How to make hard choices | Ruth Chang

Here’s a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up — or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that’s because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.

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  • hmmm.. This helped me, but only because I thought about it through for a while.

    The core of what she was saying is good, but I feel like it was kind of diluted with things that actually detracted from the point. Someone in the comments said, "Just make a choice, then make so that it turns out to be a good one". I understand why they came to this conclusion based on this video. I think that people like this would have clearer understandings had the video beed a lot more direct. I'm gonna break it down in my own words and it might help people.

    For me, the important part is when she mentioned "Drifters". A drifter is someone who's aimless and subsequently doesn't no who they are. To understand who you are, it's important to be able to recognize meaning. (Look up "Jordan Peterson Meaning") Defining yourself, your goals, your principles, allows you to recognize the choices that yield the most meaning from the consequences of your decisions.

    That's it. I don't think this adds to what she said, it might make her point clearer though. idk. Also, keep in mind that Jordan Peterson is politically controversial, but has a great life philosophy and I'd encourage anyone to look him up as he's very important to this. I like a lot of what she had to say, "If your life were nothing but easy choices, you'd be a slave to your decisions."

    Have a good day! and like my comment if it helps. 🙂

  • I’m glad we have these ted talk as resources, they didn’t have such experts that give their opinion on what they worked for so long so easily available, i am grateful for that 🙏🏽

  • I think the movie 'Mr.Nobody' is the best illustration of this ted talk. Or, this talk is the best conclusion of the movie.

  • while we obsess about the classic philosophers, we forget to appreciate the modern day philosophers and put them in a hard spot where the society do not support them as much, leads to the suffering souls of our population even more. I feel inspired from this video, thank you.

  • ….And yet, when it comes to making a hard choice, my options are a subset of socially constrained options. So long as feel that I exercised my will in choosing from a limited set of viable options can I claim I am expressing the authentic me. The individual who allows life to guide their choices is a drifter, they make decisions passively and therefore allow themselves to be swept up by the flow of life. The principle of Wu Wei would apply here. However, those who from their inner self make a choice are more resilient to being pushed around by the flow of life, they resist certain ideas and support others. In this sense their lives are meaningful because they engaged their agency in support some cause or idea. They dictate to the world who they are and make life into what they want by self-created reasons.

    Where those reasons originate from is unimportant….. At what point did I decide to decide? I can certainly get behind the idea of making decisions that 'feel right' because that feeling is how I 'know' I've acted in accordance with a deeper part of me. I've expressed myself in a way that reflects my inner feelings. How I arrived at those feelings is an unknown mystery but that doesn't matter so long as I have allowed their expression to be released. It's as if the outside world flows through me and I through it and when I have a sense that I want to move or act I do and in that act I am being authentic to who I really am. Which is a creature that is interconnected with its environment. I am my ecology. So to act in a way the expresses my inner feelings is to allow the flow of life to pass through me unimpeded. The same way water flows down a mountain.

    I am not certain but pretty confident there is no right way to act. Which is to say there is also no wrong way to act. You just do, and there it is. We can layer on complex mental games but these are also simply manifestations of what there is.

  • Awesome video thank you ! I made a video summarizing how to make better decisions in life, in case you wanna watch it 🙂

  • Do help me choose. Appreciate suggestion
    So I have an Important exam coming up
    Presently unemployment
    Parents providers.
    1) Should I focus on Self Study ( only 2 months – officers post- fulfilling. But I do have maybe 1 hour extra)
    2) Or tutor 1 hour a day ( part of my syllabus…. but have to continues 1 hr for everyday for 6 months – what if I get a Job in between, a call for intership- be selfish and just leave). This could also save me some money for the part 2 phase (for coaching books) of exam I need if I pass the part 1 exam.

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