Making Decisions Is Like Playing Chess
In the game of chess, players take stock of their pieces, plan their strategy, and try to anticipate their opponent’s response before making their play. They follow these steps carefully because they know that all it takes is one bad move to lose the entire match. Similarly, when we have important decisions to make we consider all of our options carefully, weigh the advantages and disadvantages, and evaluate every possible outcome. Then we hope fervently that we chose wisely, because we know that a single bad decision could cost us dearly.
Without a doubt, making decisions is one of the most stressful things a person can do. And if our deliberations do not produce the results we are hoping for, we feel like the sky is falling down around us. How could we have been so foolish? If only we had gone with option B instead of option A. However, there is no guarantee that option B would have worked out any better. We just assume it was the better choice because we are so unhappy with the one we made. Option B would have taken us down a different path for sure, but there is a good chance we would still be wondering if we made the correct choice.
So is there such thing as a bad decision? According to Deepak Chopra in The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life: “If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another. The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.”
In other words, the decision is what we make it. If we see our decision as a bad one, it will play out in a way that agrees with that assumption. On the other hand, if we simply see it as not having gone quite the way we had anticipated, then wait to see how it develops, it could turn out to be the best decision of our lives. The problem is that we become so completely invested in a specific outcome that we cannot accept anything else. If we could just go with the flow, we might be surprised where it takes us.
When a chess player touches one of his pieces, he is committed to moving that piece, even if he has realized that that the move could leave his king exposed. This does not mean he will lose the game, it just means that he now has to rethink his strategy and adapt his game plan. As long as he doesn’t panic, the game is still his to win or lose.
That’s how it is once we are committed to our decision… when it is too late to turn back. As long as we remain calm we can find a way to make it all work out. Unfortunately, the first thing most of us do is go into crisis mode as we try to mitigate our losses. Then we spend time regretting our decision, and thinking about what we should have done. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, we can choose to embrace our circumstances, whatever they may be, and trust that the decision we made was the correct one. Maybe we are exactly where we are supposed to be; we just haven’t realized it yet.
Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right.~ Phil McGraw
Life has a way of taking us down the very paths we need to have the experiences that are destined for us. The challenges we face as a result of the decisions we make are the same ones we would have if we had chosen differently… only in a different form. When we understand that, we never have to stress over any of our decisions. We can rest assured that they will always be the right ones.