made for you.

If you still can’t choose, make two chits, write yes and no on them. Toss them into a bowl and shake them around and pick one out. The one you’re hoping for in that split second before you open the chit you have picked out is the choice your mind has made for you.

And finally, listen to your heart. While making choices with your brain is all too good, sometimes the best decisions can come from simply deciding to go with your gut instinct. Listening to what your heart tells you about what you want to do can sway your decision in ways you cannot begin to imagine. There is a lot to be said for going with what your brain decides, but there is a lot more to be said for following your heart.


Choices We Make_Kiran Manral
Kiran Manral
Kiran Manral was a journalist before she quit to be full time mommy. Her blogs were both in India’s top blogs and she was a Tehelka blogger columnist on gender issues. Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland in 2012 and her second novel Once Upon A Crush, was published by Leadstart in 2014. Her third book is due out in August 2015 from Penguin Random House. She is on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival and is an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi. She was awarded the Women Achievers award by Young Environmentalists Group in 2013. She lives in Mumbai with her family and counts every day off the Nutella wagon as a successful day.

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