Of the few things I’ve learned about myself over the last months, is that I am often my worst enemy. Have you ever felt the same? We often fight those pointless internal battles about what is right or wrong, about what we should do and why we don’t do it until eventually, we end up not doing anything.
I think we all can think of things we rather hadn’t done. But I am sure most of these weren’t results of long thinking processes. I am also sure the number of things we wish we had done is always greater.
I am so sure about that because indecisiveness leads to non-action. As Neil Peart said: “If you decide not to decide, you still have made a choice.” So even when we want to make a decision but fail, we are making a choice, which is why we should strive to make active and not passive decisions.
When you ask someone out for a date and the answer is “I am thinking about it” it is likely not the answer you’d expected. You are probably not thinking:”Hey he/she is so considerate! Evaluating all the pros and cons of going on a date with me is a really sensible thing to do.”
A “no” would have been too harsh and lead to even more awkwardness. One just can’t say no in such a situation without giving reasons. A straight refusal makes it complicated and messy. Nobody wants that.
And so we all decide to think about it. However, if we actually did sit down and think about all the stuff we allegedly are brooding about, then we would make way more progress.
Let’s do a little experiment:
Just take one thing in your life that bugs you. Write down why it bugs you and what are possible actions to take, to get rid of the problem. One of these possibilities is always not to do anything. Hence, write down the consequences of doing nothing. Then write down all the pros and cons for all the other possibilities you can think of right now. When you are done, leave it at that. The next day you look through the lists and make a decision, right on the spot.
If you feel you cannot make a decision, look at the consequences you wrote down, and consider if you want to live with these. If quite inexplicably you still feel unable to make a decision then say to yourself. “I decide to live with these consequences.” If, however, you decide to get rid of the problem and choose one of the ways to do it, then immediately think about the next step of the solution and get started!
Nobody wants to look stupid. This is why I try not to make promises when I am not absolutely sure I can keep them. And so I published one Quick Tip post every week over the last year. It was a promise I made that I knew I could keep. However, there were so many other things I wanted to write that didn’t fit the category.
So I said to myself let’s think about it…