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Decisions, decisions...



My family doesn’t struggle with indecision. My grandpa once told me, “If you spend more than 5 minutes deciding, you’re thinking too hard.” For us, weekend trips are planned the night before, and logistics are handled in the car. This tendency has followed me through life– and though some would say I'm “logistically challenged,” my rough-and-ready process hasn’t resulted in too many major mishaps.

My husband couldn’t be more different. When Corbin buys a jacket, he researches fabrics, fits, and clothing companies for weeks. He compares five different brands, hypothesizes how to make the perfect jacket, wonders if he even needs one, then finally chooses a jacket. He sometimes even regrets his decision, wondering if he made the right choice. I bought the second wedding dress I tried on.

You can see our predicament.

I don’t mean to say that slow methodical decision-making is bad. I’ve found much use in reading the instructions again, not deleting an email, or trying a different website (all habits gleaned from my husband). 

The dark side of slow, scientific decision-making is indecision. Indecision is turning over your options until they get stale and the opportunity is ruined. It’s hoarding information– Maybe if I stockpile enough knowledge I’ll eventually feel ready to act! (You won't.) Indecision is lack of confidence. It paralyzes action, and leaves you sitting on the couch over Spring Break because you couldn't pick something– anything– to do.

Recently I’ve struggled with a professional situation. I’ve analyzed, dissected, and studied my options much longer than five minutes. Twenty-year-old me would have cringed at the situation, calling me "indecisive." But in hind-sight, I wasn't indecisive at all. I gathered information, sought advice– and the moment I felt about 60% secure, I committed to a decision.

While my husband and I err on opposite sides of the spectrum, we're both learning how to weigh our options, then make a decision (though the process looks different on each of us). Will I ever be meticulous enough to organize a family reunion or wedding? Maybe not. But in the mean time, I’ll try my hand at pros and cons lists, saying a little prayer, and writing my thoughts. 

I don't think we can ever completely close the gap between our security and our actions. Even if we did, would we really want to? A life where you know exactly how your choices will pan out sounds pretty boring to me.


Where are you on the decision-making spectrum?



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