What is the difference between choices and decisions?

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We are often asked what the difference is between a choice and a decision. Both are a moment that leads to doing or not doing something. Yet there is a difference between making a choice and making a decision.
In this article, we will explain the difference between a choice and a decision and that you know if you are faced with a choice or a decision and what to do best.

What is a choice?

A choice can be anything from simple choices (“Which detergent will I use?”) to more complex choices (“Which study should I take from this guide?” or “Which partner will I choose?”). A choice is an offer of several options or alternatives. You may choose…

Choices can be made quickly, and we unconsciously make 90 percent of the daily choices. This is because of our preferences or heuristics (simple rules or thought jumps). Some choices take a little longer because we doubt and think about them. Often we don’t have all the information or time to come to a conclusion, so we make an instinctive choice. Choices are also often based on our values, past experiences, beliefs, or what a choice can bring us.

What is a decision?

When you decide, you do so based on a consideration of facts or data. You think; you consciously look for options or arguments. Then you talk to people about it, think about it again, and come to a conclusion after all other options are gone. All this often takes more time than making a simple choice.

The word decide comes from the Latin word decidere and means to cut off or cut off. When making a decision, you analyze and eliminate options until there are no more alternatives.

Are decisions more important than choices?

No, both can have a major impact on your life. Both can be simple or complex. The main difference is that decisions are based on facts rather than beliefs and values. And yet a decision can be part of a choice.

Prevent ‘sliding’

The danger of not making choices or decisions can be that life slips by, and you suddenly get old and wonder how you got to where you are now. Sliding is avoiding choices and decisions.

How do you make better choices and decisions?

We often make choices based on instinct, a gut feeling, or our experience. Or we decide based on what always went well in the past. This is called the availability heuristic. That doesn’t always have to be the best strategy (just think of past results, which are no guarantee for the future!). Preconditions may have changed. Therefore, it is important to collect the facts and make a good decision based on them.

Limit the number of choices and decisions

We can only make a limited number of choices and/or decisions per day. It costs energy. After that, we are just too tired emotionally and mentally, and there is a risk that we make the wrong choices and/or decisions. Then it is good to postpone important decisions or complex choices and sleep on them.

Some people are very aware of this and avoid as many trivial choices as possible to have enough energy left for the really important decisions or choices in their lives. Think of Steve Jobs and Barak Obama, who wear the same clothes every day.

I don’t want to think every day about what we’re going to eat when I’m in the supermarket. On Friday, I make a menu for the whole week and shop for it in one go.

Discover your WHY

Do you want to make the right choices faster and make good decisions? Then it is important to get to know yourself better. Discover your values, set goals, discover your beliefs, your purpose. This also prevents you from ‘sliding’ in life.

Start with your WHY. Your WHY is your contribution and its effect on the world. It is action-oriented and positive. By using your WHY as a reference, you can make more intentional choices and decisions for your career, business, and life. That gives you more joy, self-confidence, and energy. You can read more about discovering your WHY here

Do you want to discover your own WHY? Contact us today for a free intake interview! We can help you as a partner!

How do you make choices or decisions? Let us know in the comment box below. Other readers of this article, and we look forward to reading from you!

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