I’m in the process of making some really big decisions that will lead me in one or other direction over the next couple of years and being a chronic over-thinker, it means I find the whole thing a lot harder than it should be.
There are a couple of things that cause decision making for a guy like me to be a complex, slow and thoughtful process:
1) I have it good. The choices I must make are between two or three decent, palatable, workable options. If I had to pick between crappy ones, it wouldn’t be so difficult. A lot of people have to pick between a range of choices that all suck. Mr Mandela for example had to pick between living under oppression or risking his life to change it. I don’t have those sorts of choices to make so I must pick between a bunch of good ones. Pity me, why don’t you.
2) I have more than two good options. I hate having too many choices. Menus with six pages freak me out. Set menus with limited options almost always suit me better. And I don’t want to have to care enough about my cell phone plan to invest the time it takes to plow through the five hundred options. For me, fewer is usually better. When it comes to big decisions like this, multiply that by several hundred million.
At the same time, there is a part of me that knows that time spent deliberating will prolong the agony, but won’t ultimately change the outcome. Because I know, from past experience that any one choice is really as good as any other. The goal shouldn’t be to find the very best of all choices but to pick a good one and then go ahead and make it great. Which means that actually, I already know I am going to pick the least-developed, riskiest option … once I’m done evaluating all the others.