Quick Decisions.

Feb 5th, 2012 | By | Category: application, aptitude, Career advice, challenges, confidence, decision making, fear, focus, self confidence, strategy, tactics

Lower latitudes better attitudes

When faced with a challenge it is good to take time to analyze the situation. Often our first impression is not the clearest or most detailed. In our haste to reach a conclusion we over look details, which may make a difference in how to best approach the challenge.

While watching a colony of ants working in almost perfect synchronization like a living conveyor belt between a piece of candy and their anthill, I placed a good size stick across both lines. I would have guessed the lines would solve the identical problem the same way. However the line carrying food to the anthill took the easier but longer route around the barrier, while the line with no load to carry took the shorter but more strenuous route over the barrier. They picked the two most efficient solutions to what seemed at first to be an identical problem.

Our minds are hardwired to react to a situation as quickly as possible to decide between fight and flight. In order to reach a decision quickly our mind filters out most of the information available and focuses on the few bits it can process quickly. For example, if you were walking down a mountain trail and came upon a grizzly bear coming up the path what would be your first response? My first response would be to turn and run, but is that the wisest choice? Fighting the grizzly would obviously be the last choice, and running toward him would not be wise either. However trying to run up the steep mountain path would almost guarantee the bear would catch you in a few steps. It would seem that running in a wide sweep around the bear may serve you best. It would keep you out the immediate clutches of the bear, and give a clear downhill path to escape. Since the bear was going up the hill, he may have no interest in turning around to chase you. There is most likely an even better solution given more thought and taking into account the surrounding terrain, or a near by tree to climb, or perhaps small passage in the rocks where we could pass but the bear couldn’t. For most of us our minds would not even see those possible escape routes.

There are situations where instances decisions are required, but most of the time we do have time to think. Learning to take time to think can make all the difference in the quality of the decision we make.

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