Decide first. Think later.
I can think myself out of anything. My AHA moments often turn into aha moments after I analyze them to death. Good ideas that enter my thinking machine are often spit out as “bad” ideas after they’ve been robbed of all their goodness by my brain. Fun opportunities often fall by the way side after I spend years thinking about them only to find them gone when I’m finally ready to make a move. Does this ever happen to you? Granted, getting the facts is prudent for important decisions, but my version of getting the facts often leads to decision paralysis. I don’t want to make a bad decision, so I end up making no decision at all. That’s why I am now operating under the “Decide first, think later” model, which I developed for myself (well, really had forced upon me) on a recent vacation to Florida. Here’s what happened:
My husband and I were vacationing in Florida for a week last year when, all of a sudden, the idea popped into my head that I really wanted to come back the following year for a month. Actually, the idea had been brewing for a while. After 12 years in business, I’d been longing to take some real time off. I was feeling burned out and a month in Florida to rest, relax, recharge…well, it just sounded like paradise. So, we started to look around and I found a few houses I thought I’d like to rent. We went to see a realtor and found out that we had to make a decision about renting like…NOW…or the properties would go to someone else. This is when my brain would have normally have kicked in with “I’ll think about it.”. There were lots of things to think about: I had nobody trained to fill web orders while I was gone, bills would continue to come in and reports be due and I had not figured out how to handle that either. But, if I spent all the time to figure that stuff out, I’d lose out on something I really really wanted. So, I decided. I decided to rent a house in Florida for a month. And, think about the rest of the stuff later. You know what? During the year, while I kept picturing my sweet bungalow, all of the problems worked themselves out. I found a great person to handle the web business, I organized myself so that bills and reports could be completed while I was gone. In short, I got something I wanted without thinking myself out of it.
Now, when I find myself parsing and dissecting and analyzing, I stop and ask myself: What do you really want to do? I go with that answer, more often than not (I’m not perfect, so sometimes my old patterns win out!) and think about how to make it happen later. It almost always works out. And, instead of regretting a missed opportunity, I now relish the fact that I made something happen. Think about it. Or rather, don’t think about it. Decide first. Think later.