The challenges come fast. As soon as I get out of bed in the morning, I’m faced with a decision. Shave or keep the stubble? Business or casual attire for my work? Before I get loaded down with meetings, though, I need to decide what to eat for breakfast? Eggs, cereal, or simply coffee?
I haven’t even officially started my day and I’m loaded down with decisions. The average person makes 35,000 choices per day, coming out to roughly 2,000 decisions per hour. It gets better. Researchers at Cornell University estimate we make 226 decisions each day on food alone.
My first response is to scoff at those numbers, but think about it, we face tons of decisions every day: coffee or tea; walk, bus, or take the car; Pepsi or Coke; chocolate or vanilla, Mac or PC? And those are the easy decisions. What about pancakes or waffles; tattoo or no tattoo; phone call or text message; TV or book.
It gets better.
Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings; Star Wars or Star Trek; Harrison Ford as Han Solo or Indiana Jones; Casablanca or The Godfather; The Wizard of Oz or The Sound of Music; or Netflix or Amazon Prime.
Chicken or steak; pizza or wings; McDonalds or Chick-fil-A; New York City or Los Angelas; skipping off on a vacation to Europe (think London, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Barcelona, etc., etc.) or the Caribbean?
Dancing or singing; Beyonce or Rihanna; the Beatles or the Rolling Stones; the city or the suburbs; a mountain cabin or an oceanfront beach house; cats or dogs; summer or winter; pen or pencil? The decision are endless.
Yes, some questions can be easier than others: Boxers or briefs; flowers or chocolate; the NFL or the NBA; cooking at home or eating out; movie popcorn or candy; ketchup or mustard; ice cream cone or a shake; Friends or The Office; going out or staying in; pie or cake; Skittles or M&Ms; checkers or chess; Porsche or Shelby Mustang.
Our decision-making strategies, styles and inclinations direct our choices and tell others a lot about ourselves.
Are you the impulsive sort, who makes the first option given and is done with it? are you a people-pleaser? Do you delegate or push off decisions off to other more capable and trusted? Do you avoid making a decision? Do weigh the factors, trying to balance out the best possible decision? Or do you prioritize and reflect, putting the most energy, thought and effort into those decisions that will have the greatest impact and maximize the time you have in which to make those decisions by consulting with others?
Yes, yes, life is one big question mark.
But here’s the real question, paper, plastic or returnable bag?