Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grade A Choices

Working in advertising, one learns pretty quickly that most people are afraid to make decisions. Taking risks and trying new things is great and can really move a brand forward, but if your target audience doesn’t like it, you could end up screwed. Both routes of choice seem scary. So options get weighed. Every little detail gets scrutinized. And usually the end result doesn’t really feel like a “decision” but a mish-mash of security blankets stitched together to allay everyone’s fears.

I understand the fear of making decisions. Before I bought my car, I talked about it for around a year. I researched at least a dozen different makes and models—analyzing cost of ownership and comfort and finances. And finally one day, sort of out of the blue, I decided to go look on a local lot. I bought the car on the spot, totally not intending to do so.

When it comes to most things, I’m snap decision maker. And even though I deliberated forever on the car, when it came down to it, I made a pretty snap decision. I would rather move ahead! cross it off the list! just do it! and deal with the consequences later, whatever they may be.

I wonder what the world would be like if we all did this more often. If everyone decided to decide. No more limbo or mish-mashes. Just hardcore decisions. This is just speculation, but I think we might all live much richer, more interesting lives.


Anonymous said...

My Mom and I debated a lot when I was a kid. We'd choose a side, debate it a while, then switch sides. On the one hand, it taught me the gift of being able to see all sides of an issue. On the other, it made me damn indecisive.

So I guess that while, on the one hand, I like your speculation, I also find myself thinking of the corollary. Of people making snap decisions based on feelings of fear or anger. As the old joke goes "I don't want to go through a waiting period to buy my gun, I'm angry right now!" :)

justrun said...

As my grandmother says, leaps of faith are highly underrated. We need to practice doing it more often, and not letting fear of the unknown rule our lives.
Easier said than done, I realize.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

I'm with you in the making decision department. Sometimes I'm rash in my decision making. But, for the most part, I go with my gut and it doesn't fail me. I did almost no research into buying my last car ... test drove it at a sleezy dealership and walked away ... went to a second dealership and bought it. Turned out to be a lemon. Next time, I might do a little more research. Or, I'll let Sweets do that ... he loves his Consumer Reports subscription!

Alysha said...

Sometimes I think that I need to think more before and less after...

Big Sister said...

I wish Carleigh would have read this before I took her shoe shopping for Homecoming yesterday and today.... We went to about 12 different places, tried on at least a hundred pairs of shoes, and she ended up with a boring, plain pair of black pumps. Can you even imagine what she will be like buying her first car?

Dingo said...

I was watching a movie the other day and the character said, "I've made decisions. Some were good and some were not, but I made them."

I completely got it. Making a decision rather than letting things happen, it's the key to living your life rather than just living a life.

Sizzle said...

I wish more people would stop living in their fear and live more in the possibility which is a hopeful thing. Which maybe isn't what you are talking about but it has been on my mind.

I'm a quick decision maker. It's the Aries in me. And I lack patience for those who hem and haw.

Mel Heth said...

Geekhiker - I think debate is an extremely valuable tool - particularly when it comes to issues like gun control. I don't think decisions should be made out of anger or fear. I think people should try harder to shed their fears and take leaps in the spirit of adventure and living a fuller life. Sometimes we overthink things and it makes us miss out. Not every pro and con has to be weighed every time we make a choice.

JustRun - That's a great quote. Give your grandma a kiss for that one. I think the key word there is faith. You just have to believe it'll all work out.

Nilsa - The gut check has to be one of the most valuable tools we have access to as humans.

Alysha - Are you making rash decisions and regretting them young lady?

Sister - I think Carleigh might be a lost cause. She is Darrell's daughter, after all.

Dingo - That's totally it. Floundering around doesn't allow you to learn or experience anything. Even if we end up regretting what we decide - at least we LEARN that we regretted it.

Sizzle - Did you ever read "Who Moved My Cheese?" It's a silly little book with characters named Hem and Haw. It has a great message about acting more and thinking a little less.