Monday, October 05, 2009

Debra - Decisions, Decisions

I have no clever graphics today.

I just want to know one thing.

How do you make your decisions?

One of the biggest decisions I've made in the last 10 years was the decision to go into business with a group of professional associates. The decision was made first with our hearts and later with our minds. BTW, my most active partners are in the photo. White-haired Sandra Chastain, red-haired Martha Shields Crocket, and the two gray tabbies are Deb Smith and Deb Dixon. You'll actually find this picture on the "About Us" pages of our company websites.

I've never been afraid to make decisions. I'm happiest making decisions. I totally agree with the little man:

Napoleon Bonaparte
Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.

Whenever my mom, a recent and now recovering cancer patient, begins to throw a pity party and take on an aspect of the pitiful, I'm a bad daughter. I look her straight in the eyes and say, "Would you like me to make decisions for you?" And, as it turns out, the answer is a resounding, "No." That "no" comes with an evil look, but we both know she'd rather have all her nose hairs pulled out with tweezers than abdicate her decisions.

A decision-free life sounds vaguely pleasant. No more responsibility. No more chance of failure. No more pressure. No more expectations to deal with. No more 'fessing up and reevaluating when you've gone up in flames.

But also no more freedom. No more driving your own destiny. No more changing your life on a whim.

Call me crazy but I like decision. Decisions-R-Us.

How do you make your decisions? Fast/slow. Unwillingly. Impulsively. Do you make everyone else's decisions? (Debra raising her hand in embarrassment over that last question.)


Kylie said...

LOL, Deb I am a fast decision maker. If it's a particularly weighty one I will first do the necessary research to make my pros/cons list but my philosophy is make a decision and move on.

My dh is a dawdler decision maker, LOL. He claims that he makes decisions constantly at work. I've often asked for a video to prove this. He can't make a decision over what to order at a restaurant, what to have for dinner, what movie to select, etc. Drives me stark raving mad! I've frequently suspected that he does it just so that *I'll* have to make the decisions and that way he has someone to blame them on!

He comes by his dithering naturally--his dad and brothers do the same thing. Apparently it's also a genetic thing he has passed on to his sons.

Have I ever regretted a decision I've made? Yep. But I learn from it and move on. He on the other hand, is the only person I've ever met that suffers buyer's remorse before he even pulls out off the auto lot!

Terry Odell said...

I make my decisions too fast. I've been trying to step back and weigh all the options (and find options I haven't even thought of yet).

And I figure that if I wait a long time mulling over everything, it's just as likely that I'll kick myself for not having gone with my gut sooner anyway.

But, once the decision is made, I try to move on without regret. Time (at least in the real world, as far as I know) moves forward.

Cindy Gerard said...

Deb - In a critical situation, I'm quick with a decision and move forward on it. If it's something that doesn't need an immediate reaction, I still always have an initial knee-jerk reaction but then I back up, take a long look and try to analyze the best possible outcomes. Generally I find that my first response ends up being my best response.
Speaking of having your power of decision taken away from you, rather belatedly, I just recently watched The Other Boleyn Girl. It was a stunning reminder that women were once treated like chattel. Truly, it was horrifying and I thank my lucky stars that I live in an age where I am allowed to make all the decisions I want and have them respected whether they're right or wrong.

Diane said...

Usually decisions of little consequence I can make quickly..... the ones where it involves others and feelings are usually harder for me to do. :O)

Michele Hauf said...

I'm like Kylie, fast decision maker, yet the hubby is so indecisive it is the one thing that drives me quite mad about him.

I think that men can get into a rut. If you make a few decisions for them--this is for dinner, this is where we're going, this is what we'll do today--then they take it for granted you'll always make decisions. And I guess I'm to blame for 'training' him that way.

How to untrain an indecisive man?


lois greiman said...

I can't decide what kind of decision maker I am. :) But I know I do not want to make other people's decisions. My own are difficult enough.

GunDiva said...

I can make pretty quick decisions; unless its a heavy decision. Those will take me almost half an hour. Biggest recent decision: to join NaNoWriMo. Wish me luck. That may be the one decision I live to regreat.

The RockCrawlinChef, on the other hand, takes FOREVER to make a decision. I can't shop with the man - it makes me homicidal. Ugh! Car shopping - I almost killed him and we weren't even married yet. If you like the dang thing and you can afford it, buy it. That simple. Took him WEEKS to find the perfect Jeep. WEEKS! Ugh!

Anonymous said...

My decision making is like this...I decide FAST. If I don't know or can't decide on an action (like buying a car), I simply back off and don't act.

Deb - Look for an email from me today. and about the request in the email - PLEASE!!

Kathleen Eagle said...

I try to take note of my first impulse and then take some time--a few hours, a day, maybe more. When I act on impulse--too often it means buying something--I usually regret it. Sometimes the first impulse ends up being my final choice, but not always. Taking time to google the choices really helps.

