Hacks for Decision Making, from an Eternally Indecisive Person
I’ve got quite good at overcoming my natural aversion to committing to a choice.
When I reread my childhood journals, they are filled with tortured, self-contradictory streams of consciousness, as I tried to work through decisions that were ultimately so unimportant that I couldn't remember a single one. As an adult, my planners are filled with pro and cons lists that I give up on half way through, afraid of having to make a choice.
I am scared of decisions. I suffer more from FOMO than anyone I know, and any decision means missing out. Most of the fear of decisions that I experience is not linked to anxiety over what will happen if I chose option A, but mourning everything that will not happen if I don’t choose option B.
This indecisiveness has determined a lot of things about my life. In College, I ended up doing a dual bachelor's in Maths and Political Science. Which basically meant that I was doing two degrees, in two different universities, and sleeping around two hours a night. I became a digital nomad so I wouldn't have to choose a home town. I take on too many projects because I can’t decide which to prioritise.
And so, given my personality, you’ll understand my fascination, nay, obsession, with finding hacks to make decisions easier. Last week I came across this article by Sahil Bloom entitled “The Most Powerful Decision Making Razors”. He explains that a “razor” is a “rule of thumb that simplifies decision making”. I like the word, and its implications. It sounds like such a rule would cut through doubts and confusions, and neatly cut to the point.
I strongly recommend reading the article, but in the meantime, here are a few of my favourite “razors”, as laid out by Mr Bloom.
The Luck Razor
When choosing between two paths, choose the path that has a larger luck surface area.
Ie: make the decision that gives you the most chance of getting lucky. This will significantly increase the amount of luck you are ultimately likely to achieve.