Deciding is hard work. Sometimes we’re faced with multiple choices that all seem so good, that all seem so right, that we can get paralyzed simply by the thought of having to pick one.
My daughter is currently collecting Beanie-Boos. These are the new evolution (or one of the new evolutions) of the “Beanie Baby” family. They are small stuffed animals, with huge eyes with glitter surrounding the eyeballs (take a look at the blog post header image). Sure they’re cute, but there are also a lot of them, which means that there is a potentially large amount of consuming that needs to happen in order to “collect them all.”
Which means, that if we’re collecting them, then we have to collect them slowly, and then make decisions about which one we want when we see new ones, because we aren’t getting them all in one fell swoop.
And for a six year old, that’s a problem.
We went to the local toy store to see which ones they had in stock, and there were three that my daughter wanted. After picking them up, looking at them, putting them down, wishing there was a different one there, etc., she told me that she needed to think about it a bit. So, we walked around the store, and looked to see what else they had.
About thirty minutes later we left with a bag of kinetic sand.
Decision-making is never easy. It is a skill that we need to continue developing as we age and gain experience. The hardest part about making decisions is rarely is there a “right” or a “wrong.” Often, decisions are all about interpretations, which means that we often get hung up on wondering how decisions we make will be perceived by others. It is often about us spending too much time thinking about the potential than investing in a given process.
When we do make decisions, we then worry that we might have made the wrong one, or we wish we would have known what would have happened if we did something differently. Often, that focus on what could have been helps us reflect, but it can be less than helpful in terms of getting us to “move on.”
One of the best things to remember when making decisions? As long as we decide with evidence and data in mind, then we are at least partially sound in our steps. Certainly this looks different when selecting Beanie Boos versus designing professional learning experiences, but the questions to ask should be the same: “Why are we making the decisions?” “Who will be impacted?” and “What will the results be?”