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Yes, No or Maybe

By Lynn Colwell

The amount of time spent making a decision should be in proportion to the impact it will have on your life. Anon.

There are two kinds of decision makers in this world. The type who, when you ask whether they prefer lasagna or spaghetti for dinner answer, "Lasagna, please," and the rest of the world who hem and haw and never get around to responding until dinner is done, the pots are washed, the kids are in bed and the lights are out. If ever.

I belong to the former group.

Not that it's a bad thing to be in either. It's just that it's difficult for the two sides to understand, much less empathize with the other. That's a nice way of saying we drive each other to the brink of insanity.

When I read the quote above, it seemed like a wonderfully even-handed approach. Frankly, I wondered why I hadn't thought of it. Guess I was too busy making instantaneous decisions!

The point is that residing at either end of the spectrum (as is true with most spectrums) can cause problems. Living somewhere in the middle most of the time, brings peace and harmony to relationships, even the one we have with ourselves.

Quick decision makers like me may fail to notice opportunities, generate errors in judgment and miss more creative and effective responses. Our measured brethren, on the other hand, risk wasting enormous chunks of time debating items that have no real impact. Often these people feel completely overwhelmed.

What keeps each of us in our corner? Most often it's fear. Quick decision makers are afraid of wasting time and can tolerate the possibility of error. Leisurely decision makers, on the other hand, fear being wrong. Of course there are reasons why we adopt our individual ways of coping with life. But regardless of why we're attached to a particular way of functioning, we can choose to change or at least loosen our death grip on a way of being that does not always serve us.

Whether quick decision makers or more deliberate ones, we can all benefit by considering how much impact any decision we're facing will have on our lives. Then, either get on with making it or give it the time and attention it deserves.

About The Author

You may freely distribute the article as long as it carries the following notice:

Copyright 2005 Lynn Colwell

Lynn Colwell is a life/personal coach and writer. After a career including public relations and corporate communications with hospitals and high tech companies, she decided to devote herself to making a difference in people's lives. Her complimentary online newsletter has been called, "An inspiring, exciting, fun, pick-me-up." Sign up for the newsletter or contact Lynn at


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