Unfortunately, we don’t get the luxury of benefiting or learning from something until we have actually fully committed to doing whatever it is we are pursuing.
How often do you really get to try something out to see if it works? See if it is what you thought it would be? Or if it is what it was advertised as? Or see if you like it?
Sure there are some things you have the opportunity to do this with, but not every many. Especially not big things or big decisions. Sure you can take a car overnight to see if you like it. But you don’t get to keep it for a month. Sure you could go and rent one for a month, but who really does that.
What about taking a new job with a new company. You don’t get the luxury of keeping your current job for a period of time while checking out the new job. No, you have to gather enough information about the people, the company, the culture, etc., in those few interactions you have during the hiring process. You then have to make a decision to take the job or not, if you get the job offer.
What about buying a new home or renting a place. You do everything you are supposed to do. You check out the neighborhood. You run a check online to see if there are any sex predators that live in the area. You get the home inspected. You may even go as far as asking neighbors around the place you are seeking to buy or rent, to see what they think about the neighborhood or place. No matter what you do, you eventually have to make a decision to purchase or rent the place based on the limited knowledge you have.
You don’t get the opportunity to check the place out for a period of time before you commit to it. No, instead you have to take your limited knowledge and act and it is usually rushed. The process may not be rushed, but whether or not you want to act, and the final decision is usually rushed.
Let me ask you this: Have you ever acted, made the decision, and regretted it?
If you answered no. You are a liar. We all have. We all have made a decision and once we got in to it we wished we hadn’t.
Have you ever not acted, and then later your decision was confirmed that you made the right decision?
Yes. We all have. Sure there is a certain bias that helps you answer yes here today. You look back on the home, the car, the job, etc., and say. I knew that it was a bad thing. I knew I was making the right decision. But did you really know it at the time you had to make the decision? In some cases you do, but in many cases you have to go with your gut (which is usually right) and make the decision on the limited information you have.
In these scenarios, job, house, car, etc. have you ever known that it wasn’t the right decision or right thing, but you talked yourself into it anyway?
Again, if you answered no. You are a liar. Lets be honest you can talk yourself in to anything. It is really easy to create more reasons to do something that you want to do, buy, have, etc. then create reasons you don’t want to do it. Especially when your heart is set on it. In your mind you are already in the house, or driving the car, or making more money on the new job.
However, if you really look at it objectively you know that you can’t afford that car payment. You really aren’t willing to cut out eating out for lunch everyday. Or you really aren’t willing to cut out your two lattes or pack of cigarettes. But at the time you tell yourself you are, because you are so emotionally connected to the new car, you are already driving it in your mind.
What about the house. This is the house you always wanted. It has the right amount of bedrooms, baths, square feet, etc. However, you talked yourself into the neighborhood. You talked yourself into the fact that it is really a longer commute to work than you really want. You tell yourself that you will renovate the kitchen at a later date.
It is amazing how when we really want something to happen we can talk ourselves in to it. I have done it and you have done it as well. My hope is that I get wiser as I get older and I make better decisions.
However, I was recently in a very expensive, large and lengthy purchase where I originally didn’t think it was the right thing for me, then I talked myself in to it. Thankfully, through wise counsel and divine intervention the purchase was halted.
The challenge we all face when making these decisions is knowing when to stop pursuing it. Which sign is the final sign that says to us “walk away” this deal is not for you?
I am not sure I know the answer to this. Maybe you do, please share if you do.
If it is the house, the car, the new job, or in my case a business. You have to determine what your absolutes are. Absolutes are those things that must absolutely exist for you to purchase or take the new job or business.
Absolutes are exactly what you think. For example: This house must be in a neighborhood that is within a twenty-minute drive for both my wife and I. If it is set as an absolute, then you won’t go down any rabbit holes and get yourself in a house that is forty minutes away.
If it is a new job. An absolute for you may be flexible hours. When you ask if the job has flexible hours and they tell you. “Well, we can make arrangements as needed”. Then you have to ask yourself will this job be what you are looking for.
By setting some absolutes for yourself you give yourself guard rails that help you make the right decision and you don’t get in to a situation that you will regret later.
Once you set these absolutes, these guard rails, you have to stay committed to them. You can’t waiver. If you waiver on them, this is where you run into trouble. That is where bad decisions are made.
In my recent situation. I had some guard rails, I had some absolutes. Luckily, I was dealing with people who were more interested in making a process difficult, that it provided me an opportunity to talk myself back out of something that I had talked myself in to.
Think about your next major decision or purchase. Define your absolutes that must exist for you to make the decision or purchase. This will set those guard rails in place and hopefully you stay within them and make the best decision.
To your success and your future.