Though the words decision and choice are used interchangeably, it’s important to know that there’s a different between the two terms. The difference between decision and choice is that the latter can be defined as the power, the ability, or the right to choose while the former is a resolution or a conclusion reached after consideration. This article analyses the two terms in an attempt to shade some light between a choice and a decision.
What is a choice?
Life can be likened to a path. People walk along the pathway of their journey, doing what they love to do. And in other cases, they happen to come across a fork in the path, and they have to choose which path to follow. Sometimes, such choices are minor; for instance, whether to have some tea or go with a cup of coffee. Small choices do not necessarily affect our life as much as the major routes we take. There are choices which are enormous and life-changing, such as the kind of career we follow.
Choice, therefore, is a selection from various alternatives.
This implies there must be alternatives from which people can choose. In other cases, these options are obvious, but often they are not. Being keen and in a position to see the choice before us is critical for living deliberately.
Choosing is a selection process. Classically, people weigh up every option, considering the merits and demerits they present. From there, they can now select the option that offers the greatest advantage. In practice, people are limited by the linear nature of a conscious thought and time, so they leave so much of their unconscious minds, which utilize habit, intuition, the rule of thumb, and so on. Often, people have incomplete information and may need to make some guesses. In such a case, it becomes easier to copy other people or get swayed by their arguments.
What is a decision?
A decision is a more general word which doesn’t imply the availability of alternatives. It’s driven more by goals, needs, and problems than by merely encountering various choices.
The decision process can change depending on the circumstances.
• A decision is similar to choice when it’s deciding between the pre-existing or given alternatives
• A decision can form a part of choice if choosing is not easy. For instance, where serious considerations are needed when decision whether or not to divorce
• A decision can be generative if it creates some alternatives from which to choose. For instance, in a case where you inspect different cities and houses as you decide on where you are going to reside
• A decision can be predictive; for example when we ‘decide if’ it’s going to rain. While this includes making a choice between the rain and other weather conditions, the forecasting process is more than just an easy choice
• A decision can be evaluative like in ‘deciding how’ friendly we are. In this case, the choice is less distinct, although we can choose to ignore an individual or spend time with them
A decision is often based upon a given system of beliefs. Without judging this Belief System, there is a core factor in the Belief Systems that you’ve got to do it in a particular manner, and you’ve got to fit into the Belief System. Decisions are not always made with great clarity. They can be decided without everything in perspective. They can be emotional and “stuck” in the decision. Decisions are not flexible and may seem enduring, and not necessarily productive in the long term.
So what’s the difference?
As mentioned earlier, there’s a difference between a choice and a decision. Energetically and consciously, decisions aren’t empowering. On the other hand, choices are empowering because they are based on facts and not emotions. Additionally, choices have clarity and provide you with options. Often, decisions do not present options and are based on another person’s idea of what you could do or should do.
When a decision is accepted, or your actions are predicated upon another individual’s definition of what you ought to do, your decision has deprived you of your power. This is so because at that very time – when you make the decision – your journey is influenced by someone else, and you aren’t a part of the equation.
For there to be clear choices, you need to be straightforward and clear about what you desire, require, and deserve. Choices can empower because they have options, and it’s possible to change your choice once you are done with it. A decision, on the other hand, can be challenging and not creating the best results for you. Do not forget that they are based upon the Belief Systems of another person. There’s no doubt that every individual who makes decisions for you has your interest at heart; nevertheless, is their interest of interest to you?
If you choose whether or not to take action on a particular matter, it’s final. Then you begin thinking about the choices you have to make so as to support the decision. A decision is an objective or goal, while a choice is a task that is needed to accomplish such a goal.
One way you can distinguish between these two is to look at the terms from the perspective of sales. A customer may decide to buy from a vendor, and then they will choose which services or products to pick from what the person is offering.
A table summarizing the differences between choice and decision is shown below.
|This is the opportunity, power, and right to choose||This is reaching a resolution or conclusion after consideration|
|Choice is influenced by beliefs, personal values, and perception about the choice||Decision is influenced by the analysis of information and facts|
|Implies the existence of alternatives||Does not imply the existence of alternatives|
|Choices are empowering||Decisions are not empowering|
|With choice, you influence your own journey||Which decision, your journey is influenced by someone else|
Indecision, also known as procrastination, is something you need to avoid. Men and women who succeed in life are those who make decisions quickly and stand firmly by the decisions they have made. Indecision is the tool of the devil; when we are busy procrastinating, we fail to achieve our goals and end up living the life we are not supposed to love.
People often procrastinate due to fear. The fear of losing money, making a mistake, getting criticize, getting sick, etc. People lose a lot of opportunities because they fail to pursue them, and this is mainly due to the fear of failing, making mistakes, or getting criticized.
Whether you make a choice or a decision is up to you. However, you need to be clear about the systems of beliefs upon which the decisions or choices are made. Irrespective of which of the two you select, make sure the one you pick has your interest at heart. Additionally, make sure your choice or decision empowers you and does not take away your power. It all starts in your heart. If the decision or choice feels right, then go ahead with it but if it doesn’t, get more information. More information puts you in a better place to make beneficial choices or decisions.