February 28, 2008
Liz published this at 7:35 am
Possibilities and Direction
You walk into an ice cream store. So many flavors sit in the case before you. You consider or you know right away. You place your order.
You have a meeting with your boss only to find out that the job you love is likely to be gone in six months. You have an opportunity to take a higher position in another state or you can stay in the city you love with a fair certainty that your job is going away.
One is a choice. The other is a decision.
One is about possibilities. The other is about direction.
Decision or Choice
Whether we’re thinking about sending a child to private school, where to go on holiday, or buying office supplies, every day we opt for one thing over another. Sometimes we’re choosing. Sometimes we’re deciding. Doing one when the other is called for can get in our way.
Do you know the difference between a choice and a decision? Consider what the words mean and how that might apply to your business and your life.
The Definitions [via Answers.com ]
- A choice is a selection from a number or variety of options.
- A decision is reaching a conclusion or passing judgment on an issue.
The Etymology — History of the Words [via Merriam-Webster Online,]
- Choose — Etymology: Middle English chosen, from Old English cÄ“osan; akin to Old High German kiosan to choose, Latin gustare to taste
- Decide — Middle English, from Latin decidere, literally, to cut off, from de- + caedere to cut
Synonyms [via Thesaurus.com]
- Choose — (definition select) — accept, adopt, appoint, call for, cast, co-opt, commit oneself, crave, cull, decide on, designate, desire, determine, discriminate between, draw lots, elect, embrace, espouse, excerpt, extract, fancy, favor, finger, fix on, glean, judge, love, make choice, make decision, name, opt for, predestine, prefer, see fit, separate, set aside, settle upon, sift out, single out, slot, sort, tab, tag, take, take up, tap, want, weigh, will, winnow, wish, wish for
- Decide — (definition determine) adjudge, adjudicate, agree, award, call shots*, choose, cinch, clinch, commit oneself, conclude, conjecture, decree, determine, elect, end, establish, figure, fix upon, form opinion, gather, guess, judge, mediate, opt, pick, poll, purpose, reach decision, resolve, rule, select, set, surmise, tap, vote, will
When we choose, it’s like picking an item from a menu. If we come back the next time, we can make another choice. But a decision, cuts off — kills — other options. By its very definiton a decision is a turning point.
Is the Difference Stealing Your Focus and Your Time?
Decisions and choices build our character, form our life path. They’re the sum and substance of what makes our resume and our business success. Even so, what is a decision or a choice for you, me, or anyone is, in itself, a decision or a choice.
How we handle decisions and choices deeply affects our lives.
- Do you angst over every choice as a life-changing decision? Take a look at what you’re investing — time, energy, stress — and what you’re investing in.
- Do you avoid clear decisions by treating them like choices? Take a look at the options you’re holding onto and how they’re holding you in place.
Those two mistakes steal time and focus and often generate stress.
The difference is fairly simple.
A decision marks a direction.
A choice marks an option until we return to choose again.
How will you use this information?
It’s your decision . . . or your choice.
–ME “Liz” Strauss