Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Do You Need a Coin of Indecision?

"Some questions can never be answered. They must be decided."- - - -Harry S. Truman

In front of my on my desk as I type this post is a two pound coin from the United Kingdom. It isn't always there, but it's there right now because I used it about an hour ago.

How does a Yank in Maryland use a two-pound coin? It is my Coin of Indecision. (Also sometimes known as the Coin of Direction)

Before I get into the coin part, I'll talk about the indecision part.

You of course know how problematic indecision can be. It can paralyze you. Make you miss opportunities. Keep you afraid. Hold you back. Stress you out. Make you less appealing to the world around you. And worse. You get the idea.

And the above holds true regardless of what is causing the indecision. Whether you are wishy-washy and lack self confidence or like me, you tend to analyze things to death, there comes a point of no return past which if you have not made a decision in one direction or the other, you have probably done more damage than making the "wrong" decision.

We often go back and forth on something because we fear we will make the wrong choice. That we might lose money, or get laughed at, or screw something up. We want for all the world not to be in that position. So much do we want to avoid the wrong choice, that we become blind to the fact that making no choice is by far more destructive to our well being. Because when we sit still and ponder for too long, people that have made both the right decision and the "wrong" decision have one thing in common; they are flying right passed us in some direction or the other. They are, in other words, moving. And even those who move in the "wrong" direction end up finding the right one by virtue of their forward motion. Those who sit find nothing.

Sometimes I am guilty of sitting and analyzing, (or is it agonizing?) over a moderate to big decision for too long. And that is where the Coin of Indecision comes in.

You know where I am going next, don't you? A solution almost as old as time itself. I flip the two-pounder, and take whatever course it lands on. That is this coin's soul purpose. And I don't generally use it to make little everyday choices about dinner or movies. I generally save it for bigger things. In the very least, what project to tackle next, or what to dedicate my day to. And sometimes things larger than that.

Some will ask,

"You leave such major decisions up to Fate alone???"

Not quite. Because to leave everything up to Fate alone would be to instantly flip that coin the moment any decision presented itself. No thinking. No working. Just flip the coin, and let it "choose" for me. And while I do believe that luck, fate, and miracles do sometimes play a role in our lives, it is not luck I am invoking when I flip the Coin of Indecision in most cases. It's forward motion.

After all the research, praying, thinking, sharing, discussing, blogging and screaming is done, a choice usually emerges. But when it doesn't, it often means that either choice is about equal in terms of risk and reward, and that based on anything I can possibly know at the time, one is no worse than the other. Time to just move. Enter the Coin of Indecision.

If you find yourself sometimes paralyzed by being unable to choose a direction, perhaps you could make use of your own Coin of Indecision. But I would advise a few things before you select one.

To begin with, have a little fun with it. Don't turn it into a project. Give it some thought, and be creative, but don't get all medieval about it.

As I said, make it a coin that is only ever used for this purpose. Let it build some mystique in your own mind. This thing will be helping you out of some tense moments sometimes. And whether you believe in Divine Intervention through the coin, or see it merely as a convenient kick in your ass, show it some respect.

Make it a foreign coin. Again, this separates it from the common coinage you would just pull out of your pocket. Let pocket change help you decide between Roy's and Wendy's. Keep your Coin of Indecision for the bigger stuff that you get stuck on because of fear.

And for the love of everything, if you do it, ALWAYS FOLLOW WHAT IT SAYS!  Once you toss it, don't disagree with it, or second guess it. That will get you right back to where you started. The whole point is to instantly set off doing whatever the coin lands on, so you don't stagnate. If you don't think you can commit to that, don't bother with a coin approach.

Some of the things I have used the coin for include:

-Which subject to blog about today.
-Whether or not to try out for a given production.
-Whether to apply to a specific job.
-Moderate purchases of various kinds.

It doesn't much matter which coin, or for what specific choices you use it, so long as you respect it and commit to it. Because in so doing you are both acknowledging your own predicament, but refusing to be held prisoner buy it.

Maybe that's the best reason to have it.

Do you have a Coin of Indecision, or some similar device/procedure to pull you out of the headlights?

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