Eren Jeager, had big responsibilities on his shoulder. Some times that just doesn’t seem fair that some of us just have to carry more weight than others. Yet it happens. So we try our best and do all we can for those we love. Eren wasn’t naturally strong like Mikasa and he wasn’t brilliant like Armin. But he did all he could with all that he had to save his friends and country.
Major spoiler here if you have not read the Manga.
But Eren’s fate could have been better and perhaps the fate of some of his comrades as well if only he didn’t make some of the decision that he did. If he hadn’t walked out and disappeared from his friends during the visit to Marley. If he hadn’t started the war on Marley soil only to have his friends come save him and having Sasha killed as a result. If he hadn’t busted out of jail and joined the Jaegerist. What if he didn’t start the rumbling? What if he had actually ran away with Mikasa? What if he had just told his friends, especially Armin, about what he saw about the future, 4 years before the catastrophic end? Things may have turned out different.
One bad decision after another, leading him onto a downward spiral that he ultimately had no control over.
Here’s our Decision making approach that Eren could have used.
(1) Ask yourself what do you really want?
If you had a fairy god-mother or a genie in a bottle who could grant you that perfect future. What would it look like?
- Imagine what your day will be like?
- What will you be doing in the day? What would each part of the day be like?
- Where will you be?
- How will you look and behave?
- What will your best friend and people around you, say about you?
- What are some of the things that bother you now and will not bother you then.
We think Eren really just wanted to be with Mikasa and Armin. But too many voices in his head telling him to fight, sacrifice himself, fulfill the founding titan’s plans etc etc. All that just got him all fuzzied and he forgot his own dreams for himself.
(2) What resources do you have?
Strengths – know your strengths.
- What do you like doing?
- What are you good at?
- What have you achieved and are most proud of?
- What are some of the good things that your friends say about you?
- What character strengths do you have? curious, funny, kind, thoughtful, caring, fun, strong, brave, protective, friendly, honest, helpful, independent, sociable, fair, patient, confident, creative, generous, tolerant.
While Armin discovered his real strengths and grew in character, Eren never really found his real strength. He was always too caught up being everything that everyone wanted him to be.
- What are some of the problems in society
- What do people need and want.
- What are some of the trends in technology?
- What new opportunities are there now that was not there in the past?
- What does it take to be good at what is needed?
Four wasted years because Eren kept the secret of what he knew about the end to himself. So many opportunities available, from Yellena knowledge of Marley to Azumabito’s technological advancement. All these could have been maximised to build a stronger Paradis. But all those opportunities were wasted because of Eren’s decision to keep what he knew about the end as a secret.
(3) Blind spots
Blind spots are the areas in our life that we cannot see and are not aware of. It’s usually an undesirable behavior, reaction or habit that is driven by our thoughts and believes about ourselves, other people or the world. Learn more about your blind spot here.
Eren’s major blindspot is that he saw himself as the savior of his friends, his home and all of humanity. Being the ‘star’ of Paradiz, he never really learnt team work. Only towards the end, did he realise that Armin’s approach was a better way.
(4) Making wise decision
People often think that we have to choose between what our head says or what our heart wants. That is to either be completely practical and rational in our decision or to allow our feelings to point the way.
It doesn’t have to be either,
Emotional – How we feel, what we’ve always day-dreamt about
Practical – What can really be done and is achievable.
We think that the happiest decision are the once that includes both our head and our heart. Wise decision balances both practical and emotional aspects of what we want. The idea of the wise mind was first introduced by Marsha Lineham to help people who needed to regulate their emotions.
Eren, always allowed his emotions to rule over his decisions. Once our emotions gets in the way, we can’t think clearly.
If only he had been more thoughtful of his plans and actions. If only had consulted with people who had better experience and insights to the situation. If only he knew how to make wise decisions.
Here’s how to make wise decisions
- Set aside time. It’s never wise to rush into this exercise. To make wise decisions, you should not be pressured to have to make a decision within a certain time. Keep yourself calm and do some breathing exercises. Be mindful of your breathing and relax your body as you do so.
- Put aside all your preconceived ideas and prejudices. Write down everything you fear about or have unrealistic dreams about.
- Bring to mind your problem or area that needs a decision
- Think intuitively about your solution or your decision. Now, ask youself
- Were you mindful about the objective facts or the situations or problems
- Were you clouded by emotions?
- If you were too objective, you would have blocked out all your emotions.
Here’s more stuff you can learn from Manga characters