I learned from my mentor/publisher, Raymond Aaron, that the choice of words are very crucial to communicate our thoughts properly. However, we often misuse words by assuming what the definition of it is, which then could lead to further miscommunication. Yikes!
I started reflecting on my other posts as I talked about making a decision or choice for yourself. It actually made me wonder: do I really know the difference between the two terms that have often been used so interchangeably? It seems like I would know their definitions, right? I had to looked it up to make sure (according to dictionary.com):
Decision is “the act of or need for making up one’s mind” with its Latin origin of “cutting off”.
Choice is “the right, power, or opportunity to choose” with its Old French origin of “to perceive”.
Alright… Both are about selecting an option based on the situation placed in front of us, but if you examine closely, their approaches are actually different.
With a decision, you are using the information you already have or received to make an informed selection based on the process of elimination. This is definitely more analytical or methodical as you “cut off” options from your final selection. Think of this being more left brained, and if you had to explain this to someone, they would probably come to the same/similar conclusions.
On the other hand, a choice is based on your “perception” and right brained as it taps more into your instincts/intuition or feelings. This is more subjective as why one choice was made for one person could be different for another for the exact same reasoning. Why? Because choices are based more off of your own values, beliefs, experiences, and overall view of the world. No two persons’ view of the world is exactly the same. It’s not black and white, so making a choice can sometimes be easy or hard depending on the situation. Even getting all the information in the world and analyzing every little detail might not help you make the “right” choice for you.
Both of them can still go hand in hand though. Here are some scenarios:
- When the selections are so similar that data and analysis can’t definitively show you the clear winner, it becomes hard to make a decision, so you have to make a choice.
- When you spend so much time debating the choices, you just have to make a decision to move forward.
- When something seems like the right decision at the time might not actually be the best choice overall in the long run. This is especially true when the logical decision actually conflicts with your personal choice as it contradicts your own values or beliefs.
Through all this personal development work on myself, I’ve come to realize that there really is no right or wrong (nor better or worse) when it comes to either. It might seem like the biggest decision or most crucial choice in your life at that moment, but the important thing is to look at it from the bigger picture—you need to make a selection. You can’t stay stagnant. Even not making a selection is also… a selection. By making a decision or choice, you are moving your life forward towards a direction.
Let’s drop the concept of “going backwards”. You can’t go back in time, so you can’t go backwards to change that selection. But you can make a new selection at anytime to change your direction. You can absolutely learn from each selection you make. Don’t let those lessons go to waste. You’ll have to learn them somehow or eventually.
Making a decision or choice is powerful. It is your right. Own it. Do it for yourself. Have each selection take you further down the path you desire. Even better, fight for it! Those are the decisions and choices worth going after.
[ Story Behind the Photo ] That was the day I got to drive an SUV right on the beach… and also got it stuck in some really soft sand with no one else around to help at all. Oops. Well, it was still an adventure digging underneath the car and trying to pack down the sand enough to give it enough traction to move it. And of course, soon after we got out, this huge lifted truck with large wheels drove by. This entire experience just gave me a massive smile on my face, and I’m so grateful I got to do it!
Tips I learned: Before getting onto the sand, you have to deflate your tires to about 15 psi to drive on soft sand, else you just sink in. Be sure to drive at a slow consistent speed and keep your momentum. You don’t want to stop and get stuck like I did. After you get off the beach and back on firmer ground, do NOT drive any faster than 30 mph until you can fully re-inflate the tires. Be sure to keep your hazard lights on, and kindly let the cars behind you by as you leisurely make your way to the closest gas station. Definitely worth the effort (and even getting stuck in the sand).