Making A Decision

In the Buridan’s Ass Paradox, a donkey is both hungry and thirsty. She is placed right between a pail of water and a stack of hay. She couldn’t decide whether walk 5 meters right to alleviate her thirst, or 5 meters left to alleviate her hungry. Both are equally important but choosing one option will delay the other. She just couldn’t decide. In the end she dies of both hunger and thirst.

Often we delay decision making because it is the easiest thing to do. Do it tomorrow. Let us gather more information. Consult more experts. There is no rush. All the excuses we come up with to delay the pain of making a decision and forgoing your other options. This applies not only to “not making a decision” but also “delaying a decision”.

So how can we avoid the trap of delayed decision which can cause us much time, effort and expense?

–          Recognize that decision making is just means to an end. Focus on the outcome and enjoy the journey, whichever route you take.

–          There are pros and cons to everything. You will have supporters and detractors. Almost every tough decision have equally weighted options. Very likely both will lead you to the destination in the end.

–          Focus on what you need, not what you will lose. It’s tough to choose what you want to lose, akin to crushing little bubble of dreams in your mind. It’s easier to choose what you need, it is more definite and surely will serve its purpose.

–          When all else fails, toss a coin and move on!

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