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I wonder if the really decisive types of individuals ever get decision paralysis.  It goes without saying–but of course I’ll say it anyway–that the in-decisive types get it, but I wanna know how to overcome it, and I reckon the only people who might know are the ones who it never happens to.  (Okay, Pedants: to whom it never happens)

a Flickr Photo by topher76

I’m generally not too bad when it comes to decision-making, but my Achilles heel (a particularly apt metaphor at the moment) is making travel plans.  Unless there is a specific reason to travel on a certain day, I seize up completely at the point of Picking The Date.  It’s sort of like the sliding doors concept in the movie of that (or similar?) name.  You know the one–with Gwyneth Paltrow–  Anyway, think of the watershed events of your life and consider how your life might be different if you had made a different decision.  Golly!  Think of the watershed events throughout History…  What if Harry Truman had had Decision Paralysis?

Not that I’m suggesting that my decision to fly to Tucson on a particular flight will reverberate throughout the world, for generations to come, but it could make a difference somewhere.  For instance, say I’m seated in 7A and there is a lovely lass in 7B.  We have a pleasant chat, and so on.  BUT, what if I hadn’t been there and the charming man seated in 12D had had my seat…they might have met, married, and had a child who would grow up to be the next Steve Jobs.

It’s not like choosing between Right and Wrong, Good and Evil–those decisions are usually pretty easy.  Those ‘what-if’s’ make the choice fairly obvious.  But if I start wondering “What if I go on Saturday instead of…” Well, I can tell you now that I totally lose the plot.  So I’ve developed a set of guidelines to help me to overcome this little hurdle.

  1. Always make your decision at the earliest feasible moment. (This will save you spending a lot of time agonising over the options.)
  2. Never, ever, second-guess a decision once it’s made.  (There will be plenty of people around you who will do that for you.)
  3. Don’t even think about flipping a coin.  You’ll just get bogged down in statistics.
  4. If you find yourself having to make a decision at the very last moment, just relax; you probably don’t really have a choice anyway.
  5. Remember:  it probably doesn’t make any difference.  (I wish I could recall who it was that said “For a difference to be a difference, it must make a difference.”)
  6. Ignore #1.  Go directly to #4.

Gotta stop now, folks, and start packing.  I’m thinking I might see if I can get on a later flight…         MM