Being decisive is one of the hardest things to be in life. Every day we are faced with a multitude of choices to make, big and small. Many of you, I know, find yourself paralyzed with indecision on a daily basis. From making career or relationship moves to deciding where to eat dinner, the "tyranny of choice" has too many of us in thrall.
I have a way out for you! (ps this blog automatically italicized this. Is it growing an awareness? Weird.)
For most of us the problem with making decisions comes down to the pressure of making a "right" decision and avoiding the consequences of making a "wrong" decision. We require absolute surety (or close to) before we can proceed confidently down any decision path, and even then we can't help but wonder what was behind door #2.
Just go ahead and try to be decisive. Try it. Give up yet? Yeah, it's not easy. But I have an exercise that can help you.
Instead of viewing a decision as one part, let's divide it in two. On the one side we'll put 'the ability to make a decision quickly' and on the other we'll put 'the quality of the decision'. This gives us:
Breaking it up this way we can see that you have 4 outcomes:
1. A fast decision that is good
2. A fast decision that is bad
3. A slow decision that is good
4. A slow decision that is bad
My radical proposal to you is this: let go of the good/bad side for a while! Seriously, let it go. Don't go out of your way to make bad decision, but actively try to detach yourself from the outcomes of each decision you make.
Instead, focus on making a fast decision. Decide in your mind instantly what you are going to do, and then stick with the outcome no matter what. Chase the rabbit all the way down the hole and never surrender unless you are absolutely required to do so. Even if it is a terrible decision that you just can't make work, then you'll know, right?!
I promise you that you will be liberated if you take this approach. The eventual goal, of course, is to make good decisions as quickly as possible. But for most of us the hangup isn't on the quality of our decisions (which studies show rarely improve through more time, attention, and thought) but rather the speed of our decision making.
Try it. For dinner tonight. Let me know how it works!
Preemptive: you're welcome!
Caleb "the decider" Shreves