This morning I watched an interesting TED talk about making hard decisions. Although the talk is a bit slow at the beginning, Ruth Chang makes some interesting points about the fact that we make decisions based on what we value and not on rational choices. We like to think that we are making rational decisions, but in reality we justify our actions to make them seem rational.
The same thing is true of decisions we make about items we purchase. We choose certain products because we would like to be seen as the kind of person who owns such a product or because it reminds us something else that we care about or value. But when we are questioned about our choices we say that this particular car has better fuel economy or this phone has a longer lasting battery or a better camera. In other words, we just make up reasons that sound sensible.
Perhaps we shouldn’t bother with justifying our choices in rational ways? Perhaps we should just say, I made this decision because it felt right or it made me feel good.
The same is true of choices we make about exploring our creativity. We say that we can’t write because we don’t have time, or we don’t have the space. This makes us feel better when the truth is usually that we are just scared. Scared about taking that first step, scared of exposing our inner thoughts to the world, scared that we will be misunderstood or laughed at. But we’re at the beginning of a new fresh year and what better time is there to take a chance on starting something new, or trying your hand at something different? You don’t need to have a good reason and why don’t need to explain, just do it.
p.s. let me know how it goes…