Decision making is hard for most people. So many choices, so much uncertainty, so much to gain or lose… how can we possibly make a decision?
We keep changing our minds. We decide one thing, then undecide. Or we procrastinate, trying to keep our options open and putting off the decision until it’s forced on us. Or, even worse, we convince ourselves ‘we can’t do otherwise’ and continue with damaging courses of action. We regret our decisions. We blame ourselves for what we decided.
What holds us back and what might help?
Stoicism has become a popular philosophy in recent years, and the Stoic philosophers truly have a lot to teach us. But should we take on board all that they have to say or should we cherry pick only the parts that fit in with our modern worldview? This article was published in The Philosophers’ Magazine, issue 49, 2nd quarter 2010.
What do we need to have a good life? Money? Success? Friends? Reason? Aristotle’s analysis of this topic is still one of the most perceptive and thought-provoking, and he has a wealth of advice that we could draw on. This article was published in Practical Philosophy, Autumn 2005.