How could our friends’ best celebrate their XX wedding anniversary: using Option Solving?


It was one of life’s ironies. Two weeks ago I was thinking through the dilemma of how to spend our XX wedding anniversary. Because it was top of the mind, we were discussing our potential options with friends, when, out of the blue, they started sharing they had the same dilemma for their  imminent anniversary, too. So, I switched to talk about their situation because it could well have an outcome on our choices.

Having explained to our friends how option solving works, which intrigued them no end, I nudged them into formulating an appropriate question to get their creative intuitive juices going.  The outcome of their deliberations proved to be: “What is their best option for celebrating their XX wedding anniversary, considering it’s a fairly significant milestone, tougher economic times hold back the scale, need to avoid weekday business interruptions, and trying to make it as special as possible?” You can see their  four considerations at the back-end of this question. There were others, but these seemed to be the most important ones…around 50% of the total. Again, try not to make these more than 4 or 5, otherwise you may unnecessarily complicate things.

With their question now in place, they then had to generate two “bookends”  so as to create a constructive framework for any subsequent range of options. These bookends are designed to indicate extreme options; that is, the ones least likely to be pursued before denoting more practical options. The two bookends they produced for their situation, as a “Yin” and “Yang” combination, were: “Do nothing special” at one end and “A week in Europe” at the other. By taking a look at our Latest Example, you will see their impracticalities for not choosing either.

Once they had set these bookends in place, it gave them a framework for figuring out a range of options. (Note: It’s always advisable to come up with a least five options, so as to challenge your creative mind as much as possible.) In their case, you will see our Latest Example “pictogram” of their six alternative options. By producing this pictogram, it gave their intuitions a much better chance of absorbing and enabling them to pick their optimum choice. (Note: Your intuitive mind responds much better to pictures than words, when making decisions.)

We then gave our friends some emotional distancing time to think through their option: to allow their intuitive minds to do what they were built for…consider the alternatives relative to all their life’s experiences. In fact, we encouraged them to sleep on it and come back with their choice the following morning. When they did, they came back with: “New Jersey shore”…Option F… again, see our Latest Example. What option would you have chosen in their shoes?

We then encouraged them to take it one step further by “Peeling the Option Solving Onion,” so they would come up with their best choice at the New Jersey shore. We will share the outcome of their next deliberations at our forthcoming blog in two weeks.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting in 2 weeks: “Peeling the Onion – How could they best celebrate their XX wedding anniversary at the New Jersey shore?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options.”)


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