2 min read

you CAN be decisive pt. 2

you CAN be decisive pt. 2
Photo by Qijin Xu / Unsplash

I used to resign myself to indecision, and a big part of it was hearing a story from a podcaster.

The story went like this. The podcaster was on a trip with his wife, and they had a decision to go to place A or place B. He didn't feel sure but suggested place A. But once they started heading to place A, he felt in his gut that he wanted to go to place B.

My takeaway (and iirc the podcaster's takeaway) was that for some people, and some decisions, you need time to come to the right decision.

I combined that with the advice that it's good to sleep on decisions. And when people ask me for a decision, I have tended to delay to get more time to so I can sleep on it. A big part of this is that I get afraid I'll change my mind later, and I really don't like doing that when it affects other people.

But now I think that's not right. It's actually not the time that helps you come to a decision that is right, feels right, and that you'll stick to it. It's something else.

The best way to explain this - imagine the podcaster had a coin. He says, if it's heads, we'll go to place A. If it's tails, we'll go to place B. When it lands heads, or no, maybe even when the coin is in midair - his gut is like ah gosh, I really want to go to place B.

This is a rudimentary technique, but it gets at the crux of solving indecision: we want to trigger your psyche so we can get out all the feelings now, instead of waiting a week.

A more sophisticated technique is to write a pros/cons list, and then go with your gut. Specifically, your psyche will get triggered in the process of writing a pros/cons list. Place A might have far more pros than place B, but you might care most about a pro of place B: say, spending more time with family.

So now, when I have a decision, I'm not going to sleep on it, and forever procrastinate on the decision. I'm going to journal about it until I figure out all the factors, and especially how I feel.

And fingers crossed, if I keep doing that, I'll start seeing patterns, and be able to be more decisive even without journaling.

P.S. Here's my earlier post on this topic.