How to Choose Between Two Good Things

This has to be the question of the century…

I think most or all of us can safety say that we can choose between a bad thing and a good thing. For instance, faced with certain death or certain life we will choose life. Unless we are a martyr or suicidal…

We choose the good over the bad.

Yet, there are many circumstances in life that present us with two or more good options.

We are presented with two great places to live. Two potential mates that would be good for us. Two potential jobs that would be good for us. Two choices of what you are going to eat for dinner.

We plague ourselves with doubt and uncertainty because we look at two good things and believe one must be better than the other.

Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Yet we are convinced that they must be different in some way, shape, or form. And if they are different than one must certainly be better than the other. Right?

We could just be comparing apples and oranges though…

Take for example looking at two different places to live (a current dilemma of mine).

Each place has it’s pros and cons. Where I currently live I enjoy a great lifestyle and have a great job that gets better every year. What I don’t have is my family who lives on the other side of the nation.

Do I stick with what I got which is great or move back for something great as well? Comparing apples and oranges right?

The thing is, probably neither decision is better than the other. Just different.

I’ve laid everything out on paper. Done the whole pros and cons list. But then how do I decide?

Pick the one with more pros? Do I weigh them by priority? How do I do it?

I’ve done it every way I know how and yet for some reason I can not make the decision even though it is spelled out clearly on paper.

For me, the biggest thing keeping me from making a decision is how big it feels. It’s life changing! Whatever decision I make will change the course of my history. For better or for worse.

And you know what?

That’s ok. Yes, it is big and yes my life will be forever different. Yet, one may not be better than the other.

….just different…

I do know this though. When all of your logical reasoning runs out, at the end of the day, your gut often has the answer for you. And it was waiting to give it to you all along…

18 thoughts on “How to Choose Between Two Good Things”

  1. Jeremy, when it comes to family, I think that’s the way to go. I recently lost a 32-year-old family member and I so wish I had been around him more. Now, we can’t be around all our family all the time–so many of them move off to different areas of the world–but we can be around our immediate family. Life is short, and it’s precious. I can’t make up your mind for you, but I can share my heart with you: I’d run for my family, before they’re gone…


    Michele’s last blog post..Contest Fever!!

  2. “Where I currently live I enjoy a great lifestyle and have a great job that gets better every year. What I don’t have is my family who lives on the other side of the nation.”

    I am thinking (hoping?)that the “family who lives on the other side of the nation” is not your wife and kids … your parents perhaps? Siblings? Grandparents? Hometown network?

    Instead of doing the “pro and con” thing, how about doing the “priority” thing, e.g., not what is better but what is more important. Something, some place, some person may not appear to be “better” on paper, but generally there has to be peripheral stuff surrounding one option that has more meaning to you than the other option. From there I personally would say the tipping point would be “family” (unless they drive you up the wall – in which case it would mean the tipping point would be “family”).

    Ask yourself not ‘what is better’ but ‘what are my priorities’? Money? Fame? Peace? Family? Love? Religion? Scuba diving? A bottomless beer barrel? Which place/job/lifestyle offers you the best way to live your values? Once you figure that out you will find that your decision has already been made.

  3. Dear Jeremy, sometimes I see a lot myself in you. Only since I am a lot older than you it is like looking back at myself when I was you age. I used to go through this same thing. For me it caused great angst. But as time passed I learn a crucial thing, which I wrote about in one of my older posts. I think you might relate to it because you not only have a clear thinking mind but you have a very strong intuituve/spiritual side that is just inherent in you.

    Here is the link to the post I wrote titled,

    Tough Decisions:

    I think you will enjoy it.

    By the way, my latest post is about wise people; you definitely are a humble and innate wise person. I greatly appreciate your clean and honest wisdom.

    Robin Easton’s last blog post..Know someone like this?

  4. Always in the back of my mind I wanted to run my own business but I was comfortable in my job and wanted to get at least 10 years in there before leaving.

    Then I had an ultimatum from a now X-boyfriend- marriage and family with the support of starting my own business.

