Is there a difference between choice and decision? In our view there certainly is.
Though the words are often used interchangeably, there's a major difference between the two. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, decision is the act of or need for making up one’s mind, it comes from “cutting off”, a report of a conclusion. Choice is the opportunity or power to choose between two or more possibilities, it comes from “to perceive.”
In business and in life, we make numerous choices: they are either conscious or unconscious. Making choices is a critical part of every entrepreneur's job. What most people do is try to figure out what the right decision is going to be. They try to figure it out logically to make sure that nothing will go wrong if they finally make this decision. But it doesn’t work that way. We have to choose in order to have the awareness of what our choice creates. The only consequence of choice is awareness.
Most people think a decision is something that, once it's made, is there forever. They think a decision is set in concrete. So they need to have the right answer. The problem with this sort of point of view is that the very premise on which it is based is flawed. So therefore, if we think we have to make a decision, we are constantly looking for more evidence that it is the right decision, because otherwise it would be the wrong decision and we would be stuck with it. And, once you have made the decision that “you are on the right track”, you have to defend the direction you are going. You will always look to gather evidence that will prove you have made the right decision.
When you have the point of view that you must make the right decision, you have to conclude what the result is that you want, which means you have to judge you and make yourself wrong when it doesn't turn out that way. When you are vested in the outcome, you put yourself in the place of “I need to make the right decision”. Then you have no choice. When you have the need to make the right decision, then all choices are controlled and subject to that point of view, because you always have to go into judgment as to whether or not you are making the right decision. Difficulties arise when unconscious decision making is used for important decisions that have long-term consequences. You can end up making sub-optimal decisions.
If you are vested in the outcome when you are making a decision -
- you will always be in judgment of your decision and you blind yourself to all that actually is or could be.
- you try to work out the right answer and you try to contain everything where you can keep it moving in a direction you wish to go, or you have decided it should go, which creates limitation.
- you can’t have any clarity about other possibilities because you are looking for a particular result.
Making a conscious choice in the present is so much easier than that. Making a conscious choice is about the change you know needs to be here. There is no investment in the outcome and no idea of what might show up; there is only awareness of the energy. You recognise that every choice creates many future possibilities, not a single result. It is crucial to know the difference between choice and decision, because choice creates ever changing possibilities, whereas decision is always a cutting off of other possibilities.