Gain and Loss: When You Become a Choice


My friend promised me Japanese Food. She give me choice between Sushi or Ramen. I have never eat Sushi but Ramen isn’t too bad for me.

If you’re me, what do you choose?

If you are the owner of Sushi Restaurant, what do you think?

Two roles in choices; a choice-taker and a choice itself. You could be me picking one of Sushi or Ramen. Also you could be a choice, the owner of Sushi Restaurant, who want to be chosen. When you become a choice, how to win the competition?

Willy is close with Sally for five years. Sally think this year is the best year for her to get married. Sally admires Willy to become her husband because he fits what Sally wants all the time. Although Willy is the best candidate for Sally to marry, it’s still no sign of Willy proposing her.

Sally has the other choice. He is Danny. She has many things in common with him. Danny said Sally will be a good mother someday because he thinks Sally is smart and kind. Unfortunately, Danny is not good enough for Sally.

Find for hard choice

To win the competition, the choice shouldn’t be an easy choice. Danny must become an alternative which is better in other ways while Willy’s is better in his way. So neither is better than the other. I don’t know maybe Willy’s way is a good husband for Sally and Danny’s way is a good father for Sally’s children. Then Willy and Danny will be a hard choice.


The TED talk by Ruth Chang explains clearly about hard choice. In a hard choice, one alternative is better in some ways, the other alternative is better in other ways, and neither is better than the other overall.” Hard choice makes the alternatives is equally good in each way. It’s “on par” on Ruth Chang’s term.

Understanding the type

More about the talk. “It’s a mistake to think that in hard choices, one alternative really is better than the other, but we’re too stupid to know which, and since we don’t know which, we might as well take the least risky option.” I agree with her, if the choice become harder people tend to choose the least risky option. The least risky option makes people a risk takers.

Two different types of people as of late risk takers and those who are risk averse. The risk averse deals with reducing uncertainty. They do plan and save second guess. They see opportunity as a potential growing uncertainty that will become certain. The risk takers take their first guess and jump on a potential opportunity very quickly. They often failed on their options. But they get what they want earlier than the risk averse.

Being part of plan not expectation

Decision comes from a process of gathering information. But the information is limited, we never know the future. We have to overcome regret someday. We regret missed opportunities. We regret choices we make. We regret about our past decision.

We regret because we worry that we should have made other choices. The problem is that we can’t change those choices. So we keep comparing the unchangeable choice we actually made.

We are not actually always good on the choice we made. Sometimes we do good things on it. Sometimes we are not seriously take care of it. However we are part of it. Yes, we are still in the choice we made before because we plan it. We are all of it. Imagine if we are an expectation we will become that choice to regret.

As certain as the sunrise


“The opposite of certainty isn’t uncertainty. It’s openness, curiosity and a willingness to embrace paradox, rather than choose up sides.”

Tony Schwartz

The uncertainty or whatever it means makes the hard-choice become endless. We guess more and become risk averse. The worst scenario is a deadlock. Sally will end her choice only if there is more certain option coming. We can’t control time. Our knowledge is limited. Our expectations are bias. So certainty is the answer.

You may not be the best choice but you can find a way to be a certain choice.