Choice: This or That
When I was a child, No one just asked us “Who is your favourite actor?”. They always asked Do you like Rajinikanth or Kamalhassan? Our prime time debates with panels were of topics like: What is good: Nuclear Family or Joint Family? Or Who is the better warrior – Arjuna or Karna? We were expected to pick a stand and argue our best. We spent considerable time arguing over these topics without ever having one person to our side from the other.
In ancient times, the question was like – Who is the more powerful God – Shiva or Vishnu? Today the questions have just been modified and become – Who is a better cricketer – Dhoni or Kohli ? or Who is a bigger star – Sharukh or Salman?
An unnecessary choice:
Siva and Vishnu never fought among themselves to prove to each other or to the world about the supremacy of one over the other. They often co-operated in their missions like a good team, but both shaivaites and vaishavites loved to pick up parts of story and used it as a validation to their points of view.
Not just the Gods, even Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan are two legends of tamil cinema who have had close friendship over the years and greatly respect each others work and contribution. Kamal Hassan was one of the very few guests in Rajinikanth’s wedding. Rajinikanth spoke in length about Kamal Hassan’s acting talent and how he learnt from him in a program titled ‘Kamal 50’ a program that celebrated the success of Kamal Hassan in the movie industry for 50 years.
So why should you choose?
Types of choices:
Different type of choices require different levels of scrutiny and thinking over.
No Impact Choices:
The fact that I support Nadal or Federer will have little impact over the match results. So such choices are ‘No Impact Choices’. Don’t spend much time arguing why one person is better than the other. If each of us can think we have the best parents/spouse/siblings in the world and be at peace with a friend who feels the same. Why not this?
Low Impact Choices:
A choice of tea or coffee or what to pick from the menu or what to eat in the buffet are low impact choices. What is necessary here is to pick a choice and go about it. The impact lasts at most a day on most circumstances. It does not make sense to spend too much time in trying to evaluate and make a methodical choice.
Medium Impact Choices:
A choice of which phone to buy, where to go on a holiday, which job to join are fairly medium impact choices where it may influence for a period of one year or more. While it may have various costs such as opportunity cost( for holiday or a job or small investments), Switching costs (phone, software, car) such costs are not exorbitant and the choices if proven wrong may be reversible.
High Impact Choices:
A big entrepreneurial endeavor, Investing your lifetime savings in a new project, choosing a business partner, choosing a life partner are all high impact decisions that must be thoroughly thought through from different angles, opinions sought from unbiased people with the right experience and motivation and decided methodically and deliberately. While these decisions are also reversible in many circumstances, the personal impact would be huge and hard to recover from. An 100% commitment is required and are probably the only decisions you need to do on a binary basis.
We make only few such high impact decisions in our life time. Lets not waste our mental energy required to make such life changing decisions and dissipate them in making several irrelevant decisions. Know when to choose and Choose well.