The Dilemma Behind Every Decision-Making Process

Mounia Bagha
Written by Mounia Bagha

I have never met someone who had the answers to everything. You know, the kind of person who just knows what road to take and where every decision leads up to. Truth is, I don’t think such people actually exist and that would just be so unfair if they did anyways. After all, who knows what the future holds?

Life has a funny way of always challenging us with a million of opportunities. It doesn’t care about timing and if this is the right moment for us. It wants an answer and usually, it wants it immediately. So then, we start scratching our heads and make a list of all the pros and cons that cross our minds. It’s our guts feelings against the uncertainty of life. It’s our heart against our head. It’s our optimism at its very best on the edge of apocalypse.

It could be because of a job you just don’t want to wake up to anymore or perhaps a relationship that has gotten too complicated, too toxic or simply just too boring.

It all starts with a dilemma, that situation you’ve put yourself into – whether you wanted it or not – and that you need to escape.

So we start taking actions, triggering events and keeping our fingers crossed until it’s here knocking at our door: this opportunity, this call for a change. And that’s when it hits us. There’s this little voice inside of us badgering us with questions and igniting all sorts of insecurities.

And we don’t know anymore. What if things were not so bad as they are right now? You know what you’ll leave behind but what if tomorrow ends up being worst than yesterday?

Whenever it comes to making a decision, I try to think of as many outcomes as possible, from the best to the worst scenario. It’s not always the answer to my problem but I found it to be a good place to start. After all, no matter how bad – or good – things look like, they never go as planned anyways.

Here are a few examples.

You don’t know if you want to leave your lover or marry him/her.
Best-case scenario: you stay and live happily after OR you leave and meet the real love of your life the next day.
Worst-case scenario: both ways, it never works out and you still end up alone.
Even then: there’s about seven billion of us on this planet, so chances are you won’t stay lonely for too long.

You’re trying to hush that internal debate on staying home versus travel the world.
Best-case scenario: You give in to that siren’s call for wanderlust and have the time of your life OR you stay home and still find happiness within the limits of your comfort zone.
Worst-case scenario: you’re miserable at home and lonely abroad.
Even then: you’ll always find a shoulder to cry on.

You hesitate between carrying on with your life as it is or shake things up a little.
Best-case scenario: you’re not willing to take any kind of risks that could disturb your peace and quiet OR you take a leap of faith and become the next Mark Zuckerberg.
Worst-case scenario: your routine makes you depressed OR on the contrary, your need for adventure turned you into the good-for-nothing of the family.
Even then: you’ve tried and you’ve survived. It’s called ‘a lesson learned’.

In the end, it’s all about that fear inside of us of missing out on something great. It’s the impossibility of knowing what our life would have been like if we had chosen the other option.

So how do you know if it’s all going to be worth it? The answer is pretty simple; you just don’t. That’s the thing about life. So just forget about the FOMO and the YOLO for a minute and take a deep breath. At the end of the day, it doesn’t always have to be a matter of life or death, it could as well be a matter of just taking it one step at the time. If you think about it, the only thing we should hang on to is our true self while letting go of high-end expectations. After all, just like Elbert Hubbard said:

Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.

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