The trouble with having a choice is sometimes we don’t know what it is we’re choosing.
A couple of examples this week. The first was yet another conversation with friends on the EU referendum. With both sides of the argument sat around the table the only area that we agreed on was that having the best information possible before you make a decision is really important, and throughout the whole referendum thing neither side did a great job of that!
The second example was working with a client who had, through a very thorough recruitment process, appointed someone in to an important role, and that someone was proving to be the wrong person for the job which was weighing heavily on the client’s mind.
Having a choice is a complex thing: it is often very hard to find the best information, and even when we do all we can to get it, sometimes we make a decision that doesn’t work out and we find ourselves full of regret.
There are some really big decisions being made at the moment. The UK Government’s decision to reconsider the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point is one example, delayed perhaps by their search for the best information? And of course there is the whole Donald Trump/Hilary Clinton election. Listening to a commentator on the radio talking this rapidly approaching choice for the US electorate through he described it as being between “a witch or a buffoon” and that it was “not so much a choice as a dilemma!” Waking up this morning I hear that Mr Trump has described Mrs Clinton as the devil, and find myself full of dismay that that is the level of information the American electorate have available to help them make their choice.
But, as a previous US President Theodore Roosevelt said:
In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing
All we can do is make the best choice we can at the time we have to make it based on the information that we can find. If we’ve done that then we have done all we can.
We can’t always know what we are choosing, but we have to choose none the less with the confidence to know that we did our best at the time and that we can deal with the consequences as they arise. I just hope the world can deal with the consequences of the Presidential election, whatever the outcome.
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