Thoughtful Thursday: Snap

October 11, 2012

Thoughtful ThursdayA few days ago I was talking to a friend who is planning a wedding in NYC. He and his partner are working on choosing a venue. They just found one that meets their criteria. I asked him whether he felt the need to examine all of his options before making his choice, to make sure that he had chosen the very best wedding venue in all of New York City. As I’ve written before, this is very much my own tendency.

My friend replied that he was resisting his tendencies toward exhaustiveness and instead, and was working on satisficing. That he could spend years looking at every venue instead of actually ever getting married. Wise fellow.

I’ve been going through my own decision process lately — more on the actual decision next week. For months, I have been evaluating, methodically and exhaustively. Poring through every possible option, making lists (though no spreadsheets this time), weighing different criteria, mulling, obsessing.

And then, all of a sudden, DH and I made a snap decision. My decision process indicates that it is the best possible course of action, but I thought we’d have more time to actually make the decision, that I could spend a few more months mulling and comparing. Instead, we had to make an on-the-spot decision, and so we are pursuing a choice instead of going back to the option well over and over and over.

Even though both my head and my gut indicate that this is the right decision, I was pulled not to make it. My instinct said that I should not make a snap decision on principle. That if I have to commit here and now, the decision ought to be no, because a snap yes is just not who I am.

And then I made the snap decision to make a snap decision.

I am pretty sure it will turn out to be one of the best decisions I’ll ever make.

Are you prone to snap decisions? Are you opposed to snap decisions? Somewhere in between?

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13 Responses to “Thoughtful Thursday: Snap”

  1. Aryanhwy Says:

    Definitely. Two very momentous occurrences in my life arose from snap decisions. However, in these cases, and in other cases, I’m confident in these snap decisions because in general I spend so much time thinking about everything. I’m always categorizing, sorting, evaluating, ranking, planning, plotting, and I think this is what allows me to, when I see something that ticks all the boxes, make a quick decision. So far, I’ve never regretted any of them.

  2. St. Elsewhere Says:

    I would like to be meticulous with everything, about everything. I make impulsive decisions, but I definitely do not have policies about it. I prefer the former, but the former can often mean too much mulling over returns that may not be so high up on my priorities. I think I am a planned impulsive. There are things I won’t break my cast for. Then there are things that are okay to be up in the air till the last moment.

  3. Elana Kahn Says:

    I also tend to make snap decisions, but then go over and over it in my head, if that makes any sense. Like I see something I know I want to do and then I’m like “ok I’m just gonna go and do it” But then in the preparation stages I might waver a bit depending on circumstances. But for the most part, I do a little bit of checking (like if it’s a purchase, I’ll go look at prices for things) but I generally pick the type of item (like the brand of tv or phone or whatever I’m buying) really quickly and then go price checking until I feel that I’ve found a good deal. I’m doing that now with flights to London. I picked the flight I wanted with my first search, but now I’m waiting to book to make sure I get a really good deal…if I actually am going to go at all. *sigh* If you go and read my latest blog posts, you’ll get an idea on what I mean.

  4. strongblonde Says:

    i am someone who doesn’t make snap decisions. b likes to tease me about how he can’t send me to do things on my own because nothing will ever get done. even something as simple as buying a new suit: i drove everywhere and tried on a million before i went back to the first place to purchase the first suit i tried on. so what? i had wasted an entire day and a piece of my sanity!! the funny thing is, since the kids, i’ve gotten a LITTLE better at making snap decisions. i think i’ve been able to recognize that things are just not as important as i once thought….or maybe it’s that i feel that time is more valuable now? at any rate, i’m trying to live more in the moment and not perseverate over every little thing! 🙂

    is your snap decision that you’re moving to my area?? how fun! i can’t wait! 🙂

  5. a Says:

    I make snap decisions (sort of) because I find the process of mulling over all my options exhausting and unnecessarily stressful. I would rather consider the ramifications of Option A, consider the ramifications of Option B, and then decide. Of course, my special talent is an ability to predict outcomes from actions with a fair amount of reliability. There are sometimes wrenches in the works, but most of those wrenches leap out at me from the start. (Note: considering the ramifications does not usually involve research – only what I already know about the options)

  6. Mina Says:

    I am quite the queen of snap decisions. I trust my instincts and I have been lucky so far. Either that or very flexible and adaptable to results. I have made life changing snap decisions and they were by far the best I had made (to write back to an email sent by the man whom I would marry, even though the rational reasons for it were few and shaky and choose to accept a job in another country that ended up providing us many opportunities and money, even though the conditions were quite the opposite of what I desired, are just two of them). Of course, I made mistakes as well, but not one big enough to make me regret making it in the long run. I learn the best from my mistakes. In fact, when I mull over and think too much, I a) get very bored, b) tend to increase my chances to make a mistake and c) most of the times come up with scenarios that are not even remotely plausible. All three variants pretty useless. So snap decisions are better for me anyway.


  7. Maybe it’s not a bad thing to get out of your comfort zone once in awhile 🙂

    I’m not too snappy, either, not on big things. But there is such relief from being out of the tension of decision-making mode that I do feel a draw to get there. Even to snap there sometimes.

  8. Mel Says:

    I am a snap decider who pretty much never looks back. I grab the first thing that works and never think about the choices left behind. I like things to move quickly, so I keep things moving quickly.

    I have more of a problem with switching streams once I’ve made one of my snap decisions. I don’t like to backtrack and be asked to think more or consider more options or choose a different route. Once things are set in my head, they’re set. Even if someone does show me a better choice afterward that I would have chosen if I had known about it when I was making the original choice.

  9. Cat Says:

    I’m probably somewhere in between, with the speed of my decision making dependent on the importance of the decision and my mood at the time.

  10. ana Says:

    Honestly the bigger the decision, the more “snap” it is…I’ll spend more time than I want to admit researching sippy cup options, but I picked my career specialty on a whim.

  11. Shelby Says:

    I am prone to mulling over my decisions for so long that I either never get to where I need to go or miss the boat entirely. I’m trying hard to be more decisive.

    But once in awhile, as with my wedding dress or my first apartment, the first was the only and last time I had to search because I just knew when I saw them. Actually, that’s true for my husband as well. He was my first and only boyfriend! So, sometimes, I do go with my gut and make that snap decision, but that’s rare nowadays. I will spend days in catalogs picking out a stapler until I abandon the quest altogether out of frustration. My approach often doesn’t get me far.

    Now you leave me with the curiosity of what your snap decision was!


  12. I almost never make snap decisions. It’s made motherhood rather frustrating at times. Usually I try to either ruminate on it or discuss it with my husband first, then I’ll make a decision. He, however, makes snap decisions all the time and I find that impressive if annoying when he can’t find what I asked for and therefore makes a snap decision to bring home the wrong product as opposed to what was requested. On one hand, yay, he’s a decision maker, on the other, I put a lot of thought into my requests, so I’d rather not have it than have the wrong thing.


  13. Hmm, this one made me think… I actually don’t know. I seem to take a long time before making a decision but then sometimes come to one that (in hindsight) seems to make no sense at all.


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