Friday, March 12, 2021

3133 : Optionality

Was speaking to a dear friend of mine, who is at an epoch of a possible life event. Here in a nutshell is her dilemma. She is good with an option she already has in her back pocket (call it Option A), an option that is more easily understood and more easily in grasp. 

There is Option B calling out to her (and presenting itself on a plate). 

The thing is Option B is way more sexier than Option A. 

She though rightly believes that Option A is the right for her, it's understated, is simple, and has a better chance at peace and happiness.

Her question to me - should she even entertain Option B?

There are 3 more steps before Option B becomes a reality. Let's say an entrance exam, followed by an interview, followed by getting the specialization you want (just making this example up).

My point is Option A is your pocket - why not go ahead with the process of Option B and give it your best shot. You can always choose to forgo it even after getting the specialization you want. 

Essentially I call this optionality. The ability to leave the decision till the edge, beyond which its becomes ethically unsound to keep the decision at bay. 

It's a simple mind hack, but if you choose optionality, then you don't close your life to any new developments (or data points). For example - if she never gives the entrance exam, she will never know that along with the specialization admission - they are also giving a lifetime supply of Jim Beam (my bourbon :-) hee hee).

And maybe that Jim Beam is a deal clincher for her. Maybe. 

Let's take the other decision path, she gets the specialization, but no other positive surprises. She can still choose Option A and walk away. All she would have invested in the effort to write the entrance exam - which is nothing but cerebral exercise - all good. 

The key thing in life (or so I have learned) is to delay decisions as long as you can. Unless there is an explicitly announced reward for deciding early (like a special edition car color as an example). People change, our minds change, Options change, our life events change.......

So that's on this.....

Of course on a related topic, if she decides to take Option A - knowing Option B is sexier, she is passing the modified version of the marshmallow test with flying colors. She will have that inner strength to always guide her.


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