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  1. #1
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Default Describe your thought process when it comes to making big life decisions

    So I'd like to attempt to start a thread without any reference to type, or cognitive functions. I'd like for people to look at the title of the thread, think of a few examples of major life decisions you have made in the past, and the thought processes around how you made the decision and concluded what you did. Could be about anything - relationships, college, religion, buying a house, dropping out of school, quitting a job, starting your own business, whatever.

    Obviously each person who posts will have an mbti type associated with themselves, and the readers of the posts will come to their own conclusions on whether what the person describes is something that lines up with their personal conception of what that type is 'supposed' to do, or whether it goes against what that type is 'supposed' to do.

    But my aim in this thread is to just let people describe what THEY do, and why they do what they do, or think how they think. Forget about using cognitive function descriptors, forget about referencing your type, just be real. (**and please, don't feel compelled in the slightest to follow my format - not that you would, lol - because I tend to write a lot in the first place, and if people actually take this thread seriously, I would expect to see many different types of responses)

    So I'll start.

    First example - going to college and choosing a major. First off, it never really entered my mind to NOT go to college as a child. It just made sense, and I thought it was necessary to be able to get a 'real job'. Also, I didn't have any grand life plans, so unconsciously I probably was relieved that I had my life planned out until at least college graduation, and I didn't have to worry about coming up with my own plan. Growing up, in some ways I sort of just floated along - not terribly sure what I wanted to do, not having a solid footing on my identity, or confidence around who I was. This probably impacted my difficulty in choosing a major. I was highly talented at music, and my piano teacher and grandmother both wished I would have pursued music, and thought it would be a shame if I did not. However, I was also good at math and science, and I thought it would be a shame if I didn't make use of my intellectual capabilities/gifts. I didn't want to throw that away, so to speak, and I thought it made the most logical sense in going to school - pursuing a career in something that would use my abilities, and that would guarantee a job. My dad also heavily influenced my decision, as he urged the more practical career - suggesting stuff like actuarial science (ick), and encouraging engineering. So I started out in engineering. It was something most of the people I tended to relate to in high school were pursuing, so it seemed a natural thing to do. After 1.5 yrs though, I realized it just wasn't 'Me', and I looked around at all of my peers and couldn't see myself in the engineering world with my temperament - I simply didn't care about dead things, and computers, and electricity. It was boring to me, and I also learned that it wasn't something that I naturally grasped - I could have majored in it and done it as a career if I had the will, but I didn't have the will, and I also don't think I would have excelled at it either. I would have just done 'ok'. Nothing brilliant. I then debated what to major in instead, and ruled out business and most of the liberal arts majors because I didn't want to do business and I wasn't interested in languages or the humanities or anything like that, so I thought long and hard and chose biology, specifically Ecology, because I liked the topic, cared about the subject matter, and thought of any of the jobs out there, a job related to the environment or naturalist work would be the most up my alley. Switched majors, graduated.

    Another example - quitting my job recently and deciding to upend my life and move to a different state in the spring. I had ended up working for a company beginning 6 yrs ago, because at that time jobs were scarce, I had become disillusioned about realistic prospects in the environmental field, was tired of temping and competing for short-term assignments with 100+ other over-qualified people, so sucked it up and joined a corporation in a crappy job, just to have some semblance of stability. 2 yrs or so into being at the company, I felt stifled, hated the menial work I was doing, and nearly quit to go travel the world for 6 months, but I also thought that was an escapist maneuver and it was possible to 'conquer' my view of my life and change my perspective on it, and find a way to achieve peace despite a job I didn't like. I actually kinda did that, and then found the job I DID like within the company that was much better suited to my skills, and was fine at it until I learned the ropes, it became too routine, wasn't much of a challenge anymore, and I felt I could 'predict' the company decisions/dynamics/projects enough that there wouldn't be any surprises or challenge any longer. The stagnant feeling started creeping up again. 5 yrs or so in a corporation had made me feel that my *overall* life was rather humdrum and repetitive. The thought of having the same sort of day, and existance, every year for the rest of my life, in the same sort of role and company, made my stomach churn and the thought depressed me. Simultaneously I realized there was the simple fact that I didn't even WANT to be in Minnesota for the rest of my life, so why in fact was I still here? What was keeping me here, besides my own fears and uncertainties? And finally, a 'life is short' realization...just that now was the best time to make a change and act, because logistically things would only get harder as I grew older, and if I didn't act now, I'd come up with more excuses later on. I couldn't think of a really good reason not to do it. I don't want to 'fold' when it comes to my life, as I think it's possible to have a fulfilling, rich existance.

    Anyone else want to describe how they come to decisions?
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  2. #2
    The Memes Justify the End EcK's Avatar
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    I like flipping coins, (no, really I mean)
    Expression of the post modern paradox : "For the love of god, religions are so full of shit"

    Theory is always superseded by Fact...
    ... In theory.

