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Depth of Decisions


"Decision - A determination arrived at after consideration; conclusion" - Merriam-Webster Definition

I once heard a TED talk about how the ability to make a decision seems to be harder than what it really is. Then it dawned on me that sometimes we as individuals struggle to make decisions in our lives even if we know the decision is better for us in the long run. Take eating healthy for example... or working out... or ending a toxic relationship... these are all decisions that seem to be minor but have a greater impact long term. We may have the intent to make better decisions, but nothing really happens until we actually commit to it through our actions. So that brings me to the question... Why is it so hard for us as human beings to make life decisions? In this day and age we have so many options that the ability to choose can become overwhelming. We also submit to the notion that one decision is "better" than the other meaning that one will have more benefits than the other. When we make decisions... are we thinking right now? short term? and/or long term? The duration of the decision can effect our lives in ways we never thought possible.

I recently had an exchange with a student where we had to walk through a "snowball" effect from one decision that was made. This part of the process of "deciding" is out of our control because we don't physically, mentally, or emotionally have the ability to predict exactly what's going to happen after the decision has been made. Our brains are wired to think of the worst and the best possible options... but not the unexpected things. So we think about decisions from many different lenses and many different layers but as much as we prepare some decision inevitably go in a direction we aren't expecting. I am a true believer in that all decisions, experiences, and life happenings have a way of guiding us an teaching us. Don't become paralyzed by thinking you may have made the "wrong" decision because in life there really is no "wrong decision" only lessons, teachings, and experiences.

Dear students,

Curve balls are a natural part of our lives. The story you have built for your life may come to fruition but most certainly not without some trials and tribulation along the way. Do not be persuaded to be silent, to be agreeable, or go against your gut feeling. Every decision you make in life from what school to attend, what organizations to join, what clothes to wear, what image to portray all come with a price. Every decision is your own and the privilege of being able to make a decision should empower you even more. My message is that I've always turned my visions into actions by "doing" and let the chips fall where they may. Everyone around you will seem to have your best interest at heart. However, it is important that you have the final say over your life. Careers come and go, opportunities do as well, and so will relationships. Make decisions based on your character to build yourself and others up. Always remember to keep going, keep learning, and keep growing.

-Dean Felder

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