Decision Making and Sticking By It

We are fickle, we vacillate often. We tend to have multiple personalities inside our brain, though the outer world may not see them all. The lazy one wants you to take a nap, the disciplined one wants you to work on your project, the spontaneous one wants you to try something without thinking and see what will happen and so on. There's always a civil war inside our brains - all the personalities competing with each other to be in the spotlight and run the show. The system set up diligently by one personality is lost in little time, thanks to a rogue personality.

In such chaotic and contrasting world, how do we make decisions?
And how do we stick by them, once a decision has been taken?

Or should we focus on the part, where we can even make ourselves willing to take a decision in the first place?

Added to this troubling situation is our stupidity, blinding us all the time and pretending to not see the facts in plain sight.

Decision Making
Decision Making

But gee, why am I supposed to think at all? Why do I need to make a decision?
Why can't I just go with the flow? Gut feeling? Instinct?
Coz "Heart wants what it wants"
Coz "Kal Ho Na Ho"
Coz "Let It Go"
It's so worth it!!
And why I can't I just flip a coin and when it's mid air, probe what my heart wants it to be and stick with it?

Actions have consequences and sometimes irreversible ones. Going with the flow may be okay if the decision is just about having ice cream on a cold winter night, but isn't the good choice for the things that have a huge impact on life.

And it's not necessary that you will feel the same about something tomorrow. Things change, you change.
Going with the flow on major things in life may seem awesome to the present-you, but is a utter disregard for your future-self.
Do not do anything which you will regret in future.

One way to account your future self also in decisions is to think from the perspective of 5/5/5 rule(or 10/10/10 rule)
How would I feel about this in 5 minutes?
How would I feel about this in 5 months?
How would I feel about this in 5 years?

Some decisions are hard to face and we want someone else to tell us what we already know.(Like Abhay Deol in ZNMD, who knows but can't face the idea that he should not get married, so he wants to hear the same from his friends instead).
Some decisions are easy vs right ones where the path of least resistance is always there to tempt us.
But hesitating to take a decision itself is as good as blindly walking in the direction of wrong decision.

Some more pointers to check before you take a decision:

  1. Does this decision affect anyone else apart from me? Example: Moving to a different city will impact your entire family.
  2. How deep are the consequences? You may want to write these down so that your brain realizes the seriousness of the situation. Go a lot deeper, dig down to the consequences of the consequences of on. Example: Losing a job leads to financial crisis which in turn may lead to emotional and marital struggles at home.
  3. Does it contradict your values?
  4. Think from third person perspective to make sure that feelings or emotions aren't clouding your decision.
  5. Sleep on it. Don't take major decisions in a jiffy.

Okay, now after hours of brain storming, SWOT analysis, pros and cons matrix, consequences and reversible matrix etc, we have made a decision. It's time to stick by it. Otherwise there's no point in going through that traumatic analysis. If you fail to stick by it, you will anyway be back at this decision making process again and again from time to time.
So take decision at the first sight of the problem itself and avoid iterations.

Once you have taken a decision, then work to make it the right decision.

  • Make it easy to stick by it and set up barriers to not violate the decision.
  • Ask a closed one to hold you accountable.
  • Take it slow. One step at a time. Expand the decision into a plan and break it into tiny steps.
  • In the initial days, it may seem hard or even impossible to stick by a decision. Your personalities will rebel against your own rational thinking. Think of this as a detox stage and let it be. Don't fight them. They will subside soon. Stay calm like a Duck that seems calm above the water(stick by the decision), but paddles furiously below it(internal struggle).
Anytime your inner personalities start fighting for the spotlight, it's time for decision making. Give the wheel to the thinking one and listen to it.
(It's like "Always listen to Buck" from Ice Age. Buck should be the personality whose decision can't be violated by any other personality no matter what)



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