Stop Pondering and Decide

No matter who you are, making decisions is always difficult. Furthermore, depending on your culture, it may be even more difficult than you want to tell yourself.

Japanese and other people from collectivism societies especially have troubles with taking decisions due to the “risk” of the impact it could have on others around. Thus they end up pondering the different choices over and over again, often ending up not being able to take a stand on something.

As said Grace Murray Hopper, pioneer computer scientist, in a speech in 1982: “Always remember that it’s much easier to apologize than to get permission.

We always try to make the best choice, taking into account all the different variables in relation to a particular situation. But, often enough, this just brings us to a complete stop where no decision is taken.

We know the importance of taking decisions and yet we always find it hard to do. I myself pondered for about 20–30 minutes on which topic I wanted to tackle today. Not that I didn’t have any idea in mind but I simply could not bring myself to start any.

And that’s how it hit me. I couldn’t make a decision. Why? Not that starting to write on X or Y topic would have ruined my life or even my blog, but I was always finding a reason not to write on those topics.

As I was taking note of this complexity of making a choice, I remembered numerous times during which I had gotten angry due to someone else not being able to take a decision. And yet, I was doing the exact same thing.

I think that while pondering choices is important, we also need to actually move. If you have 2 different plans at the same time, you will have to ponder which you would like to go to, but either way, a choice will need to be made.

I believe that what makes the choice itself being complicated is the unwillingness to give up on the other choice(s) that we had in mind. Giving up on something is, in reality, harder than choosing another one.

But if we realize this, I believe this is where we can shine.

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By focusing on the most important: the goal of the decision, we can make the decision process itself easier. We can also improve our life, save time, and do a lot more things as a result!

The time saved from pondering will allow us to do more things, act more and improve ourselves.

Finally, if you think you’ve made a mistake, remember Grace Murray Hopper’s saying. It’ll be easier to ask forgiveness. And if the impact is only on you, then you’ll just have to forgive yourself for it and learn from it.

Experience and improvement both come at an expense: failure. Without it, the process of becoming a better version of yourself will just be slowed down a whole lot and you might just end up back at the start: pondering on whether to even make the next decision.

For now, let’s make one decision: to Decide!

Originally published at on December 2, 2018.

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Polyglot speaking 6 languages. Writer. Helping the world to learn languages and become more understanding of others. Say hi →

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