I listen to a lot of podcasts. Recently Tim Ferris was interviewing Shane Parish from Farnham Street and they talked about positioning yourself before making a decision. Warren Buffet, they shared, thinks about this a lot. I found this concept new, and a bit foreign when thinking about other decision-making articles I have read. But very thought-provoking.
When you are angry, are you placing yourself in the best position to make a decision? No, you are not. It makes more sense to let the anger dissipate before making a decision. You will be calmer and can think with greater clarity before deciding giving yourself an increased opportunity to look for other options and greater leverage to better accomplish what you desire. You could be tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, or even in love. The same applies as when you are angry.
Forcing yourself into a decision by the circumstances that surround you at the time is the main reason we need to think a bit about positioning ourselves before diving into the problem and decision we need to make. Anytime we are forced to decide or do something, we rush decisions that are not well thought out, at times “short-sighted”, most likely incomplete, and more times than not less desirable upon reflection.
This is not to say that I am suggesting you drag decisions out for months. Rather, we need to develop a sense of when we are not in a better place (maybe not the best place because the messiness of life gets in the way) and wait for the next day or week before returning to what needs to be decided.
Positioning ourselves better before deciding appears to be a small thing. It’s more about “taking a breath” when things are against us, to regroup and reflect before moving on. Easy to say. Hard to do. But necessary more times than not for better outcomes.