“If I had to live my life over again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.” Tallulah Bankhead
My problem is that I feel as though I keep making the same mistakes.
Different chorus, same song! Aren’t we supposed to grow in wisdom?
I sometimes think that the answer lies in how busy I am; how bombarded I am with information (Maybe ignorance is bliss!); and how free I am to make my own decisions. I am free in the sense that for the most part I am a free agent. I like to think that I can do what I want when I want. Not always true. Maybe rarely true but it sounds good!
I also have a fear of being wrong. I don’t want to regret a decision later. Of course, the effect of some decisions can’t be know until years later. I have to watch myself that I don’t end up with “analysis paralysis”. To combat this, I give myself deadlines for making a decision. Here are my steps.
- In the first time period, think and research the issue in terms of known data.
- In the next time period, identify my emotional responses. Try to determine what which decision would make me happy? What would make my family happy? Talk with those who would be affected.
- In the next time period, take a day or two off to let everything settle but set a definite “decision date”.
- On the decision date, make it as early in the day as possible. Review and decide.
- Begin to implement and don’t look back. Also, I limit or eliminate discussions with family and friends who try to dissuade me.
I use the phrase “time period” because some decisions require more time such as deciding whether or not to sell my house. Other decisions such as selecting a new carpet require less time.
This process does not guarantee perfect decisions but it does allow me to move forward.
I am reminded of my friend’s sister who could not decide on what kind of finish she wanted for her door. So, for five years, the door was unfinished. She finally decided when she was putting her house on the market. So, for a few weeks instead of years, she enjoyed her finished door.
Time flies and making no decision is a decision.