I was watching one of my favourite films the other day with my kids, Planes, Trains And Automobiles. For those who haven’t seen it, it’s the comic story of two guys struggling to get home for Thanksgiving, as one decision after another goes wrong for them.
It made me think about decisions and the consequences they have on our lives. We make thousands of decisions every day, from what to wear, what to eat, what to buy in the supermarket, to name but a few. It’s estimated that we make approximately 35,000 choices every single day, that is a gobsmacking amount of decision making. Children, by way of comparison, make about 3,000 a day, what a wonderful world that must be to live in!
However, all this mental exertion comes at a cost. Our ability to make rational decisions decreases every time we take one, throughout a day, we can get overwhelmed by them. This is why, sometimes after a hard day at work, if our other half asks what we’d like for dinner we might say, “Oh I don’t know, you decide”.
Famously, Steve Jobs, amongst others, wore the same outfit every day to help save his decision making for the important stuff, like running Apple. So, what can all this tell us about our own lives?
Most of our everyday decisions are simple, subconscious and largely inconsequential, where to sit on a train for instance (unless you find yourself sat next to someone weird!), we just take them as we need to take them. The bigger ones can be a bit more troublesome, we can get stuck, caught like a rabbit in headlights, not knowing which way to turn. A decision like starting your own business can be a daunting choice, you’re tired of the 9 to 5 but you have responsibilities, bills to pay etc. In addition, the fact that there is not really a firm deadline on this can mean that it gets pushed to the back-burner and never resolved.
As I said, the number and importance of some decisions can be overwhelming. So, here’s a thought; Why not make a decision to take an hour, to make some decisions about your decisions. Write down what you really want in life, what would really make you happy. Think about what you need to do to achieve them and what steps you need to take to get there, maybe promise yourself to put one hour aside each day to running your own online business alongside your current job? Finally, put a deadline on it, when are you going to start this journey, today?
It might just be the best decision you ever made.