Thursday, August 24, 2017

Decision Making LBC 08/25/2017

This week's topic - Decision Making, comes from the sage of Pune - Ramana. Time to decide how to tackle the topic. Hmm - decision-making time.

Indeed - it's not often easy and it's not often kind.
Have you ever considered how many decisions we make on a daily basis? Have you ever considered what a strain so many decisions would place on you if you actually pondered each decision? Think about how you feel after struggling with a decision and imagine that magnified by the infinite number of decisions you make daily.
That's why most decisions are made from habit. In fact, 40 - 45% of our daily activity is actually a habit. You know red means stop, green means go and yellow means hurry up - it is about to go red so your brain automatically kicks into gear and your response kicks in. Of course, you can override that decision and when you see yellow make a decision to slow down and stop.

When you get into a car you automatically fasten your seatbelt. Or not. Either way, it is a habit. Getting into a car triggered the habit to fasten or not fasten the seat belt. And what is the value of these habits? Efficiency. Our brain conditions automatic responses that require little or no thought so that it can be ready when called on to make a real decision.
And how do you deal with decision making that is not a habit? Well of course that varies  Are you as cool as a cucumber or so wired you are literally bouncing off walls? But you can thank your efficient brain for the ability to actually think and decide. And yes - some habits are good and some are bad and with effort can be changed. But changing habits is for another week.

If you are interested in the power of habit, check The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg here - it says free to download but I did not test it.

Curious to see what others think?  Check my cohorts at their respective blogs
RamanaPravinAshok and Maria.

That's my quick shack take on this week's  topic. See ya next week, same bat time, same bat channel.


  1. You mentioning cars reminded me of how many times in my life I have frightened myself by arriving somewhere - the journey a complete blank: "How the hell did I get here?" I suppose "on autopilot". Maybe part of what you call "habit".

    Having to make a decision has potential to be a real bugger. On one hand you may be down aisle 23 in the supermarket agonizing which brand of washing powder to put your trust in; on the other, someone asks you to marry them and you say YES without a moment's hesitation. The former indicates my pet hate (too much choice); the latter why I always say, if someone asks me on their threshold of impending disaster, that if you need to "decide" whether to marry someone or have a child) the answer is DON'T.

    Do you remember what's his name? Luke Rhinehart's "The Dice Man"? O h m y G o d ... His take on decision making (throwing a dice) was brought to my attention (late Seventies) by the man who'd eventually become father of son - our marriage blessed by the Holy Ghost till he ran out of breath. We had only just met - but, by golly, the Dice Man caused a heated discussion, stopping short at becoming a fully blown row. I was shocked at the whole concept. Outraged. But then, as FOS often used to say, even long after we had tied the knot, that I am naive. "You look at the world with your big brown eyes - IN WONDERMENT." To this day I have no idea whether this amused him or exasperated him. Probably both.

    Back to earth, my dear Chuck, any decisions you have to make in the near future?


    1. U my only pending decision is what to have for lunch - I expect a quiet day here.

    2. Good, and bon appetit. But what about the Dice Man?


    3. That is a new one for me - I know zippity doo dah about it and will have to check it out - raincheck on a comment until then

  2. Decisions.....decisions.....decisions.....faced with many within a short time frame can be overwhelming, causing paralysis. Needing to make a decision by a deadline can result in having inadequate time to thoroughly research all the options. There are those easy automatic "habit" decisions you describe, but they can go awry if an unexpected variable occurs and you haven't been paying attention, assuming nothing different. Decisions can be complicated, over- simplified, or made with the flip of a coin. I'm making the decision now to cease elaborating on this matter.