Sunday, June 22, 2014

Decide, Already

A recent fortune-cookie fortune told me, “Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”

And this one is right about decisions. They are hard to make.

Possibly the most paralyzing thing anyone ever said to me was, “You can be anything you want to be.” Yes, I know they meant well. But if you can be anything you want to be, then you don’t want to make the decision to be one thing because that will close off all the other possibilities.

Or at least, it seemed so to me, though I don’t see it that way now.

And yes, I have discovered that not deciding turns out to be a decision. And it isn’t going to be the one you will want to have made. Indeed, at the age of 49, I have come to see that the things I regret aren’t the things I did, but the things I didn’t do. Which sucks.

Many years ago, my friend told me how he made decisions when he couldn’t decide between two choices. He’d do “Eeny, meenie, miny, moe” and he’d pay particular attention to how he felt as he came to the end. “If I was OK with how it turned out, I’d go with it,” he said. “If I felt bad about it, well, apparently there was a difference, and I’d go with the other one.” Done.

Though I am still far from being a decisive person, I use his advice ALL the time (thanks, Jared) – and on important things, too.

Because, as a variety of people including Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerman have been credited with saying, “Done is better than perfect.”

And it, for sure, beats fretting.

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