Choosing Decision Making

So What Would YOU Choose?















Which ice cream would you pick? Maybe you could eat all four. What if there were 8 or 16? Sometimes, we have to choose what to do because we can’t always have everything. If we have several options and they are all fairly alike, how to we decide which one to do and in which order? For some people there would be no choice. They may not like or be able to eat ice cream. But the same types of decisions are needed for almost anything.

Some possibilities are more highly regarded than others. In terms of ice cream, perhaps chocolate in any form is always preferred? Some courses of action are preferred over others. Perhaps walking away or maybe choosing one and saving the others in the freezer? There can be many choices: many courses of action. How do you pick a winner?

We all have to make decisions all the time. Some are trivial like which ice cream, though for some people that can be a life-changing decision if perhaps you are allergic or diabetic. There are also life-changing decisions like who to marry (or not), where to study or whether to start a business. Try watching the video and see whether you would survive – or not!

Decision-making is often an unconscious choice based on our values, beliefs and preferences. It can sometimes be life or death, such as if we are driving a car and have to choose the speed to approach a corner. These are the kinds of choices we have to make quickly and automatically, where we rely on mental shortcuts we learned from past situations or developed over the years.

Some times, choosing is a long agonizing process. Which ring (of several) should we choose, which bit of housework should we do first (they all need done).

Some of the things that make it harder to decide can include missing information, stress from urgent deadlines, and not enough resources. Stress can make it hard to make a decision. Our emotions and preferences can affect our decision making process. When we have to choose how to make a hard decision, we often are influenced by our prejudices (men don’t do housework), memories (my mother used to do this for me) and emotions (feeling sad, or the last time I did this, this particular thing happened).

Paralysis By Analysis

If you have to choose one of several possibilities, all of which are similar in terms of length of time to do, their importance or urgency, it can be difficult to choose which to do first and that can waste your time. Sometimes it is best just to make a decision – go for this one – work on it, complete it and then choose the next. If you only have two choices, flip a coin and go with the one that the coin indicated. If you find yourself dithering between which project of several similar ones to start first, a coin is not as easy, so then try this.


Lay out the projects in front of you, you could use sheets of paper with a title on each one, representing the project. Then use any of your old children’s choosing rhymes, you know, the ones where you chose a companion for your team. Ones like, “Eeny meeny miny mo”, or “Each peach, pear, plum, I choose Tom Thumb”. Point to each project in turn while reciting the rhyme and pick the one your finger lands on.


If you pick a project and think, “Great, I’ll get stuck into this.”, then fine, get on with it and when it’s finished, choose another.

BUT, if at the point where your coin flip or counting rhyme indicates one project and you immediately have the feeling that you should flip the coin again, or do the counting rhyme again, then put that project to the side. With only two projects, then you start on the one that’s left. With several projects, do the counting rhyme of your choice again, leaving out the one that was chosen the previous time.


Often, our unconscious knows which one is most important or easiest to get stuck into or which one will give us the best “win”. You do not have to go with what the coin or rhyme picked out for you. It it feels wrong at this moment, then choose again.

What If There Are No Choices Left?

It is possible that you don’t want to do any of the projects. After all, if it’s a choice between doing the laundry or washing dishes, neither might be appealing. But they may HAVE to be done. In this case, use the coin or counting rhyme and don’t allow yourself any slack. Most of these kinds of tasks are done a lot more quickly than it takes to moan about them. Just get stuck in, you’ll be surprised how fast they can be done if you just do them. If you have several projects that all have to be done, then choose one and spend 15 minutes on it. Then stop that one and spend 15 minutes on the next. Keep doing this until you have completed some or all of your projects. If this is a long job, allow yourself a few minutes to rest each hour and make sure you drink water.

Motivation To Move A Mountain

Confucius said

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

A person’s perspective on life determines what they are capable of. For example, if you don’t believe you can move a mountain by simply using a shovel, then you live in a reality where it’s not possible. But then why are there people who seem to have the motivation to move a mountain? Because their reality is different, and as far as they are concerned, you just need to approach the mountain with the right plan. In other words, they start moving it one shovelful at a time.

Assuming you can adopt the same perspective for a second and indulge what – at face value – seems completely impossible, where exactly do you get the motivation?

First off, motivation isn’t some kind of magic potion only some people are naturally gifted with. Motivation is created by you, and it can be sustained by you if you get your mind in the right place. Because everything is a matter of perspective, and if you build a support system for your goals, there will be no lack of motivation to move that mountain – across the ocean if necessary – using only one shovel.

Set Goals For Moving The Mountain

There is nothing complicated about it. Setting goals means you are creating motivation to move a mountain. But it’s important that you don’t overwhelm yourself. Instead, think about your ultimate goal and break it down into smaller goals that are easy to manage and achieve.

Work Out Plans To Reach Those Goals

The next step is to work out plans for your goals. And once again, take it one step or shovelful at a time. What do you need to do right now in order to reach the bigger goal, which is getting that mountain to another destination? Yes, this is another form of motivation because you are getting things done. But you are still not where you need to be, which means moving forward to the next step.

Prioritize Your Goals And Execute

It’s time to get organized and make things happen. Keep a diary if you have to, but set aside time to do what needs to get done. For example, if you’ve found the most logical spot to start digging, stop putting out and start digging. Just make sure you have a durable shovel that can handle all the digging. Moving a mountain is not going to happen overnight, meaning that shovel is going to work for some time to come. If you have difficulty finding time, draw out a timetable for one week and block out everything you have to do, like sleeping or going to work. You can only put your shovelling into the blank areas and that may mean giving up your TV time for a while.

Maintain Focus

At some point, you may start losing the motivation to move a mountain. Maybe you just feel you are not developing quickly enough, and instead of digging, you keep looking at all the work that’s still ahead of you. Don’t fall into a negative perspective when you should only be focusing on the next shovel load you move to the next destination. That’s all that matters, the next shovelful.

Another good tip is to create a vision board. This will help to remind you of your goals, which is very effective for holding on to positive motivation. Just don’t spend too long looking at the pictures on the board when you should be moving that mountain.

Take A Moment To Look Back

Working all the time is not a healthy way to approach a big task like this. Pacing yourself is crucial if you want to sustain a healthy mindset, hence the reason for decompressing every once in a while. In fact, why not take a moment to reflect on what you have accomplished so far? Look back at what you have already achieved. Don’t be shy to feel proud of yourself, and if you really want to, a reward might just be in order.

Be Grateful For Every Inch Of Progress

The trick with maintaining motivation is to maintain perspective. As mentioned earlier, it is easy to get caught up in what still has to happen, along with all the effort that it requires. But it’s when you try to handle everything at once, that’s when you begin to feel overwhelmed and negative.

Keep thinking small steps and one quality shovelful at a time. Eventually, the mountain won’t be where you found it originally. It’s going to be where you moved it, using the right shovel and some motivation.