To Choose or Decide. Which will you do?Submitted by Michael Nystrom on Tue, 12/10/2013 - 09:35
The new year is fast approaching, which means that it is time for both reassessments and future planning.
What will you choose? What will you decide?
There is a difference.
Most people use these words interchangeably, but look at them more carefully:
The word decide shares the root -cide with a number of others: Suicide, - homicide - , genocide.
To -cide means to kill. When you de-cide, you kill. You kill them all off: Not him, not her, not that, and not that other thing, either. So the last one standing is the one. Buy default: Ok, I’ve de-cided.. I'll take this one - the one still standing.”
It is entirely rational. Each murder is perpetrated cooly, based on evidence (which is sometimes just justification) for your de-cision. Sorry, opinion/option/potential way of being gets killed off:
Bang bang, I shot you down / bang bang you hit the ground.
A choice, on the other hand, is different.
To choose is to select freely, after consideration. So it follows that in order to select freely, one must first and foremost be free.
And to be free means to be free of fear.
Most de-cisions come as the result of fear:
- “I can’t do this because I might fail.”
- “I can’t do that because I might lose money.”
- “I can’t do that because I’ll be criticized.”
- “I can’t do this because I’ll look dumb.”
- “I can’t do that because I don’t have any experience.”
- "I guess I'll do this because it seems like the most logical thing to do (even though I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I shouldn't)"
A choice disregards all of that monkey-mindchatter, all that bullschnitzel and relies on only one justification, which isn’t even a justification at all: I choose because I choose. Period.
No justification is needed. I might fail, I might lose money, I might be criticized, I might look dumb, and I most certainly don’t have any experience. But this is my choice. It is MY choice, and I accept full responsibility for making it.
I choose because I choose.
When you de-cide, you escape responsibility:
- “I didn’t want to buy it, but the broker said this stock was going to go up.”
- “I didn’t want to, but my parents said I should go to college.”
- “He kept talking and talking but I couldn’t get away from him. I couldn’t think of an excuse.”
- “I didn’t think it was right, but Ron Paul said I should take over the Republican Party and support his son.”
To de-cide is to abdicate responsibility. The safety in de-ciding is ultimately that you can blame someone else if things don’t work out the way you expected. It is a way of keeping the upside while radiating risk. If things work out, great. You're a genius. If things don't, you can always blame your broker, your parents, society, Ron Paul, etc. It doesn't matter who. The only thing that matters is that it is not you. "It's not my fault! I swear!"
To choose is to take full responsibility for your own actions. When you choose, the buck stops with you. This is what I chose. I don't need any reason or any justification. I chose because I chose.
It is an incredible burden to take on that kind of responsibility. Ask yourself honestly, are you able to do it? Most people can't, which is why most people don't. Instead, they choose to de-cide instead.
As the New Year approaches, please take some time to think on these things.
To choose or de-cide. Which will you do?