(Excerpt from Thinking In Bets by Annie Duke)
In most of our decisions, we are not betting against another person. Rather, we are betting against all the future versions of ourselves that we are not choosing.
… Whenever we make a choice, we are betting on a potential future. We are betting that the future version of us that results from the decisions we make will be better off. At stake in a decision is that the return to us (measured in money, time, happiness, health, or whatever we value in that circumstance) will be greater than what we are giving up by betting against the other alternative future versions of us.
… How can we be sure that we are choosing the alternative that is best for us? What if another alternative would bring us more happiness, satisfaction, or money? The answer, of course, is we can’t be sure. Things outside our control (luck) can influence the result. The futures we imagine are merely possible. They haven’t happened yet. We can only make our best guess, given what we know and don’t know, at what the future will look like.