    “I’d hate to die twice. It’s so boring.”
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    "Great is the human who has not lost his childlike heart."
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  3. #3
    Member beth21's Avatar
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    I usually will compose a list of pros and cons. I will assign a point value for each pro and con and total. After that, I begin doubting myself. I ask all close friends about what they would do. I hear different reasons and look at my pros and cons list again. I then debate about it mentally especially when trying to go to sleep. Then I just pick one usually based on feeling more than what I was attempting to do prior. Half the time it was the wrong decision.

    I'm still not good at big decisions.
    "Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite." C. S. Lewis

  4. #4
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    *please don't make me!! please don't make* or something like that.

    unless of course it's something that i think can be changed quite easily...i'm quite the optimist you see...so... i always feel like it will work out....and what others consider B I G may not be a big deal to me...like jobs or moving or something...because they can be undone...or you can always get another job or whatever, you know?
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  5. #5
    Kickin' Ass since 1984 GargoylesLegacy's Avatar
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    Hm, personally I just look at where I stand now. Then I imagine how it would be, if I picked option A (with all pros, cons, possible failures, losses or wins) and then I do the same with option B. And whater is better gets picked. There.

    I was always quite happy with the (big) choices I did until now. And when I wasn't I just changed whatever was bothering me.

    Some of the biggies were possibly me moving to Germany by myself at age 17; me leaving everything behind and moving in with my current roomie and some earlier things like me making an informatics apprenticeship; me deciding to cut the contact to my "mother" etc.

    Oh uhm, in case you wonder about time spans to decide things too...mostly it doesn't take me too long, tho it depends on how fast I have thought thru all the possibilities.
    Rule #1: Driver picks the music. Shotgun shuts his cakehole.

    Again, Demons I get, but people are just crazy.

    ESTP? o.O

  6. #6
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    At least with regard to my career, I've got a ten-year plan together with certain long-term goals in mind--break into psychological research, get my Ph.D., spin off my small business, grow that into a full-blown consulting firm, possibly also pursue an MBA at the same time. As I approach the steps along the way and gather experience and details, I begin to define them more specifically. So, they end up being naturally shaped over time.

    Major decisions in other aspects of my life are similar. In college, I decided that I wanted to save up and buy a condo at a specific complex.. so, three years later, I had enough money to do so and I went through with it. I also decided that I wanted to get it paid off three years after I bought it, so I did exactly that.

    In cases where I find that the next part of some plan of mine might not work and I have to reevaluate the entire thing, I get very anxious about deviating from it. For example, when I was nearing the completion of my masters degree, I realized that I was stuck in a rut with my job and thought that I'd have to move or switch jobs to get the sort of work I wanted. Then that made me question whether to go for a Ph.D... and if I don't, what happens then.. so on and so forth. I ended up changing things internally with my current employer and wound back on the track I decided upon earlier.

    Also, if I don't have long-term plans for some aspect of my life, I get worried.

    I love the J/P discrepancy on this topic

  7. #7
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    yes greed it is funny isn't it!? haha
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  8. #8
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Overall I pretty much look at what I want to have accomplished directly by my decision, look at possible ways to get there, and choose which ones I prefer. Two examples: future career and investment.

    1) university: It was pretty much expected that I go to university, both by my parents and by the schools, which push most of us towards it but especially those of us in gifted.

    I didn't have a problem with that though, because I'd wanted to be a vet for a few years, did a coop placement in high school, loved animals, all that fun stuff. So I looked at the prereqs online, figured out that I needed to go into biology, decided on coop option for work experience and honours because it's a better degree, plus why not?

    After second-third year I decided to go into research instead, but luckily I've known for years that biology is where I want to be so I've pretty much been on a straight (if fuzzy and changeable) path there since high school.

    2) buying a house: I haven't actually decided this one yet, still working on it. I'm thinking about the possible risks, the most likely benefits, alternative investments, location/type of house to aim for, price range I'm comfortable with, whether to pay off my student loans first, how it's going to affect my future plans (family, career, etc), and how happy I think I'll be with my decision a decade or two in the future. I plan to think about it for a year or two while I research further and talk to people about it.

    Big decisions I don't mind, they're very straightforward - it's the little ones that get me.

  9. #9
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone who's responded thus far. I've enjoyed reading the responses, and it's been pretty interesting for me, and what immediately strikes me is different overall approach/focus between people. I mean, it's totally to be expected, but it's also interesting seeing what people choose to write about, and how they go about describing. That says a lot as well.

    There's certainly some crossover and similar approaches/focuses in cases, but each person has also definitely had their own spin on things.

    I had hoped a lot more people might respond, but I'm also content with what I got. ;-) It was interesting.

    (I've also now confirmed that I'm one of the most wordy, over-analyzing people here!! ;-) Or my own style of analyzing, that is.)
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

    My Photography and Watercolor Fine Art Prints!!! Cascade Colors Fine Art Prints
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  10. #10
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    I just go with the flow.. swimming downstream until I find somewhere I can climb out that looks good.

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