I haven’t really done any discussion posts before, but this is a subject that has become fairly prominent for me and I think it would be of interest to a lot of young people. The process of decision making is hugely relative; to the choice that needs making, to the person making it, to the conditions it must be made in. We’ve all been asked ‘what would you choose if someone held a gun to your head’- the quick flash decision, based on initial instincts and under threat and time pressure. This is my worst nightmare, flash decisions just don’t happen with me, I am not the spontaneous type. This is what I wanted to discuss, and to find out what your thoughts and experiences are on this subject.
I’m a waffler, a planner, a worrier. My essay plans are longer than the essays themselves. I write lists to cope with stress, and quite often this stress is caused by a decision I have to make. From a young age, this was an issue. If my dad offered to buy me an ice cream of my choice the prospect was an amalgamation of excitement and terror. The choice between a Malteasers ice cream, Snickers ice cream, or something more fruity was a daunting one… the outcome, more often than not, came as opting for no ice cream at all. Something which I invariably regretted as I watched my brother indulge in his own Magnum, but it was the easiest outcome I could see.
So unsurprisingly, more important and life changing decisions have caused much anxiety in the past. It’s at night that such decisions work themselves into inescapable mental mazes. I have been known to lose sleep over what I might eat tomorrow, or what I might wear. I know this is common for many people and the pillow has become the support for such decisions as ‘should I go to Uni?’, ‘What do I want to do with my life?’, ‘Should I try something again that has caused me problems in the past?’, ‘To what extent do I want this person in my life?’. We’ve all experienced this at some point, right?
When faced with such decisions, a gun to the head would be a futile method for me. I spend hours, days, months deliberating. I make up pros and cons lists. I am HUGELY swayed by other people (which some may say is my flaw… but more often than not, my mum’s opinion is right, so listening to her seems sensible). I consider every possible consequence I can think of.
Some may suggest this is a very negative way of thinking, that I go out looking for the worst case scenario… and I suppose I do, but I strongly believe it’s just me being rational. Optimism can be a hugely dangerous thing in certain scenarios, and I’m always terrified of being let down or letting myself down.
But perhaps I ought to be more bold and rash with my decisions? As it is, my vast deliberations tend to suppress any instinct I may have on a decision… it has to be perfectly calculated, and it has to be secure, no surprises.
Anyway, this is a far different tone and style to my other pieces but it is something that I am genuinely intrigued about. What are your opinions? Calculated and secure or optimistic and rash? Or perhaps a bit of both, and if so in what scenarios should one take each method? Please let me know your thoughts, and I thank you for reading my waffle.