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Should or could

When I was a kid I would sometimes get concerned about doing the right thing in some really mundane situations.

“Mom, can I go to a friend’s house?”

“Yes.”

“But should I?”

“…?”

I’ve been learning about decision fatigue. Basically, in some matters, making a decision is more valuable than which decision you make.

If it’s of little consequence, just make a decision. You’ll  have saved energy for a more important decision.

But, what if it is important? And you’re inclined toward indecision?

Here’s one starting point. Instead of all the options of what you should do, what about what you can do?

In one of the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movies, Kirk says this line:

I have no idea what I’m supposed to do. I only know what I can do.

The context was somewhere in the realm of “everything is falling apart” and he did not know what the textbook answer to that scenario should be.

That line has stuck with me. In uncertain situations, I’ll often not know what the best possible choice of action is. But maybe I have a starting point, a course of action that takes into account current resources, abilities and experience.

So if there’s an overwhelming, possibly chaotic event unfolding, maybe this is an option: what can you do?

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