Make Up Your Mind…DECIDE!

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a shower of checkers, while dodging the cartwheeling checkboard?

Me neither. My sister was…once. After pondering her move (her ONLY move, by the way), I uttered the phrase which became the title of this blog, followed by a flip of my hand that caught the edge of the board, sending all pieces skyward.

She still claims a ‘draw’ on that game, which I have reluctantly given her.

In preparing for this blog, I researched the definition and etymology of the word ‘decide. One, from, calls it ‘the act of reaching a conclusion or making up one’s mind’. The Latin root ‘decidere’ means ‘to cut off’. In my words, to cut off from other choices, to be clear of one’s choice.

My sister clearly did not make a decision in time to soothe my teenage temper.

On the other hand, I have historically made decisions fairly quickly, for better or for worse.

Saw a car I wanted. Quickly checked the specs and price, and signed the dotted line.

Wanted to quit a radio career and start my own companies. Made the decision, gave my notice and off I went.

Re-discovered an old friend from high school 2 years ago, whom I had not seen in 21 years, and we decided to reveal our true feelings from back then, realized they were still there, and we fell in love.

Can you imagine how my life might have turned out if I agonized over these desisions by thinking, researching, pondering, doing more research and then mulling over my options for a while longer?

I might still be driving my 1992 Hyundai Scoupe.

I might still be working 60+ hours weekly in radio, complete with chest pains.

I might have missed the opportunity to be in love with my sweet, beautiful Tina.

Some windows are only open for a brief time and are then closed, perhaps forever.

Numerous people suffer from a condition referred to as ‘analysis paralysis’. They spend so much time gathering and evaluating data that they cannot pull the trigger on a final decision. They feel that, by not making a decision, they have saved themseves from making a bad one.

In their song ‘Freewill’, the band Rush penned this powerful lyric:

“If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”

Back in the radio days, several of us were to come up with ideas for station ID’s, brainstorming funny lines and concepts to amuse our listeners and define us as personalities. Three of us threw ideas on paper quickly, one deliberated every thought in his mind and ultimately none of them saw the light of day. He spent so much time not making a decision that, ultimately, one was made for him as he was left out of the process, and had no ID’s promoting his show.

Lack of decision-making skills are prevalent in all phases of life: at home, at school, at work, in pondering one’s own destiny.

If you suffer from this, perhaps adding immediacy could be helpful. Imagine a water balloon flying in your direction…you need to make a decision of going left or right…to stand still means stinging pain and wetness.

Got something on your mind that’s been there far too long, looping round and round, waiting for a final decision?

Here comes the water balloon. What are you going to do?

Make up your mind. DECIDE!!!

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