Debra Dixon said...

"I've often asked for a video to prove this. "

ROFL !! Perfect.

I suspect my hubby is more than happy to let me make decisions because he has to make too many at work.

Debra Dixon said...

Terry-- Me too. I try not to regret the decisions. Just accept what comes.

The only decisions I regret are 1) impulse purchases and 2) not buying on impulse.

I don't seem to be able to win in that scenario!!

Kathleen Eagle said...

I tend to think it's good to offer choices, too, but I had one kid who had a terrible time making decisions, and I think I contributed to his problem by pointing out more choices. On a menu, for example. Now at age 30 he still hesitates to commit to a choice. He talks himself out of each choice on the list and end up in a kind of paralysis. He's also a perfectionist, which means he has trouble completing things.

Debra Dixon said...

Cindy-- I was fascinated by THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL. And equally reminded that for all the things that look interesting there is an equally chilling problem of being under someone else's control.

Debra Dixon said...

Diane-- ooh, interesting. You mention "feelings" as a component of decision making that will make you slow down.

I think I'm shallow. I didn't consider if "feelings" change how we decide. But I now recognize that I should. LOL!

Debra Dixon said...

Michele-- I think we want psychic deciders. The men have to know when to make the decision and when to back the heck off. (g)

Don't you think?

Debra Dixon said...


I'll be on the lookout for an email, but I'm about to leave for a bit.

Might be later tonight before you hear from me.

Debra Dixon said...

GunDiva -- NaNoWriMo ? Excellent! You go girl. That's a good decision. No matter what you accomplish the mere act of taking this on and diving into your work is a good thing.

Debra Dixon said...

Kathleen- We have one young 'un in our family who is best when the choices are limited. It's either/or for him. And that works much better than anything else.

RE: impulse shopping
I have no problem making a decision to buy or not to buy but I always seem to make the wrong one. I resolve to stop impulse shopping three days before visiting a specialty shop 10 states away that has incredibly unique but slightly expensive silver jewelry.

I remain "good" and then get home and kick myself because I'll never find something that well-crafted and that I love as much anywhere around me. But now it's going to cost me shipping and insurance!!

Christie Ridgway said...

Wow. I'm not sure I've ever stopped to consider this. I usually have a pretty quick gut feeling about things that come to me out of the blue. But I think most of the time I mull, weigh pros and cons, and then the dh will say: "Okay, we're doing this," while I'm still waffling.

The fact is, though, I'm stalling instead of still weighing and it's good he's there to help make the jump.

Now shopping...that's a whole other thing.

Mary Anne Gruen said...

It's usually not fun to be around me when I've got a decision to make. I can waffle and fret something terrible! I'm always afraid I'll make the wrong decision. Even if it's just over whether or not I should have one or two pieces of toast for breakfast. LOL

GunDiva said...

My shopping rule is that I come back to the same object three times (over a course of a day or two), then I'll buy it. Shopping decisions are the hardest for me, so the three times rule works pretty well.

Debra Dixon said...


Yeah, if Surfer dude beats you to the decision, you know you've waffled too long. LOL!

Debra Dixon said...

Mary Anne--

I think the fear of a wrong decision haunts a lot of the decision making process.

I will waffle more over ordering out for dinner. I ask everyone, "What are you having?" Heaven forbid they get something that sounds better than what I found on the menu!

Debra Dixon said...


I like the 3 rule. But what do you do if you're on vacation? Live dangerously and go with the impulse?

GunDiva said...

Nope, the 3 rule still applies. The time frame gets shortened though, so it becomes 3 times in one shopping trip. But it only counts if you actually LEAVE the object, look around at other things for twenty minutes or so and repeat. :)

It came from when I was working at the gun shop. Our boss always told us that if we could get a gun into a customer's hands three times, it was a guaranteed sale. Didn't have to be the same day, but three times nonetheless. And guess what? It worked more than 90% of the time.

catslady said...

I'm afraid I let people make decisions for me way too many time. I'm the peacemaker of the family and come from one that choices weren't really given. That said, I wish I made more of my own. But every once in a while I surprise myself and dig in my heels lol.

Debra Dixon said...

GunDiva-- Interesting philosophy. Get the product in their hands 3 times? I like it. But we're really big believers in spending a lot of promotional money to get books in the hands of reviewers, bloggers and readers. We figure if we can get a book in their hands, they're going to know our quality and come back for more as well as helping us hand-sell the current book!

Debra Dixon said...

Catslady-- Bet you surprise a lot of people when you dig your heels in. LOL!

It's probably hard to break a peace-making habit that let's the decision be made by those who exhibit the most passion about the outcome.

I'm betting that the decisions you do influence are those you have a passion for the outcome.

The rest you can ignore.