Big Decisions, Removing Options, and Permanent Choices
Are you facing a tough decision or choice? What is it about big decisions that often leave us struggling to make the call?
About eight months ago on a 114 degree day near Phoenix, Arizona, I found myself riding in the back seat of a big, dark, tinted window SUV. I was on business related travel and was able to get connected with a very reasonably priced private driver.
This wasn’t Uber, it wasn’t a cab, but a professional business service that chauffeurs people in that area.
While on a ride from a business meeting back to my hotel I engaged in some small talk with the driver. After a few minutes I noticed that the driver was very well spoken, appeared very knowledgeable, and his business savvy was quite impressive.
Being somewhat intrigued, we continued to talk. I learned that he was originally from the east coast with a very noteworthy professional career. I asked him about his move to Arizona, how he made the decision, and if it was the right choice.
His story was interesting but the details are not what really matter the most. What matters the most is one specific sentence that he shared. He said, “Every big decision that we make in life is always the right decision at that time, at that exact moment when you make it.”
Like a heavy meal of pasta and bread, it hit the spot and has stuck with me ever since.
Sometimes when we are faced with big decisions we get too caught up in the details. It’s easy to become worried about what is the right choice or the best choice, and sadly we often inappropriately weigh the risks.
Confidence might sometimes be a factor, but most of our struggle often comes from the feeling of what we have to give up. Additionally, it might be about the feeling of permanency with our choice.
Consider a decision to move a thousand or more miles away from home. A career choice or a new job offer, and we certainly can’t forget about the idea of getting a tattoo or marriage. All of those things might feel permanent, and with that feeling of permanency there is added pressure.
The challenge for most people exists in the removal of options. Like a multiple choice question on an exam, deciding means we have to eliminate something. Some choices are easily removed because they just don’t fit. As the options become fewer the pressure might feel more intense.
Businesses often feel this pressure when deciding on their marketing mix or building a brand. Lots of options or being all things to all people feels more comfortable. The feeling is that you’ll never miss an opportunity.
Unfortunately as a result prospective buyers can’t decide so they move on to the vendor who has exactly what they want. Fewer options make deciding easier.
Individuals sometimes find this challenge with big decisions such as buying an automobile, a home, or booking that once-in-a-lifetime vacation. The more choices or options, the harder it is to decide.
Perhaps in life or business the easiest way to make big decisions is by becoming more comfortable with removing options.
Make the big decisions, even when it feels like it might be permanent.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSP), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.