    It took me 3 months to decide to throw the job over and 6 months to break up with him.

    I too,seriously weighed the pro’s and con’s but unfortunately was blinded by love and didn’t listen to my gut but I think what is right for you at the time is what you go with. If it turns out you were wrong, you learn from it.It is all a matter of life.

    I have no regrets because it has taken me to where I am today. I have a couple things brewing and in a wonderful relationship without ultimatums.

    You know (short story)shortly after meeting Thumper,I was in the middle of planning a business luncheon for my clients.I was a bit apprehensive about public speaking.It had been a while so I told him and he said “follow your gut-your head will know what to do.” It was just what I needed to get me through the day.

    Great article Jeremy.

    Bunny got Blog’s last blog post..Listen To Your Gut, Part 3 – Edith Luchins

  5. I faced the same situation a few years ago. I even resorted to calling a psychic hot line. They were NO help by the way. Finally I just decided to take a risk, move to a new city and take a new job. I’ve never regretted my decision. I think I’ve only regretted doing nothing. Doing something, no matter how it turns out, is at least an attempt to live you best possible life.

    electronic cigarette’s last blog post..Sen. Lautenberg wants to snuff out electronic cigarettes

  6. Great question Jeremy!

    I think it always comes down to how we feel about the different options. Often we’ve already decided and have this need to justify our gut decision with logic. This just ends up getting us confused because when all the choices are great, there are always going to be great reasons for each. So we go full circle back to how the decision feels!

    At the end of the day it doesn’t matter which we choose, if all paths have gold at the end of them. The trick is, once we’ve decided, to immediately wipe from our memories all the other choices we had and put 100% into our decision.

    Ian Peatey’s last blog post..You don’t have to do anything

  7. @ Roger – Sometimes the simplest advice is the best. Just pick one!

    @ Stacey – Agreed, our natural inner wisdom can be very helpful.

    @ Michele – Part of my motivation is that my grandma recently passed away and my sister recently had a baby. So yes, my main motivation and desire is to run for my family. But I know I have to do whats best for me too.

    @ yobaba – Yes, my family is my immediate family, not a wife and kids. I figure once I do get married that is my family and they will have to come first. Family ranks up on my priority list. So you are right, I need to get clear on my values and priorities.

    @ Miranda – That may be the best advice yet! Thank you!

    @ Robin – Both links you gave me were great! I think they were a great help.

    @ Bunny – Great advice! Follow your gut. Its sometimes hard to listen to but often has the best answers. One more thing I keep thinking is that if you are thinking about it sooooo much you should do it. There is a reason you are fixated on it and it often pays to find out why. Life is too short to have regrets.

    @ EC – I think, and have heard this before, that people more often regret what they didn’t do than what they did. Glad to hear things are working out.

    @ Ian – I think you have hit this issue right on the head! I am going in circles! It does come back to what you feel. AND the real trick is letting go of the other options once you make a decision. Thank you for taking the time to comment!

    Thank you all so much! I do appreciate your insight, experience, and wisdom!


  8. When it comes to decisions everyone always tries to follow the rational route in deciding. When both of the options are positive, I think its best to follow your heart on it, go with your intuition. That way you are also less likely to ( after you decide) think back on it, you know the “what if I picked A, maybe things would have turned out better… and you debate it in your mind.

    Joey Logano Fan’s last blog post..Pocono 500 Race Results

  9. Dude in this tough economy, stay where you are. When you are homesick , just use skype and to get your mind of something, pick a hobby or something to keep you busy, a girlfriend, pet, collection, videogames,anything. But prioritize, if I were you, I wouldn’t be able to stay too long away from my mom’s delicious food or dad’s funny jokes.

  10. Jobs and communities are changeable, family is not. Now that you’ve found a good job/community/environment in the place you are at, you can recognize it again when you see it in a new place…and you will see it again.

    No single location has the exclusive rights to your kind of lifestyle…even if you are gay and living in the Castro.

    Your family is the only one you got.

  11. Pingback: Top 10 Posts From Insight Writer: 2009-2010 | Insight Writer

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