Limitless Mondays: Make Up Your Mind Already – Indecisiveness Will Never Serve You Well

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Limitless Monday – Make up your freaking mind!

Indecision is all around us.

According to an article I read last week by the recently departed Charlie Munger (long time fiercely loyal right-hand man to Warren Buffet, probably the most successful investor in history), decisions are a way of avoiding doubt. He calls them doubt avoidance tendencies.

Decisions are part of life. However many of us put off decision making for as long as humanly possible.

Hence the word procrastinator, and the less pleasant term ditherer, someone who dithers, the most annoying kind of human being.

In the days of the hunter gatherer, you could not afford to dither.

If you were sprinting towards a boar, spear in hand, you had to act quickly and decisively, or the boar would be eating our loincloth-wearing ancestor for dinner.

There is always a trigger for my Monday article; this one was a friend who invited me out for coffee.

As the barista took our order, I already knew what I wanted almost from the point of entering the store.

My friend, however, left the decision until the last possible minute, going through the entire drinks menu before finally deciding on a London Fog.

Not only am I irritated every time she performs this ritual, but so are the other customers waiting patiently behind us, and of course the barista who wants to move on to the next customer as quickly as possible.

This isn’t a one-off event for my friend.

The same indecision is present whenever she orders at a restaurant, shops in a clothes store, or simply tries to decide which garment to wear on a night out.

The funny thing is, it doesn’t matter how much I complain and explain how she might consider a more productive approach,

I may as well be talking to a tree trunk. I have also noticed during my pondering on this subject that those who suffer from indecision also suffer from its big uglier brother, no-decision.

I, on the other hand, have the opposite habit: I make decisions fast. Like lightning.

I break into a hot sweat if I can’t make up my mind at my normal rapid speed.


My policy is: a decision is worth 100x more than no-decision.

Let me quash an often held myth that no-decision is better than a bad decision.

There are no bad decisions.

I can hear the odd smart-ass saying to themselves, “Of course there are bad decisions, I am not reading this crap any longer!”.

So let me clarify: there are obviously a few bad decisions, such as deciding to murder your neighbor, or choosing to shoot the mother-in-law.

I am, however, talking in the normal course of life by a relatively sane person.

Here is a quick personal story.

Many years ago, whilst contemplating my first steps on my entrepreneurial journey, I agonized over making that leap of faith.

The negative thought of investing my life savings into a venture which could swallow my money without even burping was hard to overcome.

The idea of a monthly salary with no stress seemed more appealing, even though I had rebelled against that all my life.

After much contemplation, I jumped and bought a female-only health club for $250,000. I was in the health and fitness business baby!

Reality hit home the day after the purchase had completed and my celebratory hangover was at its worst.

The world seemed so bleak, when the day before it had been full of possibilities.

That first weekend a bunch of members demanded their money back, the mirror in the studio broke, and the water in the showers was cold.

I had a serious case of buyer’s remorse.

In hindsight, it was a bad investment.

And considering I was an accountant and it was my first solo venture, I should have done and known better.

But as I scold myself now for that bad investment decision, I recall what that one crucial decision actually led to. And this is why any decision is better than no-decision.

After that first calamitous weekend, I started to think about my options going forward. I concluded that I was a deal-maker, not someone who ran gyms.

I therefore went looking for another small chain of gyms to merge with, with the intention of managing their finances and their team running the operations.

That decision led to meeting a business partner, who after completing the merger shockingly explained to me that gyms were no longer the business to be in; they were too competitive.

Stockbroking was the new game in town.

It was just before 9/11. I remortgaged my apartment, sold my sports car, and invested all my available resources into a stockbroking business with my new partner.

We barely survived the financial fallout from 9/11, and everyone assumed I had lost my mind switching from gyms to stockbroking, an industry I knew nothing about. That decision was one of my best.

Together with my business partner, Andrew, we made tens of millions of dollars.

That was all made possible by that first decision. Yes it could have been a better decision, and it probably caused me more stress than was necessary.

But guess what: it doesn’t matter.

If I had continued to put off my dream, my life would not have been so rich in adventure, fun, and opportunity.

How does this all relate to deciding which kind of coffee you should buy at your local coffee shop?

If you are one of those people who I described above, then you clearly have a mental block when it comes to making decisions. Don’t worry, many of us have the same tendency.

But we must overcome this if we are to achieve our goals in life.

Today, make a conscious decision that you will no longer procrastinate.

Start with the smallest decision you are presented with, and make it fast.

With practice you will get better.

Decision making is an art form.

Finally, pick one thing you have been putting off, and decide now that you are going to tackle it.

Make that first step today, however small. When the wheels of your decision start turning there will be no stopping them, but don’t fret, that is when the adventures begin!

Happy Monday!

Banner Image: Which way should I go? Image Credit – Adi Goldstein


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Harry Maximillian

Harry is an author, coach, entrepreneur, comedian and a convicted felon. Harry was sent to prison for a financial crime where he spent five long years. Prison allowed Harry to realize the error of his ways. He decided to use his time productively and mobilize his extraordinary determination, dedication, drive, motivation and desire to focus on writing and the art of self-improvement. Before Harry’s enforced vacation he was one of the most prolific deal makers in the City of London.

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