I am sure you have been in this position that you had to choose between A and B (sometimes C, D or even more) and you found it impossible to make a decision. Aurelie wrote a really nice post on this exact issue (https://keepitmicro.com/2016/12/05/choices/). No I do not plan to write a reply to this post, I just want to write a letter to myself (and maybe the future me) about how to ”fight back” in this struggle of choices. Believe it or not the current abundance of choice often leads to depression and feelings of loneliness, so by resolving this issue you are truly making a big step towards personal balance and happiness.
The most crucial part of decision making is the process of goal/s setting. What we really want, not what someone else wants/expects from us but what at a certain moment we want. After defining our goals comes the evaluation of each one of them and the establishment of a certain hierarchy among them. We want a lot of things but some we want/need more. The next step will be to find out the means of achieving each one of these goals and decide which one is the most suitable/cost-effective way to make our goals reality. Sometimes thinking out of the box will help to establish other ways into achieving your goals, also do not hesitate to modify your goals according to current circumstances (same rule applies for the means that are being used to succeed a certain goal). Do not be afraid to ask people that have already been there. The truth is that a variety of daily decisions follow a rule. Having the discipline to live “by the rules” eliminates countless troublesome choices in one’s daily life either we are talking about presumptions, standards or cultural codes.
So if the general pattern of decision making is so easy why are we still struggling? One answer is that the current abundance of choice often leads to depression and feelings of loneliness since the pleasure of our choice is being replaced quickly by the unhappiness of the missed opportunities.
Modern societies are paying for increased affluence and freedom with a substantial decrease in the quality and quantity of community. What was once given by family, neighborhood and workplace now must be achieved and actively cultivated on an individual basis. The social fabric is no longer a birthright but has become a series of deliberated and demanding choices (The Paradox of Choice – Why More is Less by Barry Schwartz).
Happiness is hidden in finding what we truly want (not for the eternity but for now, for the next one, two, three, five, ten years). Do not confuse what other people want with your goals/dreams/wishes.