Why People Do What They Do

by David J. Stewart
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       If you ask people why they do the things they do in life, they will give you sensible
sounding reasons which seem to explain their decisions. We like to believe that we
exercise sound judgment, especially in the important decisions of our lives.

I think that this is rarely true. I think that standard operating procedure for human
decision making is to do what feels right to you at the time, and then to give logical
sounding justifications for what you were already going to do anyway, whether you had
justifications or not.

So, if you are pregnant, and want to get an abortion, you will be able to give any number of reasonable sounding explanations why this is the right decision. You're not ready to be a parent, or you need to finish your education or get to a better point in your career, or you don't have enough money, et cetera.

If instead you want to keep the baby, you will explain how even though you will have some extra difficulties due to the lack of money or whatever, you will certainly be up to the challenge to make your life work with the baby, how being a parent will be good for you, what a great parent you'll make, how it will bring you and the father closer together, and so on. 

In either case, none of these will be the real reason for your decision. The real reason for your decision will always be, "I did it because I wanted to do it."

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