When a decision is a tough one, it is often a choice between two alternatives that could both end up with “similar” results. Similar can be as in comparing a Navel orange to a Valencia orange or a Navel orange to a Granny Smith apple or a Navel orange to a mango or snow peas or nuts or crackers and cheese. Get my point? You compare a Navel with a Valencia if you know you want an orange, whereas if you simply want a snack you might be considering an orange or a bowl of nuts.

In Ruth Chang’s TED Talk "How to make hard choices" she talks about choices when two alternatives are neither better, worse or equal to the other, she describes them as being “on par”. She goes on to say that when there is no obvious best alternative we can’t use rational reasoning to make the right choice. However we should use reasons that lie within us for the answer. That is we should create our own destiny based on our beliefs, our values.

If you want to understand Chang’s message more clearly, consider the Motivation Decision Dial from my MCI Model. I explain it in more detail in my book DECIDE, however, in brief it asks you to consider whether a decision sits on a spectrum from Survival to Desire to Purpose. So for a difficult choice that is most about desire, consider what most makes you happy. For a difficult choice that is most about purpose, consider what you were born into this world to deliver.

Motivation Decision Dial

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