When we make a choice, chances are most of us think about what could’ve been if we chose the other option. A hard choice doesn’t just act as something that fuels an inner struggle, it’s just as much something that uncovers who you are. What is a “hard choice” anyway? Well, I see it as something that remains in the back of my mind until I resolve it by choosing. It’s where both alternatives have an equal amount of pros and cons and it’s tough to really distinguish which one is better for you in the long-run. It’s where you want to decide whether to have steak or salad for lunch, or start a relationship with Jack or Bill, or major in Psychology or Finance, and you can’t exactly pick both… not all at once, at least.
But here’s the thing, I just compared the less life-changing decision of picking what to eat for lunch, to the more consequential decision of starting a serious relationship. If we measure up all our decisions to merely be “choices” or “decisions,” without judging them by scale of easy/hard, we might make “hard choices” a lot less of a burden.
I mentioned in another post, my decision to switch majors/degrees in my second year of university – from a double degree in English and Education to a major in Health. Unlike most, I did not pick the safer option, and I definitely did not whip out a notepad to weigh out the pros and cons of switching, or sticking to my choice. This sort of demonstrated to me that there was something in me that was fascinated by the prospect of risk. I threw away the power of having broader career choices, and got rid of the safety net of teaching jobs for what I felt like was right for me at the time without really thinking about it too much.
And… here’s where the idea of value comes in, where stuff like happiness and unmeasurable importances like that pair up with reasoning – because, because, because. I.e. We make choice A to benefit some sort of value because it makes sense in some sort of way. What’s most important isn’t logic though, it’s about being 100% behind the option that you chose in the first place – are you making that choice because of external reasons or are you making that choice because it’s your own? It is because of fear, easiness, shame, or who you want to be behind that “hard choice?”