Show Notes: In episode #13, Josh and Sean discuss the idea of analysis-paralysis, or “Why We Hate to Choose.” We also bring in the big guns by interviewing Rob Parkman about how he made the choice to move into independent ministry. Rob also provides some advice about decision making in a coaching context, and encourages people to trust God and not take themselves too seriously.
If you want to join our Hear and Do Challenge for Encounter 2014 go to: encounter.estoncollege.ca/challenge.
Here are some of the strategies Josh mentioned for overcoming analysis-paralysis, which is epitomized in the following story by Jean Buridan: “A hungry donkey approaches a barn one day looking for hay and discovers two haystacks of identical size at the two opposite sides of the barn. The donkey stands in the middle of the barn between the two haystacks, not knowing which to select. Hours go by, but he still can’t make up his mind. Unable to decide, the donkey eventually dies of starvation.”
Zoom Out: Try to find a base rate; even a little bit of expertise can help (Amazon reviews), statistics, or getting an outsider’s perspective of your situation who has been through it before. Firsthand experience is invaluable, even if you can only get one person’s perspective. You need to establish a baseline. If you are trying to choose a job or a restaurant, or need to get a medical procedure done, it is wise to ask someone who has worked that job or had that procedure done.
You can also ask disconfirming questions: This does not mean, do you like your job? But, what is the biggest challenge in your job? Or if you are buying a used iPod, don’t ask “Does it work?” Ask, “What problems does the iPod have?”
Finally, you can try and ask yourself: “If your best friend were in this exact same situation, what would you tell them to do?”
Zoom In: This means we are getting close enough to the situation so we can trust your instincts. For example, if we are trying to choose whether to go into teaching, it is wise to set up small experiments. Get as close as you can to the action before you commit to a four year degree. This is what is meant by “ooching”. You want to do your best to experience the choice before you commit to it: Why predict, when you can know…
The 10-10-10 Rule: This rule helps you consider your choice in light of the big context of your life by nudging you to think through how you might feel about your decision 10 minutes from now, 10 months from now, and 10 years from now.
Finally, here’s the quote from Charles Spurgeon: “If you stop and do nothing until you can do everything, you will remain useless.”
- by Dan and Chip Heath (the best book for strategies on making good decisions)
Here’s the book Rob Parkman recommends regarding finances: The Automatic Millionaire by David Bach