It’s Nerf…or Nerf?

On making the call, or how indecisiveness hurts. 

Seth Shaw
2 min readMay 30, 2014

As a kid, my sister and I would visit my aunt and uncle every summer for a few weeks in Pittsburgh. These visits were the highlight of my summer, as they lived a few hours away. During one visit, my aunt decided I needed to spend less time on the computer (It was 1996. The Internet was just starting to seep into everyday life.) She offered to take me to the local sporting goods store to find some backyard fun.

While walking around the aisles, we stumbled upon the Nerf section. Boy, was I excited. Besides The Internet, nothing was cooler than Nerf gear. Nerf footballs came in bright neon colors and an assortment of cool features. There were short ones, big ones, ones with tails, some that whistled, and some that lit up for night time. Should I get the bright green and blue one with the long jet-like tail? Or, should I go with the orange and red one that whistled when thrown?

So. Many. Choices.

I spent hours in that store, frozen by indecisiveness. Each detail of every Nerf football was carefully combed over and analyzed. Fear of choosing the wrong one weighed heavy on my mind. What if I didn’t pick the cool one? I was drenched in buyer’s remorse before I had even left the store. Family legend has it that after an hour and a half of hand-wringing, I finally chose one.
It was just a foam football. But in that moment, it felt like the biggest decision in my life. “What ifs” kept me from being happy. I wasted hours sweating over which Nerf football was right when I should have been outside with my family enjoying summer.

It’s good to be aware of possibilities. Just don’t let the “What ifs?” distract you. Make the call, live with it, and be happy. If you’re too absorbed with the details, with the thought of making the wrong decision and facing failure, you will never reach your goals.

Only by putting one foot in front of the other can you move forward. You may slip, but at least you’ll fall in a different spot.



Seth Shaw

I work on Photoshop at @Adobe. Product Designer. Ohioan. Rather punctual for a rocker.