I’m noticing an odd phenomenon coming up in my coaching calls. It’s something I struggle with, yet didn’t know so many can relate to.
It’s this feeling that every decision we make needs to be optimized to get the most out of it. When faced with a choice, we weigh the pros and cons and agonize over what we should do.
An example for me is scheduling. When someone asks, “What time works for you?” I go through my week imagining every possible scenario. I project what I will feel like each hour of the day and when the meeting might work best.
Ordering at a restaurant is another one. If I’m spending money, I want to get the most out of it and get the perfect meal, one that “hit’s the spot.”
Yet with this mental agony, are we really getting the most out of it? Instead of killing ourselves, what if we just picked the first thing in alphabetical order? We might actually get more out of it that way.
Making decisions is hard enough. It’s especially tough when we drain our vital energy trying to come up with the perfect choice. We spend so much time trying to make the right decision that we don’t have the energy to give to something better.
It’s helpful to think of a distinction Seth Seth Godin makes: Is it a Decision or a Choice?
Aren’t they the same?
He argues that a choice doesn’t have significant consequences ie, what to wear, eat, or what store to buy organic bananas from. (Trader Joe’s obviously)
Not much of your day changes whether you wear a brown or blue shirt. This is why Mark Zuckerberg is famous for wearing the same thing every day. Taking time to make choices robs us of energy better suited to make decisions.
A decision has lasting consequences, ie, where to live, who to marry, or what job to take. These demand greater attention from us and it would do us good to use our energy there.
Being conscious of whether it’s a choice or a decision can help us wield our energy into more important matters.
About those decisions.
If you struggle with decisions, you probably struggle with perfectionism. If you are a perfectionist, you beat yourself up when a decision doesn’t live up to your high standards.
I find it helpful to esteem myself more for the act of making a decision rather than making the right decision.
As the saying goes, “Done is better than perfect.”
Place making a decision at a higher level than making the right decision.
Decisions give us feedback. We then learn from the results and use the information to make a better decision, and so on.
If we’re in limbo, unsure of what to do, then we’re just wasting time.
My first Daily Insight was around this topic: Making Better Decisions If you need some help, go to my profile and find the daily insight section. (I can’t link straight to the meditation) There you can choose from a 20, 10, or 5 minute practice.
Affirmation: Life moves for me when I make decisions.
Funny: If you’ve been on an Insight Timer Live, please do yourself a favor and watch this. Kiel Kennedy aka, Jordan Tomm plays a new-age meditation teacher. It’s HILARIOUS.