Decisions, something we all take everyday, something we deduce by loads of methods. Action – Consequence, Good – Bad, If – Then Reasoning, these are some of the methods from a large list for making decisions.
But our changing minds always keeps us thinking whether the choices we made were right or wrong.
What were you thinking? It’s a familiar cry of bewildered public who try to understand why you took that decision.
How does a teenager who knows all the about drinking and driving end up in a drunk driving crash? Why does a girl who knows all about birth control end up getting pregnant in a one-night stand? How does an educated, smart girl with a high paying job get married to a rowdy alcoholic?
I wouldn’t say that we humans are reckless because we underestimate risks, we are reckless because we overestimate the rewards. We find rewards more rewarding and try to be optimistic about choices we make. Think about the incomparable intensity of first love or marrying your childhood friend as soon as you turn 20. Seems too good to be missed, right? But we just focus on the reward and how romantic life would be, we do not calculate the risks, what if your childhood friend failed to mature after you had a child? What if the first love is not so romantic after 4 years of marriage?
I believe most of our decisions are based out of social rewards especially the respect of our peers. Imagine getting marriage to your childhood sweetheart, all your friends would be envious of you and thus, you wouldn’t think about the risks associated with it.
It’s how we are raised. Evolutionary cycle of humans is very different from animals as we have an unusually long protected childhood. And when the time comes for us to leave the nest and fly on our own, we are so used to the protective shield that we do not know the dangers of the real world. It’s like learning to accelerate without steering and brakes, we just keep moving ahead and don’t know when to stop or look left / right.
I don’t believe in making wrong choices, we do what we feel is correct with our state of mind hoping to gain some big rewards in the end. That’s how our brains have been programmed to think. It’s embarrassing when people come and ask you to question your own decision. My friend who recently separated from her husband after 4 years of marriage, everywhere people started asking her, “did you not think before marriage him”, “why did you marry”, “why didn’t you think about child before separating”? It’s really none of their business and these questions are not just rude, they are like an attack on someone who is already undergoing great mental stress. It’s not that she changed mind now regarding her husband, she just did not calculate all the risks before marriage and focused more on the rewards of marrying someone who seemed nice at that time.
People are judgmental, the moment there is a problem in your life, they will come to your rescue with lots of advices and pass judgments about the wrong decisions.
Seriously, in this ironically hysterical world, everyone is a good decision maker but you.