As I sit here at the start of this season of self-reflection, it occurs to me that there are (at least) two types of decisions.
There’s the small, common, every day decisions – what to wear, what to eat, which way to drive to work. But the “small” type of decision doesn’t just apply to low-risk choices. Decided whether to stay or leave; whether to start something new; whether the effort to try is worth the potential reward; whether to commit time, resources, money, or emotion – these major (and sometimes life-changing) decisions are also examples of “small” decisions.
Buying a house, changing jobs, starting a family, moving to a new city – if these are examples of small decisions, what could possibly be considered “big”?
The decision to believe.
There sometimes comes a a point when you realize you’ve got all the information you’re going to have, and that information could be plausibly interpreted in a few ways. Broadly speaking, you can decide that nothing matters, or everything does; that the only significance is what we assign, or that things are significant with or without us; that our efforts make a difference and are worthwhile, or that our efforts won’t measurably impact the outcome.
The decision to believe is essentially the decision to choose a frame of reference. The course of action we take might be the same, irrespective of what, when, or how we decide to believe. But our experience of those actions will be fundamentally different.
At the same time, having decided to believe, having committed to that frame of reference, it’s almost certain our future decisions will be different. Like dominoes, one decision leads to the next.