Pursuit of Happiness No. 4: Decision-Making 101

Pursuit of Happiness:
Decision-Making 101

Michael Gollin
March 2015

Good decision-making contributes to happiness.

Here’s how to make good decisions and avoid paralysis and delay while collecting too much information (indecision) or deciding with too little information (impetuousness). Follow these steps.

1. Based on what you know, what would you decide?
2. Is there any information available that would change your tentative decision?
3. If no, decide and act. If yes, get that information, consider it, and repeat the process.

You will find it easier to make a tentative decision in step 1 with practice and growing confidence in steps 2 and 3.

If you still can’t get past step 1, flip a coin and see how you feel about the random decision. You are free to change your mind until you finish step 3 and act to make a commitment.

It becomes natural after a while. I try to follow this approach with career and job decisions, purchases, financial decisions, travel, health decisions, parenting, you name it.

Happy decision-making!


Ephemeral Ice

Ephemeral Ice
Michael Gollin
March 2015


Ephemeral ice floats
gray, ringed by water,
then the lakeshore
narrowed by spring rain flood,
then the asphalt trail.

Canadian geese gather in a gaggle standing walking flying swimming.
Honking, pushing 100 strong,
they never really leave.
Webbed footprints, w’s in
slush, diverge in a V.

An odd oblong resolves into
shell head and legs,
a turtle
(a Red-bellied Cooter
I deduced later, red obscured by mud)
crawling from the shore water
on the edge of the ice
towards the middle.

It turns left and crawls,
left again through puddle on ice, heading back to water! but left again, his double trail a 9.
A prophecy?
Then left again towards the geese and left again
an expanding spiral then
Plop! back in the water
and safe mud.

A day of hard to figure where to go.
Sun is warm but ice is cold.