I don’t know about you, but somedays I just get stuck in my own brain. Decision like “vanilla latte or coffee with cream?” can seem mind-numbing. With dazzling menu-like options before you everywhere, New Year’s best sales competing for your attention, and the internet’s lanscape of options, making decisions on how to best spend your time and talents can be a daunting task.
Would you believe there is a day dedicated to the difficulty of deciding what we want? It has the most clever name – Make Up Your Mind Day; I wonder if they had a hard time deciding on that? This day is appropriately poised on December 31st every year. What better day than New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year, to make a firm decision on a pesky problem?
The point behind Make Up Your Mind Day (#MakeUpYourMindDay) is to resolve issues and decisions that have been on hold since January 1st. With the New Year clock counting down, there is no more time to procrastinate. Those minute and second hands on the clock are pointing to you, as if to say “it is time to decision!” Decide to start off 2016 with a clean slate.
Author John Shufeldt knows all too well what it’s like to be told he can’t make up his mind. As a physician, lawyer, pilot, entrepreneur, adjunct professor, SWAT Team doctor and more, he has earned an assortment of degrees and certifications. Since mowing lawns as a child, it has become second nature to follow a good idea, with a business plan. He has dabbled in too many businesses to list here, but here are a list of a few of his current ventures and even a few of his entertaining business blunders.
Some would say his resume is all over the place- I actually even asked him recently, “John, what is the common thread between all of your endeavors?” His answer made me smile and reminded me something unique about him. His diverse and grandiose CV isn’t because the guy doesn’t have a clue what he wants to do, it’s actually because of his ability to resolve to do something and instantly take action. He is all over the board because he is actually an expert decision maker! Are you curious how he answered my question? Listen/watch here for his answer.
You can find out more about some of his small business stories by clicking here.
What he has taught me, and strives to teach others in the Outlier Series, is you should pursue what you are passionate about. If you are interested in something-take a step towards it. This doesn’t always mean conquering another degree or business venture like him, even simply researching the possibilities counts as step of action. Along with this concept, and a little word of advice from the office of John Shufeldt, I’ve composed 5 tips to help you make a decision on this day:
5 “P’s” of Making Up Your Mind
- Pick your Brain– When you are not sure which choice will be better, do your research. With your phone at the tips of your fingers, it is easy to do a quick google search, and Excel spreadsheet to help you make your decision.
- Pros & Cons- Create a pros and cons list to help you weigh out your options. This will not only help your thoughts flow onto paper, but you will also visually be able to see the differences and go over the positives and negatives with others.
- Practical Imperfection– For the less weighty decisions in life, like which blazer to pair with your new trousers, flip a coin. If you are deciding between more than two things, you can always roll a dice. Seriously, I don’t know how many times this would have gotten me out the door quicker. Let your outfit be a notch less than perfect. The point is sometimes you just to settle for practical imperfection in the details when you have more important things to think about.
- Paralysis is Pesky-Don’t let fear freeze the decision making process. If you are stressing out about a major fork in the roak, walk away from it, take a deep breath and remember that it is okay to not be perfect. Do your best to relax and clear your head before taking another look at your options. Schedule a time to look at it, again and again if you need to, without putting it off completely.
- Peers– Find a friend to bounce off ideas/outcomes for different scenarios. Sometimes it is surprising where the conversation will lead and you can learn a lot about not only yourself, but you will be able to see the options from someone else’s point of view. Show them your spreadsheet you pros and cons list!
It is important to keep in mind that making up your mind doesn’t necessarily mean that you are giving up on something, rather it is sometimes more of recognizing there are other opportunities somewhere else. In most instances in life, you can go back to the drawing board if option a) b) or c) doesn’t work. Don’t let making the decision paralyze you.
What did you make up your mind to do today? What are some of the steps you are going to make to take action? Comment below and share this post with a friend!