I’ve always been interested in decision-making. Moreover, I wanted to not be afraid to make decisions.
I always knew that I was and I still am insecure about my future. I set goals, I have a plan, but the execution of this plan is always vague.
Cold planning is important. However, what’s even more important is sticking to that plan without being driven by emotions, or occasional pitfalls which you may or may not fall into during your journey.
I admit I wasn’t reading a lot about decision-making. However, I studied. I studied my own decision-making process. I always wanted to know how I approach a problem, what I feel, and what steps I take to overcome it.
You know, I really like a book which I found 2 years ago and I read occasionally. I’m not that kind of a guy who reads books just for fun or for the sake of reading itself. I’m very pragmatic. Whatever I do, whatever I read or watch, I try to learn. I elicit the knowledge out of every single piece of information that goes through my mind.
Here is one of the pieces that struck me right into my heart:
“Most men are ruled by the heart, not the head. Their plans are vague, and when they meet obstacles they improvise. But improvisation will only bring you as far as the next crisis, and is never a substitute for thinking several steps ahead and planning to the end.” – Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power
I thought, wow, that is exactly how I make decisions. And you know what, I’m okay with that.
You know, as a man, I like watching some heroic, adventurous drama like Vikings, Black Death, Game of Thrones, etc. Most of the time, those are the movies where characters face their most terrific fears. Those are the movies where a character’s mind and behavior are challenged.
Films like these, portray decision-making as a life and death situations. Like, if you don’t go West – you die because you can’t cultivate your own lands forever. The Westlands are more fertile, and the soil is much better than the bloody cold northern lands.
In a movie, even a simple action like drinking water can be portrayed as an epic adventure of a hero who is balancing between life and death has to fight for the single swallow of the precious cold water.
*In absolutely normal conditions, takes a bottle of water. Drinks.
However, followed by the action music of Hans Zimmer or Two Steps From Hell, it looks like an insane challenge.
So, you know, I like to imagine myself being a superhero even when I make a decision to lift my butt and go to buy some food for the evening. That’s funny.
It’s interesting that there are too many things going on around decision-making. Don’t you think it’s too dramatic?
Like, should I do squats today?
Should I go to the convenience store or should I starve to death without these awesome potato chips?
Do I need to buy this iPhone X or am I okay with my Xiaomi Redmi Note 4?
Should I go to university and spend 4-6 years learning something that will define my future?
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As emotional creatures, we tend to give more context to our situations than there actually is. Having been brought up on the foundation that every decision is a do or die thing, we are afraid to make the wrong choice and end up devastating our future. Like, come on, even books like that by Robert Greene tells you to plan like crazy.
Most of the time, we’re focused on thinking a lot. Depending on the complexity of a decision we are about to make, the thinking process may take up as much as hours, days, or even months before we finally make an intuitive decision and mess up anyway.
“Oh, it seems like I should have thought more. I should have taken all the details to account.”
Knowing how painful the process of decision-making is, people usually avoid making decisions whatsoever.
What kind of creepy thing is that?
It’s a gaming talent tree. What if I told you that whatever you do opens up your new talents?
Many people think that life is a linear process. Like, you make a decision to go to university – you’re chained for 6 years. You make a decision to find a job – you’re caged to be working 9/5 for the rest of your life until your back breaks.
Life is nowhere close to being a linear process. However, some people don’t think this way. For me, life is an open world where you choose to write your own story. Everything you do is a part of a story. Just an icon on the talent tree.
Your story is not predefined in any way. Nobody knows the right path. And this is what some people use. Those people who manipulate others, you know. If somebody knows something that you don’t, they already manipulate you. But that’s a story for another article.
When you make a decision to do or not to do something, you simply create a path. You should not be afraid to make decisions. Decisions simply create new opportunities to learn.
Imagine, a blank sheet of paper. You have a pencil, many colorful pencils. Can you draw something?
Some of us can’t draw like professionals. What if you spoil the paper?
Is it over? Are you going to die? No. You’ll probably take another one and start drawing.
Now, what if you’re at school. You’ve just spoiled a single sheet of paper you’ve been given. There is no replacement. What’s gonna happen?
Probably, you’ll be screamed at. You might as well be called a bungler and even get punched purely for educational purposes.
Is it over? Yes. It will be extremely hard for you to take a sheet of paper and start drawing. Drawing is good. But only “professional” work is appreciated. Otherwise, you’ll get punched. If you draw bad you suck, loser.
See, most of your decisions are not yours.
There is something that you desperately desire, but it’s so out of reach. It requires you so much work. You have to extend your hand to take it. You have to reach out.
Living in the world where everything is getting systemized, will you get punched? Oh, yes. Will it hurt? Definitely.
But why should you care if it’s something that you want?
You can live your life following the path that you’ve been told to follow or you can live your own life.
Don’t be afraid to make a decision because somebody will make it for you. Respect your freedom of choice and choose without fear because your choice is just an opportunity to live another scenario of your life.
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