Choosing Choices

Please choose one of the choices below for this question:

What kind of life do you want to have in the future (each steps in order)?

  1. Work successfully – getting married – have kids – grew up old
  2. Getting married – have a great job – have kids – grew up old
  3. Graduated – getting married – have a great job – grew up old
  4. Don’t want to take college – looking for a business opportunity – traveling – getting married
  5. …etc…
  6. None of the above

In this life, every single steps we took is a choice. When you are learning to walk at the first time, you choose: to move your left or right leg first. When you are going to school, your mother making choices of school. When you are going to finish your high school, you choose whether you want to go to college, or get some job. When you are driving, you choose which path you will use. Do you remember a time when you are not choosing – or in above question you choose number 6 – “none of the above”?

Well, I did. Sometimes, it seemed that in some cases, I choose to ignoring that I have to make choice instead of choosing. But I got to admit that it didn’t last long, I learned that you can be temporary in the “grey area” like that. But eventually, you have to choose anyway.


I kept asking to myself why there is such things as “grey area”; and then connecting on my work as a researcher I think I might have find the reason. In my own theory, based on the consideration, there are 2 kinds of choices: the first one, I called it “historical choice” and the second one, I called it “dreaming choice“. 

In historical choice, the decision is made based on what we’ve experienced. For example, there are 3-4 paths to get to the office from home. I’ve been through all the paths and now exactly the pros and cons for each paths. Looking for certain conditions/special cases, I will choose certain path. For me, this kind of choice is the easiest one, because we already have a comparison, we already have the supporting facts. If the result is not expected, we can always put it aside as outlier, as we know that regularly, it doesn’t resulted in that way.

The second one on dreaming choice. This kind of decision has no historical data to prove that our choices are right or not. Of course, you can conduct a simple pros and cons, but then not as deep and as expected as the historical one. This is the difficult choice to made; we never sure of the result, this is when we usually picking number 6 – “none of the above”. Unfortunately, this kind of choices is usually has a big impact in life, sometimes, we made a good decision, sometimes, it wasn’t. The chances are always in 50-50, no choice is winning probabilities over other one, every single choices has same chances of result. I think this is the main reason of why this kind of choosing is the hardest part. As a person, you would like to have a “perfect” life, you would prefer to have a no-mistakes-life, you would like to be the never-wrong-guy. Therefore, we tend to left those cases in the grey area instead, hoping it will be expired soon and gone with the wind.

Well, it never expired, it never gone with the wind, they are (the cases) in the “closet” of grey area. They will be always inside that cupboard forever, unless you’re ready to grab the knob, open the door, and embrace it. Eventually, you’ll have to make the choice as well. Therefore, I would say “none of the above” is more “waiting to be choose”. And for those who wished for that “perfection” (read: me), open the door, face it, embrace it – whether the result is good or bad, it will give you one hell of experience. Beside, things always happen for reason, right?


So, have you made your choices today?


Karawaci, April 11, 2012.

P.S. Don’t forget to do what you’ve choose! 😉