For a long time, I used to hate making decisions. Wait, let me clarify that. I used to hate making decisions that would require me to do something.
So, I would find ways to distract myself. Ways to avoid the questions my mind was screaming out.
Read a book. Play a game. Call a friend. Dream about the kind of life I could have if I got more focused. Exercise. Try to write a book. Doodle (because I have zero drawing ability). Get something to eat. Read last week’s newspaper. I’d do anything but face the work/decision I was running away from.
Someone once told me, “I wish I could just have my decisions made for me.” Maybe we all feel like this at some point or the other.
Eventually, I learnt (the hard way) that decisions are the key to action and action is the key to progress.
This was about 16 years ago (I was still a teenager then).
Today, to help us avoid action, our drugs of choice are TV, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook and keeping up with whatever else everybody else is doing. (I’m not saying everyone shouldn’t use ‘social’ media platforms; I’m saying they shouldn’t be using you)
Mindlessly scrolling through somebody else’s life has now become a way of life.
Or if we’re not drugged, we’re paralysed by indecision. That’s when you’re so undecided that you make no decision at all.
While we’re proving that we can also wear the same labels, buy the same brands, eat at the same trendy places and drive the same kind of cars as someone we consider successful, we’re wasting the opportunity of a lifetime.
The opportunity to build lives that exude meaning.
The hyper-connected environments we’ve built have led us to a state where we now absorb so much of other people’s thoughts that we’re struggling to have original thoughts.
Decision fatigue has become the order of the day. Wondering how many likes we’ll get on Instagram has become the validation pill we can’t wait to swallow. Talking has replaced doing.
And we can’t remember the last original thought we had.
How To Never Have an Original Thought
- Collect random advice from random people
- Mindlessly spend time online
- Complain and never act
- Read everything you come across
- Listen to everything that people are willing to tell you
- Do things just because someone else is doing them also
- Do things just to get likes/follows/shares/comments or some other form of digital applause
- Track everyone else’s successes
- Try to do what everyone else is doing (This applies to studies, work, parenting, marriage…everything)
- Do something just because your friends are also doing it
- Spend all your time imagining what life would look like if you had someone else’s gifts
- Doubt yourself because you’re afraid of how people will react if you fail
Make the decisions you’ve been avoiding. (You know what they are)
You weren’t born to keep track of someone else’s life.