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My mother, when she was dying, said to me, “There are no wrong answers, Kris.”

She was speaking from the vantage point of someone who has nothing left to lose. Someone with the luxury of looking back on a life filled with worry about making the right choices and realizing, in the end, most of those choices become irrelevant.

I was torn between staying at her bedside and going back to Chicago to take care of my kids. I felt I did not have a choice. My kids needed me. I was the glue in our household. But my mother needed me also.

Recently, I was worrying about the right job, the right parenting, the right financial and life decisions. As I’m sure many of you do. Few of us are immune to trying to game the system for the best results.

choices, options, alternativesIn most situations, you can stay put until…

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Decision making

“Decision making is not easy”. I can remember very well the scene when this statement has once first knocked in my ears. She was a young lady anesthesiologist  wearing the surgical theatre suit. In that time, I was just a freshly graduated medical doctor who dared to enter the most horrible medical situations, namely the cardiothoracic surgical room, seeking for nobility, self and glory. Once the soft and serious voice touched my ears and my whole being, I felt again the difficulty of the duty that hangs on a word and a meaning I am apparently deficient in, decision. I was not really raised up to know what a decision could be. And now it might be the time to have it, inevitably, face to face. Was it really the time? – Maybe.

As a physician one has to train on decision making as precise and as time-fitting as possible. One time you decide to start a medical treatment, another time if to discharge a recovering patient, again whether to refer the case to another colleague, and so on. Simply, I would ask myself very curiously how many decisions I had to make this finished work day and how my score in terms of right and false ones was. Do medical decision making differ from that in the general life themes?

The process of decision making comprises 4 elements: 1) ‘resolved’ person, 2) ‘adequate and reliable’ information, 3) ‘proper’ scaling and interpretation and 4) ‘titratable’ stepping. An appreciable cost of time is needed for each of these elements. There could be an order for the functionality of decision making which includes: instinct → cognition → insight → intuition → inspiration → revelation → destiny and divine providence. The person is, thus, quite obviously the most important player in the right decision making. To be a ‘resolved one’ I would need to have: 1- things in a reasonable order and to 2- critically and objectively assess my own self-perception. A systematic way in decision making would help the person to sustain an ambitious and promising performance and to cope with the thus restrained and unlikely embarrassing incidents.

Inclination, decision and obligation are three words that would contrast the meaning of one another. Inclination might be a kind of default that could be good or bad. Obligation is a kind of constraint that would bear benefit as it is the case with medical recommendations. These two seem like simplest form of behavior. Decision, on the other hand, would imply a much longer and elaborate problem solving starting from ‘order’ passing through ‘information’ and ‘interpretation’ and effected in incremental or ‘titratable steps’.

Being person-dependent, decision making may vary considerably in form and utter. However, a preservation of consensus of ethics would greatly neaten such personal variations.

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The Lucky Gatherer

What should “games” add to this medical blog? They may attract more people especially those who do not have medical background or interests. Of course, posting an interesting item for the public may not be an easy job, but the question always is how fine and useful that idea or post could be.

Indeed, computer games did give me here some inspiration. Now with some reflection, playing games may have healthy aspects other than spending a pleasant time. Let’s discover this view together.


A healthy human should not only keep defending against bad things that would make disease and discomfort but also have the initiative that would help achieving goals like enjoying agreable social life and making his/ her own family. Here, this game “The Lucky Gatherer” would help us understand and appreciate this aspect.


Many players are expected to share in the game, but for necessity reasons a single player may also be practical.

Mode of the game

The mode is quite flexible where face masks, pictures or name cards can be used. Of course, game computerizing is also fine.


The lucky gatherer will walk around, or even travel or fly to quite distant lands, in very different and contrasting nice and attractive places, e.g. garden, shops, parks, cafes, etc. The rewrads and surprises gathered in each place will depend on the appropriate qualities the lucky gatherer would think of within 3 seconds.


The player has a fortune of zero at the beginning of the game. Gathering 5-45 points means unsatisfactory; 50-85 considerable; and 90-100 big fortune and winning the game.

Qualities (their benefit potential); and example of a corresponding situation

1- A shining smile (+5); on walking up in the morning.

2- A nice body language (+5); on giving a speech at work-place.

3- Simply and elegantly dressed (+5); on going out for shopping.

4- Teeth brushed few days ago but still fine (+5); on going for an appointment.

5- Voice is full of courage and passion (+10); on talking to somebody.

6- Help needy people even when not asked for help (+10); in a public transport vehicle.

7- Being a good listener (+10); somebody introduces him/herself.

8- Give complement in right time and place (+10); during a conversation.

9- Give opinion openly, quietly and politely (+10); a discussion with family members.

10- Share mind  in public, quietly and politely (+10); a discussion in service auto.

11- Being interested in people (+15); in the work place.

12- Have personal demands always in mind (+15); on going out in a picknic.

13- Think of many things together but do one at a time (+15); on going out for a visit.

14- Keep notes for plans and ideas and revise these regularly (+15); in the rest time.

15- Can live alone but like to have companions (+20); in daily life activity.

16- Have a good access to outside world (+20); on dealing with customers.

17- Read effectively (+20); in free time.

18- Know other languages (+20); on watching TV.

19- Have high work/time efficiency (+20); in daily life activity.

20- Able to learn and advance (+20); on deciding for a new job.

21- Learning from past mistakes (+25); on dealing with other people .

22- Benefit from point of views of others (+25); on doing professional tasks.

23- Work on understanding own needs (+25); on choosing a partner.

24- Keen on priorities and work on them timely (+25); in a shopping.

25- Making decision in time and accomodate consequences (+30); on guessing your interest in somebody/ something.

26- See well around and grasp quickly place and time provisions (+40); on attending a social ceremony.

27- Being passionate and practical (+40); on expending money.

28- Making many good friends(+50); along with daily life events .