On taking decisions and making choices

Akash Deep
2 min readAug 9, 2020

I was watching a lecture by Swami Sarvapriyananda where he was explaining about how do we make choices.

He wrote two words “A” and “B” on the board and asked one student to come over and explain others on how would he choose between A and B.

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That student came over and without much thinking ticked a mark against A as shown in the image below

Everyone agreed and things were quite normal. This is how everyone chooses between A and B. We just pick something and assume that we have taken the decision.

To everyone’s surprise, Swamiji told everyone that this is not how someone should choose. Part of decision is not just choosing A, it also means rejecting B. And after saying this, he ticked a cross mark on B as shown below

This looks like a very simple thing to think but it is very hard to practice in real life.

While making choices between two options we just pick an option and go ahead without realizing that by not crossing off option B, we have just delayed the internal conflict which will resurface as we will not stop thinking about B even if we have chosen A. It’s like deciding to visit Andamans over Goa but thinking about Goan beaches while roaming in a boat in Andamans. In this way we never actually decide anything and keep increasing our mental load and feel guilty about not enjoying the reward of either of the choices.