Thursday, 14 December 2006

Decision, Decisions, Decisions...

Time for a bit of philosophy...

I've recently been thinking about how each decision we make has an impact on our lives. Whether you believe we all have a destiny to fulfil or that life is just a series of coincidences each tiny little decision changes something. It could be a tiny little, seemingly insignificant decision, which is barely a decision at all such as pressing the snooze button once, or twice, on your alarm clock.

Consider situation a) Your alarm goes off and you press the snooze button twice, you then get up, get dressed, have a shower, and have breakfast. You then leave for a work, the time is 7:53. On your way to work you encounter bad traffic, noticing an accident up ahead, as you go past you realise its a serious accident and its likely that someone is injured, you are delayed but you get to work 10 minutes late.

Consider situation b) Your alarm goes off and you press the snooze button just once, you then get up, get dressed, have a shower, and have breakfast, just as you did in situation a. You then leave for a work, the time is 7:43. On your way to work you encounter little in the way of traffic and you get to work early.

So much depends on a small decision you make, when your alarm goes off, when you're barely awake. An infinite amount of possibilities could occur in either situation. The obvious thing for me to have said would be that the person in situation b was involved in the accident because they set off early, however the accident could have just as easily occurred during the gap between the two situations, in which case your immunity from involvement in the accident is based on when you set your alarm in the first place, or what you had for breakfast or how long you stayed in the shower. A million little decisions which change the outcome of your day.

Situation a) having got to work late you miss the beginning of a ward round, as a result you don't know your patients properly and unfortunately one of your patients dies because you didn't get the full history. You then get fired for making a fatal mistake - bang goes your career, and your life.

Situation b) having got to work early you are able to get full and complete histories and realise that one of your patients needs immediate care, he is very ill but survives, you get a nice card and a box of chocolates to say thank you for saving the patients life.

Moral of the story, you snooze you lose.

Real moral of the story - every single decision you make, no matter how big or small, will affect the way your life unravels before you. So make sure you make the right decisions every time!

Of course some would say these decisions are already made and we are just following fate by implementing them. But that's another argument entirely and will have to wait for another day.

So why the philosophy? Well, I made a decision almost 3 years ago which was the wrong one. Why did I make it? I don't know, it didn't seem wrong at the time but ultimately it changed my life for ever and I'll never know how life would have been different had I made what I now consider to be the right choice.

"You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes." - The Matrix (1999)


The Angry Medic said...

Whoa. This was philosophical. Yep, you're a doctor. I presume you're not going into surgery? :)

Oh, and what WAS that regretted decision? The one to apply for medical school?

the little medic said...

I always quite fancied surgery but god knows what i'll end up going into.

The 'decision' was a fairly insignificant one when we picked our clinical hospitals but it ended up with me being shipped off to the middle of nowhere which has pretty much buggered up the rest medical school for me but meh, it doesn't do to dwell on the past.