Ruth Chang, a philosopher at Rutgers University, researches the challenges of making hard decisions, such as when you are faced with deciding between two very distinct career opportunities. Chang explains in her TED talk that the big challenge of hard decisions is trying to compare two equally attractive options rationally and logically.
Have you ever struggled with a difficult opportunity or decision? Have you tried to use a pro/con logical approach and ended up frustrated, furious…and stumped? A better way to approach this dilemma might be as simple as starting with your heart instead of your head.
Chang suggests that you start by considering how you want to feel on the other side of the decision. Then, visualize choosing each option to see how each one would make you feel. Which one feels better? Once you have “felt” your way into one or the other, you can let your head get involved in working through the specific next steps of how to best put your choice into action. The next time you feel stuck between a rock and a hard place with a tough decision to make, let your heart lead the way.
- Let your heart lead. Start thinking about a career decision by making a quiet space to listen to your heart. Let your feelings flow, and allow yourself to experience how you want to feel when you are at your next career stop.
- Visualize how each option feels. Next, imagine that you make a decision in favor of one or the other option. How will doing that job and making that change leave you feeling? Now try on the other possibility. Which one gets you closer to how you want to feel?
- Get your head involved. Now that you’ve let your feelings lead the way, get your head involved. What specific next steps do you need to take? How can you spin the lead option to make it work even better for you? Now is the time to put all the analytical power you have to work, optimizing where your heart wants to lead you.