Weighing Alternatives is a Matter of Principle

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weighing alternatives

Weighing Alternatives is a Matter of Principle

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Big decisions or little decisions, short-term or long-term, what helps you decide? Weighing alternatives typically boils down to principles.

Some would suggest it is ethics or integrity. Others may decide the decision was based on outside forces or pressure.

Most of our choices are connected to principles. Your morals, a guideline, or your values and beliefs help shape the principles you will adhere to.

Recent high school graduates often base more advanced education choices on principles. In the short-term the opportunity cost is more. In the long-term, across many years, the theory is that it pays off.

Parents are influencers, so are other family members, friends, and the admissions staff.

This may be true about the car or home you’ll buy. It may be true about what you’ll eat for dinner. Pros and cons, short-term and long-term outcomes, or the consequences of action versus inaction.

Weighing Alternatives

When there are more alternatives you need to rely on your principles less. You can make a choice and the consequences of undesirable outcomes feel less risky. There is always another choice, at a later time, or on another day.

Often there are group dynamics connected to how you’ll weigh the options. Some of that is connected to your principles and some of it is connected to the social discourse you’ll choose to follow.

Your principles will guide you.

If your choices are only about the right now. Your principles probably lack the integrity or ethics you’ll need for the long-haul.

In a family of four, someone eating the whole bag of potato chips while no one else is watching seems like a reasonable choice. At least at the moment, in the right now.

The alternative requires discipline, caring, and compassion. It doesn’t satisfy the right now.

It’s about the principle.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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