Will you take the job? Will you quit the job? Will you text her now or later? Will you break up with her? Will you move? Will you go out or stay in and work? Will you order sushi or thai?
Every single day we face a number of decisions. Each decision will affect you in some way. What you order for dinner will likely have only a small impact on your life. Maybe it will cause you an upset stomach, but that’s about as extreme as it can get.
Other decisions will have greater consequences. Deciding to quit your job, for instance, is sure to have more obvious, long-term effects on your life. But even though this fact can be scary, you cannot let it slow down your decision making process. Sure, there’s more information that must be gathered when it comes to changing careers versus ordering dinner, and the decision will likely take longer as a result. However, it’s important to realize that the dangers of prolonging the decision making process almost always outweigh the benefits of gathering more information.
Here are five reasons you should be making quicker, more concrete decisions:
1. Most decisions are not important
The pareto principle states that roughly 20 percent of causes generally account for 80 percent of the results. This means that roughly 20 percent of the decisions you face will account for 80 percent of the impact on your life. However, aside from obvious long-term decisions like buying a house or getting married, you won’t be able to accurately identify most of these choices. This means you shouldn’t waste time or energy on most decisions, because it will likely cost you more than the outcome affects your life.
For example, I often stress myself out about stupid shit like when I should text a girl or what I should write in said text when I’m single. Even after countless repetitions, I can let a routine decision like this affect my tranquility. I have to remind myself that in all likelihood, it doesn’t fucking matter.
2. A good decision today could be a bad decision tomorrow and vice-versa
This fact can be eye-opening. It’s extremely common to make a decision that grants you an immediately beneficial result, yet you come to regret it in the long-term. The opposite is equally true: it’s not rare to make a decision that seems like it was a terrible choice right after you make it, yet turns out to be a great choice a few weeks, months, or even years down the line.
A common example here is breaking up with a girl or quitting a job. It’s a decision that often causes you tremendous pain and suffering in the weeks and months that follow the decision. However, you usually bounce back with a fierce determination across all areas of your life that propels so much growth that you look back and realize it was actually a good thing overall.
The point is, because external circumstances and prolonged time can change how you view a particular outcome, you shouldn’t waste time worrying about making the “perfect” choice or regretting having made the “wrong” one. At the end of the day, there’s no such thing.
3. Making concrete decisions frees your mind
When there’s something on your mind, an issue or challenge you’re facing, the only way to get it off your mind is to make a decision that addresses the issue at hand. In my case, it doesn’t matter if it’s what book I’m going to write next or what time I should schedule a particular appointment, I can’t stop thinking about it until I’ve come to a firm decision.
The process I’ve recently adopted is keeping a notebook open on my desk. Whenever I catch myself repeatedly thinking about something to the point that it’s distracting me from the task at hand, I make a decision about it and write it down in the notebook. The act of writing it down helps my mind put the issue to rest—it makes me feel like I’ve made a firm decision that I won’t second guess.
4. People immediately identify and respect decision-makers
It doesn’t matter if it’s in a social setting, work environment, or with a girl you’re dating. When you consistently offer a firm decision to any situation that requires one, people recognize it. They unconsciously start to identify you as a leader. You’re aren’t afraid to make decisions and shoulder the responsibility that comes along with it.
With your friends this could mean choosing the bar or restaurant you’re going to check out on Friday night. At work it could mean advocating for a particular solution when everyone else in the room is sitting on the fence, fearful of committing one way or the other. With your girl this could mean always picking which activity you’ll pursue when the question arises.
5. Indecision spreads like wildfire
Decision making is a habit like any other. If you’re at dinner with someone who can’t even choose what they’d like to drink off the menu, chances are they can’t make any other decisions without their stress levels shooting through the roof either. What this means for you is if you don’t start practicing making quick, firm decisions you’ll be practicing not being able to make decisions by default. There’s no middle ground. When you’re at dinner, make a quick choice and forget about it. When you’re with your boys, voice your opinion about what you think you should do. By constantly making small decisions quickly, you’ll be able to face the tougher ones with a firm resolve as well.
If you liked this post, check out my book “Dominate” – it goes further into the topic of living life boldly and making confident decisions.
Read More: 3 Habits That Every Man Should Practice