How to make big decisions easier

There have been many reasons in my life that I’ve hesitated. Perhaps it was a shortage of valuable information, a cloud of doubt over my ability/judgement or just the belief that I needed more time or money than perhaps was necessary. Other people in my ear, myself in my own ear, the media in my ear and basically all the sources of influence have made me wonder if I was ‘making the right choice’.

It’s like there were so many reasons to need things to be just a bit more aligned before I could take action. So I opted to not take action as a precaution to failing.

Getting your ducks in a row is a rewarding but equally frustrating situation. In the back of your mind, the rational and responsible you is stressing about the importance of due diligence and the concept of consequence. The heart in you just wants to embrace your immediate explosion of energy, focus and passion and push all the buttons now even if you haven’t worked out what they do yet. But at some point, something needs to give in order to move forward.

And so we’re faced with the two types of people. The first being the type that shoots first and asks questions later and the second being the one that sits forever deep in thought constantly postponing action until the right time.

They both have their pros and cons and depending on your personality type, you will find yourself being more dominant one way than the other but certainly not unable to switch sides depending on the context.

I feel it’s not about being one or the other but being brilliant at both. I don’t believe that it’s ok to argue that ‘I’m a devil’s advocate kinda guy’ or ‘I just pull triggers and that’s how I roll’. Both of these are reckless, both are narrow minded and both are short sighted.

In order to understand creation we need to practice destruction. To appreciate success, tasting bitter disappointment is certainly a good dish. So in order to make fast decisions, we need to practice slow ones.

Some decisions we are willing to shoot from the hip faster than others. I mean, investing in a bottle of coke and deciding you didn’t want it isn’t a life ending drama. Choosing to swim with sharks might be a different story. But in between that dichotomy of extremes, where’s the transition?

As you become more confident with who you are, your decision making ability and most of all – making decisions with consequences you can be happy with even if you’re on your own – you will find that bigger decisions become less significant in fear size and the gap between sitting on the fence and playing on the field gets smaller every day.

You learn that you don’t need to always fail to appreciate the wins, you don’t need to keep destroying in order to create, and you don’t need to keep making slow decisions in order to feel confident about the quick ones.

There’s nothing wrong with having a detailed decision making process before you make big changes. Moving countries, selling your life as you know it and deciding to re-invent yourself isn’t for everyone – not because they are incapable but because it holds decisions many don’t want to make.

Fear can have a crippling grip over your dream life, but the better you become at making decisions the easier they will be. The key is to how you approach it.

Look at your decisions as a series of small, fast and iterative choices rather than one big epic one. Just make one choice, then another, then another and so on. In time, you’ll realise there is no big flick of a switch but rather just putting one foot after the other.

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