I sometimes hear people say that "maybe I made the wrong decision" or "that person made some bad decisions." I think decisions are more complicated than that.
Let's talk about a simple decision- like shall I eat a banana or a piece of rat poison. Yes, in this case, there is one right decision and one wrong decision. But what if I say- shall I eat a banana or a pack of potato chips. That made that decision so much more complicated. And what if the decision is - shall I eat a pack of potato chips or a piece of pizza?
In life, there are many many decisions where it's not so clear what is right, and what is wrong. Maybe it's better to see it as - what is the "best" decision I can make. Sometimes all the options you are given aren't good at all. Sometimes the decision involves so many factors that you have to take time to evaluate all of them. Take the potato chips and pizza decision- What are the ingredients used? What type of cheese? What type of pizza base? Is the pizza homemade or shop bought? Do I have any allergies? Do they both cost the same? Can I get both easily? So many of these answers can make either decision a better one.
So how do we approach decision making? I think we have to develop the practice of considering the problem at hand, or the decision to be made from multiple angles and perspectives. Consider all the factors, and the possible solutions. Maybe there's a third solution that you have not even thought of at all. Consult experts and wise people who can weigh in and help provide opinions. At the end of it all, pick one that seems to be the "best". But it doesn't end there. Most often in life, what you do after making the decision defines the outcome. If you picked a career, you need to do the work to make that decision a success. If you decided to buy a particular car, you have to maintain it well to be able to say that it was a good buy.
There's another piece. Some decisions are just morally wrong. Some are legally wrong. Ethics, morality and legality also play an important role in helping us understand why some decisions are just wrong, and walking that path may lead to a lot of pain.
So consider the options, pick the best, and make it work. And beyond that, when we see someone making a decision that doesn't seem like a good one, let's not be so quick to judge. Maybe they are choosing from the options they have, and are doing their best to make it work. For example - a young student who works at a call center all night to support themself. A little empathy and listening to understand why they are doing what they are doing, can go a long way in supporting them through something that might be really hard for them too.
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