Decision making made easy

woman-687560_960_720.jpgWhen faced with two equally positive or negative options have you ever felt stuck?

At some time in our lives, most of us have been paralyzed by the thought of having to choose between door one and door two.  Here’s an idea that might help:

Instead of either/or, add one more

Huh? I know it sounds odd, and maybe counter intuitive, but it works . . .

Instead of either/or, add one more!

The idea is not mine, but making it an easy to remember rhyme is. I read brothers Chip and Dan Heath’s book “Made to Stick” a number of years ago, and their comments about the paradoxes of how we decide things led me to come up with my little ditty. (I have posted about it, but that was so long ago – I decided it was time for a refresher!) And, as silly as the rhyme sounds, it’s memorable and worth remembering.

Instead of either/or, add one more.

Picture this, you’ve inherited a huge sum of money, never have to work again, and have been house hunting for months. You finally found two homes you love, and although they are very different each offers you a lifestyle you have always wanted. You can’t decide whether to go with the brownstone in Manhattan or the cattle ranch in Colorado and rich as you are, you can’t afford both.

Or, you have two great job options, life coach in Florida or actress in Hollywood – nope, that one is way too easy, I’d choose being a life coach, anytime! But, I digress.

Instead of either/or, add one more.

The decision-making research cited in “Made to Stick” reveals the value of adding an additional choice to an either/or mix.

Adding “one more” helps us prioritize, which makes it easier for us to recognize what we truly prefer. We tend to think that by making things black or white, or narrowing down our choices to just two – this or that, we are making things easier on ourselves, but the opposite may be true. It appears that is easier for us to choose, when we look at and compare three options rather than two.

Brownstone in Manhattan, cattle ranch in Colorado, and beach house in Florida? Did the picture get any clearer for you, it did for me – our little island is 7 miles long on the Gulf of Mexico.

Comparing three options rather than two, changes the way we think, and may lead us to faster and even less regrettable decisions. It’s easy to spend our lives regretting either/or decisions: comparing three options reduces the drama, which may in turn reduce lingering regrets.

So what would you choose, brownstone, ranch, beach house? There are no wrong answers, pick what appeals most to you.

Instead of either or, add one more

Try applying the rhyme in your life when you are faced with any either/or dilemmas. It works well on big and/or little stuff, and can lead you down an entirely new path. Coffee/tea or Mimosa – coffee sounds perfect for me!




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