How do you know if you are making the right decision before making it?
This was asked by a friend of mine when I was back in India in June this year.
My answer to her was “you never know“. And that’s the truth, isn’t it? After all, unless and until you see the outcomes of a decision that has been made, you will never know whether it was good or bad. And to be honest, even then, who is to say?
For example, I am currently struggling with a number of things. I think I want to start some private practice work one day a week. I have checked out a room and am yet to make a decision whether to go ahead or not. The reason being I don’t know how it will pan out. Will I go months without any referrals and yet have to pay for the rent of the room? What if the area I am looking at is not ideal for private child and adolescent work? Would it be better to try in an area that is more upper class? Simulatenously, I am also wondering whether to study a doctorate in clinical psychology instead. [No, not a PhD but a DPsych]. But even that comes with a lot of ‘what ifs’. I do not want to reduce my working days. Actually, make that I cannot afford to do that. And given that there is only one university in the whole of Australia that offers this degree via distance education, makes the decision even harder.
So with these decisions, I will never know whether they are right or wrong until I decide to actually make one. The private practice decision could go any way. I could end up losing money. Or I could end up making money. Further study could be good for the future. Or they may just change the current two-tier pay system and it may not have an impact.
With some decisions in my life, I have usually made pros and cons lists to help make a decision. Even then, one still takes a risk. Unless and until we know exactly what the future holds, there is always a risk in any decision we take.
In hindsight, we realise whether we made a good decision or not. But even with that, sometimes a supposed bad decision can teach us a lot. Or a bad decision can lead us somewhere else. Through making a ‘bad’ decision, we could meet people who might help us later. We could even grow ourselves and obtain qualities that will be useful in later life.
For instance, there was a friend I had back in India who can best be described as a fair-weather friend. She hung out with me in college until she got popular and then only called me everytime she wanted to brag and feel better about herself or if she wanted to complain about someone else. She would cancel plans on me if something better came up. Yes, I should have ended the relationship long before as I could see she was taking advantage of me. But I didn’t. The friendship ended only after I moved here to Australia. But what that taught me was to be assertive. And when I noticed a close friend J here cancelling on me a fair few times, rather than stew about it, I spoke to her about it. Turns out, she hadn’t realised it and apologised and we are strong as ever. Plus, she hasn’t cancelled on me since I spoke to her.
So yes, while it is hard to make decisions as they involve a certain amount of risk every single time, we can’t avoid that. We could probably stagnate in our lives, never ever taking a risk, but that too is a decision.
It is scary. There is no doubt about that. And only time will tell whether it was worthwhile or not.
Until then, we all have to live.
And as for now, I still have to try and make my decision regarding what I mentioned earlier.
Should I or shouldn’t I? That is the question.
Until next time,