By Mike Pinto, IPLI Mentor and Principal at James Cole Elementary
We are weighed down in our day-to-day life in many ways. One of the greatest weights we burden is coming to a decision when faced with a problem. Some decisions in life have heavier burdens than others because their consequences are greater. These decisions may involve life-or-death situations. They also may be decisions that have lasting interpersonal consequences on our relationships with others. These decisions are the type that rob us of sleep, cause us to seek insight from others, and spend time in deep introspection. The decision, when made, may linger with us for a long time afterward with its consequences rehashed again and again.
There are other decisions that come our way every day. These decisions are of the garden variety type. They need an answer, and that answer isn’t life-altering or extremely consequential. Sometimes, the pure volume of these decisions can in themselves become a burden. We do that to ourselves because we often spend entirely too long making the decisions and over-analyzing their importance and their gravity.
For example, one of these decisions is one that many of us wrestle with – thin- or thick-sliced bacon? This decision can literally stop one in his tracks and create more thought than is necessary. “If I get the thin sliced bacon, I get more slices, but if I get the thick sliced bacon, it will be tastier and I will be happier.” In the end, what often happens is we choose economy over happiness. That is where we make the mistake.
When these types of little decisions come our way, apply the Thick-Sliced Bacon Philosophy. There are three tenets to the Thick-Sliced Bacon Philosophy:
1) “Does this decision have lasting impact on me or anyone around me?” If the answer is “No,” move forward.
2) “Is the outcome of the decision that much different if I choose either way?” If the answer is “No,” move forward.
3) With all things being equal to me and those around me, which decision will bring me the greatest joy?” That final question will yield your answer.
When you look at the difference between thin- and thick-sliced bacon, there really isn’t much difference in cost. There also isn’t really that much difference in terms of quantity. There is a large difference, however, in terms of the “Joy” factor. That’s where we often sell ourselves short. We don’t factor “Joy” into our decisions. When we factor in “Joy,” we are also a bit more mindful and a bit more validated with our own self-worth. Our spirits are also buoyed just a bit. Life is hard enough to get bogged down by the minutia. It’s also too difficult to not take any moments we can and choose the thick-cut bacon when it’s offered because when it really doesn’t matter, choose happiness over economy every time.