Conventional wisdom says that when you’re faced with a difficult choice, it’s good to make a pros and cons list to help you decide. I, however, am a proponent of skipping out on the pros section of the list, and heading straight for a cons and cons list instead.
Okay, yes, I know. Saying that you should make a cons and cons list sounds a little pessimistic, doesn’t it?
I’ll digress for just a moment to say that, just for fun, Molly and I were reading some Frog and Toad books out loud. I love Frog and Toad books. While reading them on that particular day, one story where Frog was upbeat and Toad was bemoaning a situation really struck me. I stopped reading and looked at Eric. “We’re Frog and Toad!” burst out of my mouth. And, with some trepidation I added, “And I’m Toad!”
Seriously though – this isn’t a Toad moment. I think focusing on only the cons of any difficult decision makes sense, and after you read why, you might come to my cons and cons way of thinking.
Why You Should Skip the Pros and Cons List and Head Straight for a Cons and Cons List
Ah, the pros side of any pros and cons list. It’s a pretty lovely side, isn’t it? Sometimes, it’s easy to get so focused on the good things that will come out of a decision that we can try to forget about those pesky things on the cons side.
The problem is that the pros side can just be too appealing. And, quite frankly, those things on the pro side of the list are generally pretty easy to live with.
It’s those things on the cons side of the list that can be difficult or even unmanageable to live with. So, why not focus on just those first? Set aside the pros of both choices in a difficult decision, and compare just the cons of each first. One option may stand out as having cons that you just won’t be able to live with.
Once you’ve sorted through the cons of both choice and compared them, if you really need to be Frog for a while, then go ahead and compare the pros of each situation as well, especially if you still can’t decide.
What are some of the methods you use in a decision making process?
|Angie, a domestically challenged nerd and mom of three very fun kids, is the founder of Real Life at Home. Angie also listens to music every chance she gets, writes eBooks, podcasts, loves Pinterest, documents the little moments in life on Instagram, and occasionally sleeps.|
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