We all want to make the right decisions. Not only because we want to be successful, but often simply because we want to avoid the negative consequences of making the wrong decision. We are risk-averse beings. So we put a lot of emphasis on the decision itself. We collect information, analyze, evaluate, discuss, and ponder. Just to make sure that we will definitely and undoubtedly pick the right option.
The truth is, though, that it is incredibly unlikely that we might ever gather enough information to make a truly informed decision, a decision that is definitely the right one. It just isn’t possible, because the future is impossible to predict and full of unknowns and variables we can’t control.
Instead of focusing solely on decision making, a much better strategy might be to get into a position where you end up with better decisions in the first place – regardless of which option you choose. How? By creating more and, most importantly, better options. This will inevitably increase the likelihood of making better decisions.
There is no guarantee, of course. Bad decisions are still very likely. And so, as Stripe CEO Patrick Collison suggests in this interview with Tim Ferriss, much more important than making a particular decision, is the ability to correct course once you realize that the decision might have been wrong. However, this is easier said than done. Once a decision is made, once a plan is in place, it becomes much harder to recognize that we’ve been wrong. All the time, money, and effort that went into making our idea work? It’s all wasted. But is it, really? Look at it this way: You made your decision with the best information you had and with the best of intentions. Now that you gathered enough information to know it was the wrong decision, you can focus on the right option instead and start investing into building the right thing and solving the right problems.
This is the 64th post of my 100 days of writing series. You can find a list of all posts here.