Sunday, July 17, 2016

Thankful Sunday--July 17, 2016

Decision making, can be a balancing act.

I am thankful for new ideas. 

Yesterday, I was talking with Theo who was having a problem moving forward from something he was working on. We talked a bit to understand the problem and how it might be solved. Then I told him about something I learned when I was his age.

I was working in my first real job for a large corporation and at the time, the company had one its most successful presidents ever. I read an interview with the president about his managing strategies and one point of the interview struck me more than all the others. He said the most important thing was to make a decision. Any decision. Even if it's wrong, it moves moves things forward. You hope it's a good one, but if it's not, you learn from it and move on.

In my inexperienced, idealist mind, that was a new and somewhat outlandish idea for me. I thought you always had to make the right decision. And if you weren't sure, you had to study the issue more until you were convinced you were right. (Or as right as you could be in an imperfect world.) Of course, that meant that sometimes, I didn't do anything and nothing progressed. So this idea of just making a decision was very profound to me.

Now, it seems so obvious. I will never know every variable to make a perfect decision. I just have to do the best I can and move on.  If I'm perfectly honest, I still struggle with making most decisions, but I move forward much faster than I used to. And as the years go by, it gets easier and easier.

So for the idea I learned from my company's president and all the others along the way, I am thankful.

(So did this story help Theo? Well, he's thinking about it. Time will tell.)


  1. Good advice! I had a boss tell me (in my younger years ... ) "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission"--I have a tendency to wait on moving forward till I have "permission" from all parties, and sometimes, like you say, you just need to make a decision and live with the consequences. I think there is room for balance--it's a good idea to put thought into your decisions--but for cautious people, there is a tendency to get stuck.

    1. I also learned "ask forgiveness" in my first job. That one is easier for me to do if I feel strongly about something. But I am a cautious person, that's why I have a tendency to get stuck.

  2. I am really bad at decisions. Better than I used to be, but still bad at it. I think if I had all the energy back that I've wasted agonizing over stupid decisions in my life I could power an entire continent!

    When I was a kid, my brother was a fan of the rock band Rush. In one of their songs there's a line that goes: If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. I try to remind myself of that, and it helps when I get stuck in one of those "deer in the headlights" moments.

    But I would be much better off in general if I just made decisions and moved forward sooner - my tendency is to wait until something becomes a crisis, and then act in a panic. Not the best approach!

    Hope Theo gets some clarity on his situation soon. :-)

    1. Indecision is a decision in itself. Another important saying on this subject. If we wait until crisis mode, that seems easier in a way. Then we know exactly what needs to be done. I've heard psychologists say that some people who do that over and over, have a need or want for the rush they get from the situation. And that may not be a conscious thing. Motivation for action is a very complex subject.

  3. That's really good advice, hadn't thought about that.


What do you think?