Every day, we make many decisions and choices. We will study some choices, such as when car-hunting, for weeks. But most of decisions we make, such as what to eat for dinner or what to dress, are made habitually without significant conscious thought on our part.
The issue of how we make choices and decisions is far from a new one. The idea of free will – the ability to decide freely – is an important topic which has been demonstrated since Adam and Eve’s choice in the beginning of this life. This supports the idea that our ability to make choices defines us as individuals.
Does it matter if there is a difference between decision and choice? It may.
The line between what creates a decision against a choice may be minor but very important. Let’s look at the definitions:
Decision: the act of or need for making up one’s mind.
Choice: the right, power, or opportunity to choose.
Decisions vs. choices is a topic which was on my mind for some time now. Recently, I was meeting many people who would tell me that they didn’t have a choice in their life, simply most of the time they were forced to choose a path based on a certain situation and not a real proper decision they have thought of and made. One of my friends was laid off from work and he had one month to find a job or leave the country. Of course, he didn’t have a choice else than leaving and starting a new life in a very far away land.
Does this all matter? I believe it does.
With decision, it is more of a process orientation, meaning we are going through analysis and steps to eliminate (or, cut off) options.
With choice, it is more of a mindset approach, meaning we have a perception of what the right or wrong choice may be.
We can easily setup procedures to enable the best decisions possible. The decisions can vary in scope from being low impact to high impact, and we can build in orders along the way in reaching a decision. It can be a thoughtful, thorough approach.
With choices, we face opportunities – large and small – to select an option. We make choices based on our values, and beliefs.
Choices are more difficult. At times, we cannot collect all the facts, analyse the possibilities, and reach a complete decision. Choices involve our life more in which path we select and the direction it then takes us.
We may make many decisions during a day, week, or month, on where to live, work, and play but how many life or leadership choices do we really make?
In my opinion, we should take the time to make more proactive choices in setting a life and leadership direction. We can spend our life making all sorts of decisions, however we spend little, if any, time making distinguishing life choices.
Over the years, I believe we need to concentrate more on making choices than making decisions. We need to make actual and essential choices on how to lead our life in the most decisive way possible.
Three key points to consider:
- Life choices set a route, devote the time to create a mindset on how to shape a meaningful future.
- Choose how to lead. How we lead our work or household demands a thoughtful tactic, which means we need to define the presence we want through our actions and interactions.
- Decisions still matter, use a process to thin out the bad options and select the best ones possible.
Make life and leadership choices. Live inspired choices.
Back to you now, what distinction would you make between choice and decision? Where do you spend more of your time?