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Choices are NOT problems 

"You have just got a BA in History. Should you take a job at PwC or do a Masters?" 

 

If this was simply a complicated problem, you could solve it to find the 'right' answer (eg using NPV of future earnings). But there are many unknowns to be considered, and different people with different perspectives will weight pros and cons differently - it is actually a complex choice. You can't 'know' the long term 'right' answer - but you can do the right thing... for you... now. Your future will emerge not be planned. [Watch Ruth Chang: "How to make hard choices"]

 

You might also look at this Cynefin model - it shows the 4 different types of environment you face. If the future is predictable you are 'problem solving'; if unpredictable you are 'choosing'. For problems, focus on future results in order to identify the best solution get to. For choices, focus on current position in order to commit to actions you will not regret whatever the future result. 

 

We accept that most life decisions are about an unknowable future. But so are many of our strategic decisions in the VUCA business world. So practice pausing to shift your mindset from problem solving to position improving. Your big decisions will be quicker and easier

"Choices provide opportunities to define who you are"   Ruth Chang