Making one decision means making many

Take a seemingly small decision like deciding whether to eat a chicken sandwich or a cheese burger. How many questions, each requiring a decision in itself, come into play?

  • Which is more expensive?
  • Does it even matter if I save a dollar or so on one of the deals?
  • Which is healthier?
  • Does it even matter that much if I choose the healthier choice?
  • Which tastes better?
  • Which will make me feel fuller?
  • Is it better to feel full or not?
  • Which might make me sleepy?
  • Should I worry about the onions on the chicken sandwich giving me bad breath?
  • Will the lettuce on the chicken sandwich fall off too easily as I eat this in the car?
  • Will the grease from the hamburger end up getting all over the stearing wheel?
  • Which is better for the environment?
  • Do I want to support the chicken restaurant or the burger restaurant?
  • Do I want to support the chicken industry or the cattle industry?
  • Does it even matter which I support with my measly food choice?

I’m sure there are other questions too. And this is just a ridiculously lame decision. Just choose one already!

What about decisions on where to work, how long, where to move, and when? What about deciding who to marry, how many kids to have, how to raise them, how to invest in their future? What about purchases, like cars and homes and cell phone plans? What about what to do for entertainment, which movies to watch, which plays to see, which video games to rent and spend hours defeating?

Sure, we don’t always consciously ask each of the minor questions. In fact, we rarely do. But we’re still making the decisions, whether we ask the questions or not.