On page 34 of their book, “Made to Stick” Chip and Dan Heath refer to the problem of “decision paralysis”. We all know that we have to prioritise matters, but sometimes we just become bogged down.
Why? Because quite often we cannot sort out what is important to us. We become confused by irrrelevant details.
Whether the Heaths talk about “core messages” or what I often refer to as a “clear vision”, so many people seem to lose their persepctive when confronted by meaningless details.
I see this so often in mentoring. A client will give me a detailed analysis of why they cannot progress or what’s bothering them. I simply ask “so what?” Initially dumbfounded, they often begin to realise that they have raised a lot of issues that have no bearing on what they are trying to do.
One client was confused, trying to sift all the contrary advice they had received about the domestic market. What to do next? Simple – keep to your vision and plan your iitnerary overseas. Nobody had told you not to do that.
Somebody else was concerned if they should launch a marketing campaign directed at multiple potential clients. What if this, that and the other was to go wrong? “So what?” You will not receive the blessing and support of everyone, but you need more than one new client. Just go for them all.
In one of its very first stories, the Bible gives us an example of this false decision making. As pointed out by Rabbi Ari Kahn is his new book, Echoes of Eden, the serpent confuses Eve with warped details. It was not just the increased power that the animal allured to. There was a “lust for beauty and experience”, beyond what her husband could offer.
In reality, these factors were never on offer. However, Eve’s judgement had been clouded. She lost perspective. nd the only experince she gained was the punishment of child bearing.
What do we learn from these seemingly unrelated anecdotes and stories? Clarity – the ability to see the light is so important in life. Otherwise, we end up making a lot of very silly decisions.