To “decide” as meaning cutting away superfluous options. Easiest way to decide to do something is what to decide NOT to do.
The Latin for the word “decide” is “decidio”— (wiktionary) — which means to “cut away”.
In life, before we make a decision— we have tons of options. In fact, we have TOO many options!
And I think the best methodology is to prune down your decision tree. To “decide” isn’t to determine what is the best course of action, but to decide is to figure out what modes of actions are superfluous, ineffective, or unmeaningful to you.
Why are we afraid to decide?
Certainly “fomo” (fear of missing out) is what makes deciding so difficult. Why? To decide is to CLOSE THE DOOR on certain options in life. Many of us want to make the best/optimal decision given an uncertain situation — but the problem is this:
No matter how smart or intelligent you are, there will always be massive amounts of uncertainty, unpredictability, and chaos which affects your future (based on your decision).
But what if we preferred a life with chaos and uncertainty, instead of certainty and predictability?
Warriors don’t like boring (predictable) futures
Once again — I think we need to make a cultural and philosophical shift. Warriors love chaos, war, and uncertain battle— and warriors thrive in uncertainty and chaos. Perhaps we should shift our decision making process in this way.
Principle 1: Take the more uncertain and interesting route!
You only live once. Why live your life in a boring, predictable, and safe way? Wouldn’t you prefer a more interesting, risky, noble, epic, and heroic pathway in life?
It don’t matter how smart, intelligent, rich, or privileged you are. All that matters is your appetite for risk, the size of your huevos, and your own personal courage.
You cannot become epic or grand without taking epic or grand risks in life.
Principle 2: Decide as late as possible
I call this “purposeful procrastination”— or the Toyota manufacturing methodology is “as late as possible”. The basic notion is this:
Don’t be “responsible” by making these irreversible life decisions as quickly as possible. I encourage you to DELAY as long as humanly possible, until the late very minute.
Why? Often we need time to think about which decisions to make in our lives— prudent forecasting and rumination. You don’t want to make a hasty decision that you cannot recant and “undo”.
Principle 3: Go big or go home
This is the American in me —
“Better to risk boldness than risk triviality.”Peter thiel
You only have so much human metabolism, energy, and life. Why waste it doing petty stuff. Why not go epic and go big?
For example, I’m the David (with arsbeta.com) going against Goliath (Facebook/Instagram)— in terms of trying to make the next big platform for photographers and visual artists.
I’d rather go down in a huge ball of flame, than to simply make something small and petty.
Therefore whatever you decide to pursue in life— dream big, think big, and act big!
Principle 4. Shoot for the moon!
Of course you cannot control your outcome (you cannot predict with 100% accuracy the degree of your success), but you certainly have the control and power to shoot high — to shoot for the moon and beyond!
Principle 5: If you cannot decide, make neither decision
I get this idea from Nassim Taleb:
If you have 2 options and you cannot decide between one or the other, take neither.
For example let’s say you want to buy a new camera and you’re trying to decide between a Ricoh and Leica, but you’re not sure which is the better option, and you keep agonizing over the decision. If you cannot decide, buy neither camera!
Also in life — let’s say you are dating two people, but you’re not sure who is the better bet. Perhaps neither of them is the right option — so you should be greedy and keep on looking for someone better!
Principle 6: There is no “best” decision
To me decisions are either authentic or inauthentic.
Only make decisions which morally and ethically fit your world-view, or your own personal, philosophical, or aesthetic beliefs.
For example if you’re deciding between buying an electric or gas car, there’s no “better” option. The question is simply:
What option actually resonates more deeply with my personal beliefs and preferences?
So instead of asking others for their advice on which life decision is best for you, spend more time asking yourself:
What are my own personal table of values, and which decisions best resonate with what I believe in?
If you don’t know what you believe in, spend more time reflecting and philosophizing — and everyday strive to “know thyself” deeper!
Principle 7: Love chaos, change, and flux
Many of us love certainty, comfort, predictability, and staticness. But reality isn’t static or stable— reality is chaotic, infinitely complex, and everything is constantly changing and in a state of flux (Heraclitus).
Thus with however we live our lives or how we decide — we state for ourselves:
Whatever decision we make in life, we stick to it, and we feel no pangs of regret or remorse after-the-fact!
In fact, my best friend Nietzsche says that “negative pangs of conscience are indecent”.
Nobody has 100% predictive abilities, nobody knows what their true preferences are with 100% accuracy, and nobody can predict the future social-economic-political-technological climate.
Thus let’s simply make decisions which follow our personal instincts with boldness, firmness, and no fear.
You decide and determine your own life!