Student Leader Series: Making Decisions: Is this the Best One or the Right One?



Think about the last big decision you had to make. Two things: Did you follow your moral compass to make your decision? Did you choose the option that benefited you the most?


The Best or Right Thing to Do

Is it possible to have balance between making the best decision and the right decision?

People may have said before: “the best thing to do is walk away and not say anything.” Or maybe: “the right thing to do is walk away and not say anything.” It may not seem like there’s much of a difference, but there is!


They’re defined pretty differently:


Best: effective, excellent, or desirable

Right: morally good, justified, or acceptable


So it sounds like the word best is “of the most excellent,” meaning it leads to the best outcome. That could mean your life improved in some amazing way, you or someone else benefited from it greatly. Something turned out really well because you made that best decision!


On the other hand, the word right is “morally good,” which reflects your inner core experiences, values, all the things that make you who you are. The right decision makes you feel proud, satisfied, inwardly fulfilled. No matter how it turns out, you know you made the right choice.


There’s the difference! The right decision reflects your inward focus, your own experiences, values, all the things that make you who you are. The best decision reflects the external outcome of how it eventually turns out for you and everyone involved.


Back to your last big decision, did your final choice reflect both what you knew would benefit you the most and your moral compass? Sometimes those things can be at odds with each other. If that ever happens, just remember to ask yourself both of these things:


Will this decision lead to greatness while being grounded in goodness?

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