In this recent interview between Tim Ferriss and General Stanley McChrystal, McChrystal articulated something that I've been thinking about lately:
"A decent decision now is better than a great decision later."
I agree. As a lifelong analyzer myself, recently I have been working on thinking less and doing more. Not eliminating analysis, just giving it an appropriate amount of space, and recognizing that there is a myth surrounding great decision making.
The Myth of Great Decision Making
Arguments for an action-oriented approach.
The core myth: more analysis does not necessarily result in better decisions/plans. Often, you can wait and analyze as long as you want, but does that make you more likely to make a great decision? More and more I don't think so. There are so many variables in real life, plans are often futile.
Action IS a form of thinking and analysis. We don't only think and learn with our minds. We think/learn with our muscles and our instincts. This is what I call thinking by doing. And when we're in action, we access different parts of our brain than when we're staring at a blank page (I don't know this for sure, but it sure feels that way).
Doing allows for more rapid learning and better outcomes. Practice rapid decision making followed by rapid learning and rapid iteration. When I do this, my new action-first self is already onto plan 2.0 and probably 3.0 before my old analysis-first self would have even begun executing plan 1.0.
Hell, even a bad decision now is often better than a great decision later.
Because really it is more likely that it just seems "bad" or "great" in our limited and biased personal perception-field. But in reality, they are probably both decent-ish decisions - one you learn from more quickly, and one you learn from less quickly.
So next time you stop to think: Do. Learn. Repeat.
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I write about deliberate living, learning, and doing good work.