14th Feb 2015 |
The Hard Thing about Hard Choices
Every now and again I come across something that reinvigorates me and makes me determined to redouble what we’re trying to do at The Career Psychologist. This video is one of those things.
The thing about difficult career decisions is that they are a ‘hard choice’ in the sense that there is (probably) no right or wrong answer. (Our process is designed to weed out the ‘wrong’ choice, but more often than not clients are left with choices that still feel difficult to make using reason alone).
This, Ruth Chang argues, is what makes them so hard…and so liberating. After all, if we there were only choices between the ‘right’ choice and the ‘wrong’ choice then life would be very dull and there would be no real choice at all.
Now what does this remind me of? This, in essence, is the ACT approach to values:
“A choice is a selection among alternatives that may be made with reasons but not for reasons….”
Values are choices. They are freely made; free in the sense of there being no coercion, no ‘having to’ driving the choice. In this way values help us construct ourselves around something we choose, as opposed to something we drift into or ‘should’ be doing.
Ultimately values are a way of asserting ourselves during our few precious moments on earth. Our chance to say ‘this is what I stood for’.