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Making big decisions

I've always had a tough time making big decisions, and what Benjamin Franklin had to say about it made perfect sense - to let the rational mind kick in and to consider the entirety of the picture at one go rather than in pieces as I do normally, where one set of arguments make perfect sense at one time and an opposing set of arguments make perfect sense at another time.

I'm going to be applying Ben Franklin's advice whenever possible. Here it is in his own words (as part of a letter he wrote to a friend who asked him for advice on a big decision he was about to make):
"In the affair of so much importance to you, wherein you ask my advice, I cannot for want of sufficient premises, advice you what to determine, but if you please I will tell you how. 
When these difficult cases occur, they are difficult chiefly because while we have them under consideration all the reasons pro and con are not present to the mind at the same time; but sometimes one set present themselves, and at other times another, the first being out of sight. Hence the various purposes or inclinations that alternately prevail, and the uncertainty that perplexes us.
To get over this, my way is, to divide half a sheet of paper by a line into two columns, writing over the one Pro and the other Con. Then during three or four days consideration I put down under the different heads short hints of the different motives that at different times occur to me for or against the measure. When I have thus got them all together in one view, I endeavour to estimate their respective weights; and where I find two, one on each side, that seem equal, I strike them booth out; if I find a reason pro equal to some two reasons con, I strike out the three. If I judge some two reasons con equal to some three reasons pro, I strike out the five; and thus proceeding I find at length where the balance lies; and after a day or two of further consideration nothing new that is of importance occurs on either side, I come to a determination accordingly.
And though the weight of reasons cannot be taken with the precision of algebraic quantities, yet when each is thus considered separately and comparatively, and the whole lies before me, I think I can judge better, and am less likely to take a rash step; and in fact I have found great advantage from this kind of equation, in what maybe called moral or prudential algebra."
I came across this letter while reading the book Farsighted, I felt as though it was written for me.

While we consider all sides of the argument before making a decision, we often don't do it at the same time. Which is a necessary condition to arrive at the right decision. 
 
 

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