Peeling the Onion – How could our friends best celebrate their XX wedding anniversary at the New Jersey shore: using Option Solving?


Once our friends had decided to spend their anniversary at the New Jersey shore, they then had the dilemma of how to spend their time. Such a step was known as ‘Peeling the Onion;’ in other words peeling back the sub-layers of their dilemma until they had a clear game plan.

As they were now fully familiar with Option Solving, they immediately dove into articulating a new question, which turned out  to be: How could our friends best celebrate their XX wedding anniversary at the New Jersey shore, considering it’s a fairly significant milestone, tougher economic times hold back the scale,  hotel is in a pretty conservative town, and trying to make it as special as possible?” This, you can see, was pretty close to their initial question, although it was becoming even more targeted, and they chose a around 50% of their total considerations once more. Again, try not to make these more than 4 or 5, so as to not complicate things too much.

Once they had figured this out, they immediately generated two “bookends;”  to another framework for their subsequent range of options. Again, these bookends were designed to indicate extreme options; that is, ones least likely to be chosen. These two bookends turned out to be, as a “Yin” and “Yang” combination, were: “Do nothing special” at one end and “Have a raucous party with friends.” at the other. Look at our Latest Example and you will see why they weren’t chosen.

With these bookends in place, they could now figure out their range of appropriate  options. (Note: It’s always advisable to come up with a least five options, will challenge your creative brain as much as possible.)  You can see in our Latest Example “pictogram” their six alternative options. By producing this pictogram, it enabled them to use their intuitions to absorb the alternatives and then pick their optimum option. (Note: Your intuitive mind responds much better to pictures than words, when making decisions.

They then gave themselves some emotional distancing time, to think through their options and allow their intuitive minds to consider their alternatives relative to all their life’s experiences. Again, they were encouraged  to sleep on it and wake up with their choice the following morning. One of their six options was: “Local shopping and  movies “…Option D. What do you think they should have done or chosen?

We then encouraged them to spend some quiet time to work out an appropriate action initiative, while the whole issue was still fresh in their mind. That way they wouldn’t have to come back to it and wind up their thinking all over again.

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: “Based upon popular interest from more than a year ago – Shall we sell our business?” 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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