decisions, decisions

So I am in the process of deciding whether or not to begin an MBA this year. I’ve been accepted, offered a small scholarship, and could go … yet, I can’t make up my mind. On Saturday, I was going. Yesterday, I was requesting a deferral (with the idea of getting more funding and going next year).  Why can’t I make up my mind???

I was convinced that something was wrong with me because I am flip-flopping all over the place on this. But yesterday I discovered TED.com.  TED.com is full of fascinating talks by very smart people, and it so happens that they have several talks about decision making and happiness. I listened to a few last night. They did not help me at all when it came to my own decision, but I did learn that 1). humans are really bad at making decisions, 2) humans don’t know what they want, even when they think they do, and 3) many people are happier with fewer choices rather than more choices.  After listening to these talks, I concluded that I am human and am behaving according to human nature. What a relief!

So the talks were very interesting, but they provided no answers. That is, there were no strategies presented to help us (me!) learn how to make better decisions.  They did point out errors that people can look for in their thinking, but try as I might, I don’t seem able to use that knowledge to my benefit for my current decision.

Here are the links to the videos I just watched:

Dan Gilbert on mistaken expectations

Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice

Dan Gilbert asks, Why are we happy?

Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce

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