An easy choice is where one option far outranks the other. It’s easy to compare the two, and when we do, we know pretty quickly which one is better.

A hard choice, by contrast, is where neither option far outranks the other. And we can’t compare the two easily – each is good and bad in its own way.

And for hard choices, we can’t simplify the comparison to a simple numeric measurement (e.g. Choosing between marrying Bettie or Lolita? Choosing between chasing creative dreams as an artist or becoming a lawyer?).

Instead, we need to make a value judgment. What values are more or less important to us? What are the values we want to define the type of person we want to be?

So, whenever we are faced with a hard choice, we are given an opportunity to consider, choose, and shape what are the core values of our identity.

Source: Ruth Chang talk on TED about Hard Choices