Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Better Decision Making with Patience

At church this past Sunday, our pastor was talking about patience.

You and I both know that many of us do not have patience, and the companies that sell us products are in no hurry to talk us out of this.

We have phones with email. We instant message and we have call waiting (which must really irk the guy who’s waiting for someone on the other end to pick up).

It seems as though nothing, or no one, can wait these days.

Pastor said the same thing.

He used microwaves as an example and he referred to the ‘close-door-button’ in elevators.
The close-door-button thing got me. I had to think about that one. 

Why do we have a close-door-button on elevators?

Like Pastor pointed out, the door closes just seconds after we press the button for which floor we are choosing to go to. But many of us stand there with our fingers glued to that button, pushing it, like no tomorrow.

I don’t know why we do this and I have no idea why elevators have this button.

My hunch is this: elevator sales people kept telling their higher ups that if the engineering department were to design elevators with close-door-buttons as a feature, they would sell more, because they know we all hate to wait.

It makes me laugh, but this lack of patience thing is so true.

Take for instance decision making.

How many of us take our time making decisions? 
Generally when we are out purchasing a vehicle or TV, the salesman has a ‘today only’ special. Or when picking out toothpaste at the grocery store, someone is always behind us waiting to pick out theirs too...
in both instances we feel pressured to choose.

Most times it's possible we end up coming home with something that we didn’t quite want.

But, it's all about now

We have to do it now. Get it now. Buy it now and decide it now.


What will happen if we don’t?

What would happen if I decided to go home and ‘sleep on it’ (like our parents used to say)?

What would happen if I said no to that TV?  Would they stop making them?  Doubt it.

What if I didn't buy that shirt today? Would I miss the greatest deal of a lifetime? Probably not.

I’m beginning to learn that better choices (and thinking) come with time.

Ever hear the phrase ‘to make an educated decision’?

It takes facts and research to become educated; which essentially takes – you guessed it- time.

We just need to relax and realize that a decision that is not obviously life or death is not actually life or death.

And nothing is going to happen if that decision is not made right-this-instant.

Some of us, like myself, are eager to say yes to everything. (I just had this discussion with someone today.) We always feel that we have to do, and accept, everything someone offers us.

Well, we don’t.

And the world will not end if we wait and respond with, ‘let me sleep on it’, ‘let me give you my answer tomorrow’, ‘let me think about it’, or ‘when do you need to know by?’.

Life is what we make it and each day and decision should not be chosen hastily.

Use these tips:
When preparing to purchase something:
  • Write the item down in a notebook and don’t buy it. Come back to it in a month. If you still think you need it, buy it. But you will possibly forget about it by then.
When asked to do a favor for someone:
  • First take a breath, count to 5 and ask yourself this question: is this person a good friend, would they help me, will this interfere with my family/friends/work and the things that really matter in my life- i.e., do I have time for this? (Consider that maybe this favor could be performed at a different time so that you may still be of help.)
When making a life changing decision:
  • Discuss it with people you trust, people who have done what it is you are thinking about doing (or have experience with it).
And, as with any decision, being honest with yourself is key. 

Writing the pros and cons down on a sheet of paper will sometimes spell out the truth.

Spend no more than a few days to a week educating yourself on it and then take a break. 
Stop talking about it, put it away and live life as you were. (There is a potential to obsess about it and create a fictitious need for something-especially if you test drove it;)

So, take a break and then come back with a fresh perspective the one you had before you began daydreaming.

Once you try this, you might think it’s magical.

Okay, maybe it isn’t quite magical in the wizardly sense, but it is an amazing concept.

Try it and see.

No comments:

Post a Comment