Being Comfortable with Random Decision Making

Thousands of years ago, our early human ancestors lived side by side with carnivorous beasts. That latter would attack our Paleolithic fathers at any given time, which necessitated a stress response, what we now call fight-or-flight. If you didn’t make a move, you died.

Thankfully, we don’t live under the same conditions anymore (unless of course you have a job at the Discovery Channel). The problem is that our mind has still not accepted our external reality. That is why even at the slightest problem, our mind reacts as if it is a life-or-death situation.

How true are these words from thought leader and marketing genius Seth Godin:

. And so, what we do in school is, in order to get a kid through 12 years of it, the teachers discovered that the shortest shortcut is to activate that. Every time you activate that, the kid will become compliant.

So, we set up this system and then, we hire people and we say, “Do this or you’re fired.” And, in our head, we say, “Fired. No job. I’ll never get another job. I’ll run out of unemployment. I’ll become homeless. I’ll die.” So, the boss says something and we immediately associate that with dying. And, so this brainwashing system was in place for a really long time. And you can come to power and become a dictator with it, you can also become a boss, or a teacher, or a parent using that system; which is all great unless a revolution comes

And you know what? Fear is perhaps the #1 hindering factor that affects our judgment when we need it the most. Survey after survey has shown that what people count as their biggest fear is something:

  • That has already happened in the past
  • Something is unlikely to happen (e.g. the Zombie Apocalypse)
  • Something that is a figment of our imagination (e.g. the Zombie Apocalypse)

In other words, fear is just an illusion. At the slightest trigger, it brings out our worse fears as if they are all real.

This is what gets in the way of your journey towards becoming a better random decision-maker. Instead, you need to become comfortable with the decisions you make. Here are 2 ways to do so:

Come to Peace with the Fact that You Make Wrong Choices

In the face of uncertainty, everyone makes wrong choices, and if you have higher emotional intelligence than others, then you will think more about all the possible negative consequences. However, unless and until your decisions involve other people’s lives, you should never fret yourself over the plans you make and the actions you take.

Only Listen to your Heart

This is not to say that you become arrogant and shun other people’s opinions. In fact, one of the best ways to become a better decision-maker is to learn from the experiences of others. However, you need to strike a balance between your needs and those of others.

In the end, it’s your life and you are responsible for all success or failure that you get. So, before taking anyone’s advice, remember that life doesn’t afford you the chance of complaining later if anything goes wrong with your decision.