When making a decision, how often do you consider all benefits and costs associated? And which do we leave out?
There are tradeoffs to any decision you make. Some tradeoffs you know about and are consciously grappling with. Those are the ones that you spend all night thinking about...Should I do it? Should I pass? The second type of tradeoff is less explicit, as they are hidden from your perspective. In the present, we are often completely blinded from being able to see the future. We can make guesses. We may think something will happen. But, in reality, we have no idea what this crazy future will bring us.
Everyone will tell us that they know best. We read business books. We read advice on Facebook. We watch a YouTube video. We talk to friends, family. We talk to mentors, professors, investors. We google it and find an answer on Quora/Medium.
Who the hell are we supposed to listen to? There are "smart" people everywhere. But none of them really know the tradeoffs we are making. None of them have to make and live with the decision.
No one else has to deal with the tradeoffs.
This is not meant to be a rant. This long winding thought is supposed to represent all of the noise that goes into making a decision - which makes it really hard to filter the important things. It makes it hard to consider all the benefits and costs that a decision could bring us.
We do not have perfect vision. We cannot see infinitely far into the future, let alone predict most things.
Every decision we make has a domino effect that follows. Because we do x, y will happen. It is impossible to know what y really is. We still make decisions based off of what we think the best y will be. Even considering what the best is is really challenging because "best" is a fluid term. What is best today may not be best for us tomorrow, let alone 5 years from now.
So we are constantly guessing and toying with different ideas as to how we want our future to look. Few people that I've talked to have a confident view of their perspective.
I think that's okay. I think it is good to be fluid. I am always amazed, and often fascinated, by people who have great confidence in what they believe in. I like listening to people who can tell a story. Who are super confident about their view of the future.
Why? Because most people are not. Most people are leaves flying in the wind. Few live super purposeful lives.
The problem becomes when we start to inject our own guesses in the future and prioritize those over data and people. I tend to favor "listening to users" over "what I know best." Sometimes things like ego and pursuit blur out the facts, and that is when we get into trouble.
A balance between an open mind and determined pursuit is what I am aiming for.