Celebrating an Important-Year, Family-Member Birthday: using Option Solving

A good friend was spending a good deal of time contemplating how he would celebrate his spouse’s forthcoming, important-year birthday: especially as his spouse had made a special effort the prior year putting together a surprise birthday for him. Living in New York City made the choices endless, although most of them would be quite pricey and he had a limited budget. Your editor explained that one of the key benefits of option solving was to work the “contemplation anxiety” out of his system, since it can arrest the wild fantasies, and more, that can spew from his intuitive mind when left unchecked. Needless to say, we plunged right into the using the technique.

Together in short order we produced the following question: “What is the best way to celebrate an important life milestone birthday in New York City; considering 1) there will be many potential well-wishers, 2) have a limited budget, 3) need to fix the right venue, and 4) restrict communication to conjour up a surprise?” These turned out to be the key four considerations, despite several others, so it will make his final possibilities easier to handle.

They then had to determine two yin and yang “bookends” as outlier possibilities. These would aid focusing his friend’s intuitive, decision-making mind on his most realistic options. Bookends such as these are vital for preventing people’s fertile intuitive minds from wandering and losing focus. We are mostly unaware of how powerfully valuable but foot-loose our intuition can be unless properly focused.   

Our joint efforts created two bookends as follows: “Make it a small family affair” and “Bring your own food party”: both of which were his least likely options for the reasons given. Even so, such bookends would provide the challenge his intuitive mind needed to produce creative options and help draw-out his friend’s most realistic one – see our Latest Worked Example.

Working closely together, we derived at least five reasonable options, so as to stretch his range of options as much as possible. In fact, he came up with six reasonable options to exhaust his intuitive faculties, which you can review in our example. Your editor favored one particular option, right off the bat; it was: “Option- C: At home party- buffet style,” for pretty obvious reasons in view of the considerations.

With his friend’s “pictogram” now in place, he was then encouraged to set some time aside for emotional distancing – a form of objective thinking – before making his  choice…perhaps after 2 hours, later that day, or first thing the following morning. Whatever that choice, he could then decide whether to “Peel the Onion,” in order to expand the number of sub-insights on how to move forward, or create an immediate action initiative while everything was still fresh in his

mind. He chose the latter, which we will review in our next option solving edition.

If you have an example of your own, please share it with this blogger, through the COMMENTS area.  Thanks Option Solving. (NOTE: Next posting will be in two week’s time: “Peeling the Onion: What is our optimum way to celebrate an important family birthday – Option C?” Let’s have your COMMENTS or go to peter@ileadershipsolutions.com to connect with the blogger. Also consider buying the book: “Smart Decisions: Goodbye Problems, Hello Options” through amazon.com)


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