I’ve been agonising recently over various decisions. First of all, I wanted to buy a new camera, which in this day and age means that I had about 1,000 options to choose from, and a billion on-line opinions to listen to. After weeks of analysis paralysis I narrowed it down to 3 possible candidates, and by a miracle one day I decided which one to get, and just went out and got it.
What a relief that was! How painful those 3 weeks of reading camera forums and blogs had been!
But then I remembered I had to make another choice. There are two courses that I really want to do, both on the same weekend in October, and I just couldn’t decide which would be best for me right now. Back to the agonising over decisions again!
I realised that this is a losing battle – in a world of infinite choices, every one we make will instantly be followed by more, all with mouth-watering, just as good alternatives.
I needed to find a solution to this problem. And removing all wants and desires to live a monk-like life isn’t the answer right now.
My first approach was to just deliberately forget about niggling decisions every time they popped into my head, every time I started another huge cycle of analysis. My thinking was that if I took my head out of the equation, my heart would work out on its own what it really wanted to do, and let me know the answer when it was ready.
This sort of works, but the head still keeps trying to get involved as often as possible, and trying to ignore it doesn’t make the decisions go away.
Then I thought, I could go for the ‘just pick one and go for it’ approach, arguing that all options are so good these days that you can hardly ever really make a wrong decision as far as things like what course to do, or what camera to buy go. But my head wasn’t having that – decisions have to be the right ones, no ‘whatever, it’s all the same’ thanks very much!
Finally, a very wise friend gave me the solution I needed: “Just put a number on it, a percentage. For example, how much do you want to do course A – is it 60% or over? If so, that’s enough, go for it, your heart wants to do it! If it’s only a 30 or 40% then you aren’t really bothered, and it isn’t for you.”
Wow, that cleared things up on the spot. I immediately knew what course I wanted to do, and all doubt evaporated.
So for the next 6 million impossibly appetising decisions, I’ll know exactly what to do. Put a number on it. Anything over 60% is a winner.