Decisions, decisions

I feel like I’ve got 3 boxes in front of me.

Corrugated shipping container, one type of &qu...

Corrugated shipping container, one type of “cardboard box” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first box, my box, has my own comfortable shoes.

The second box has one of three things; nothing, a pair of really disgusting smelly shoes, and a pair of the Best Shoes I Have Ever Owned.

The third box has one of two things; a pair of really disgusting smelly shoes, and a pair of the Best Shoes I Have Ever Owned.

I have to pick only one box, and I am not allowed to see what is under box 2 or 3 before I’ve made my choice.

I have to give up my box with my comfy shoes if I pick box 2 or 3, unless box number two has nothing in it, in which case I get my comfy shoes.

Boxes 2 and 3 could both have really disgusting smelly shoes, or they could both have the Best Shoes I Have Ever Owned. They could also have differing things: nothing in box 2 and Best Shoes I Have Ever Owned in 3; Best Shoes I Have Ever Owned in 2 and really disgusting smelly shoes in 3, and so forth.

However, I will never know what is in the box I didn’t choose. It gets taken away when I verbalize my choice. And if I choose Box #3, my comfy shoes get taken away as well. If Box #2 has something in it (not nothing) then my comfy shoes get taken away, too.

In other words, 2 of my three choices are a risk.  I could be getting a really good thing, or I could be put in a worse situation than I am now. But if I stay where I am, I could be missing out on the really good thing.

This is beyond the pros and cons list – we’ve done that.  This is about the unknown factor.

How do you make a decision like this?

*sigh* I hate big decisions.


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About Broot

Thoughts about learning and life that are lost in a sea of blogs.

9 responses to “Decisions, decisions”

  1. susanft says :

    oooh tough one. i have faced some absolutely lifechanging decisions in the past 5 yea’rs. I use the following ”matrix”
    – which choice sits best with my integrity
    – which decision is the overall best choice for my family
    – which choice would, all other things being equal, give me the most peace in the long term
    – rather than pros and cons, what are the red, orange and green flags for each choice

  2. misssrobin says :

    You described this beautifully. Decisions suck when you don’t have all the information, which is usually.

    When I am in this situation I pray a lot and follow my gut. That’s not how my husband makes decisions, so if he’s involved it gets tougher.

    Best wishes. I hope you are incredibly happy with whatever you decide.

  3. Jenny (@AmericanRNinNZ) says :

    Oh my – big decisions stress me out. Little decisions I can deal with, but the big ones? So many unknowns! In those situations I usually pray about it a lot, talk it over with my husband a lot, stress about it (a lot!), and sometimes I figure it out. But sometimes I don’t and I have to make a decision anyway and trust that it was a good one. It sounds like all of your decisions have the potential to be really good things – it’s just hard to know 🙂 Best wishes!

  4. Robin says :

    That’s a tough one. Some of the things I do:

    * Figure out how long I can defer the decision, and when I absolutely have to decide by: when does no decision become a decision by default? If I can defer the decision, will more information become available, new options emerge, or things become clearer?

    * Are any of the “bad” outcomes things I absolutely can’t live with, no matter how small the risk of encountering them becomes?

    * Do any of the decisions open up new possibilities and give me other options I would not otherwise have in the future?

    * If I got the “bad” outcome, what is the worst case? What would it cost me/what would I lose/what would it take to get back to where I am now? Am I prepared to sacrifice that for a time, and if so, how long?

    * I ask a trusted friend who knows me well enough, but is outside the situation (and is ideally not directly impacted by the consequences of my decision): they can probably be far more rational than I can about it.

    * I ask myself if I can “die wondering”: will I always regret the chance not taken?

    * (probably the one that I use most) I pretend I have made the decision (or I even make it in my head, but don’t tell anyone). How do I feel? Am I relieved (if so it was probably a good choice)? Am I filled with dread (probably not the right choice)? How does it sit with me?

    A bit rambling, but some of the things I try to do.

  5. Michelle says :

    I hate big decisions too, but I like comfortable, It would depend how bad the worse situation would be and if I could get out of it if I would take the risk or not. But most likely I wouldn’t take the risk! I hope that if you do take the risk that you get the best shoes! x

  6. Kat says :

    I do what Robin’s last 2 points were – I put myself into each box and see how I feel about that choice and if there would be regret (no matter what is in the box). There will always be sadness (and some regret) at the closing of a great chapter in life, but will it be true, gnawing regret that this box is the wrong one.

    When all the voices in my head and gut get too loud, I try the Frasier method – throw a coin into the air (or a dart at the boxes) and, without seeing the results, what do I wish the result is? Or in the case of more than 2 options, was there an option I really didn’t want.

    Good luck! Most life changing events, will bring other good things that you can’t see yet, so find the little voice that is always right, and then follow it and trust that good (though very different) shoes are waiting for you.

  7. solodialogue says :

    If you are beyond pros and cons, then you have to use all your senses. Close your eyes, listen. What do you hear? What do you smell coming from the boxes? If you can’t tell, you need to feel the boxes… you see? Use all your senses – that’s where our instincts come from, don’t you think? Going with your “gut”, means you are using those senses to their fullest and, when doing so, you are really evaluating, measuring and weighing. You know what you want- you do, deep down. If you don’t think you do, what ever you are leaning toward is probably not what you really want. ((hugs))

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