Failure to decide is …

This morning I’ve been pondering the proverb: “Failure to decide is to decide to fail”.  Although this isn’t true in every case, it reflects the general outcome of drifting through life or business and taking the path of least resistance on a moment-by-moment basis.  If we don’t take proactive control of our lives through our decisions, we have decided to continue with our present course.

Our current answer becomes the default answer until it breaks down so totally that we’re forced to change course.   This is a bit like “channel surfing” through life; when one show ends we grab the remote, click around a bit and settle on another show to fill our time.  Our lives end up being controlled by someone else’s programming choices; whatever they offer we consume.  If not a recipe for failure, this is certainly a recipe for mediocrity.

The laws of physics work against us here.  Inertia (the tendency of something to stay in its current position or on its current course) can only be overcome by expending energy.  Entropy (the tendency of things to fall into a less ordered state, e.g. a teenager’s bedroom) can only be overcome by expending energy to produce a new and more highly structured state.

However, I think the chief culprit is really time – the time lag between our point of decision and our experiencing the full consequences of our choice.  Few life or business decisions deliver immediate powerful “hand-on-a-hot-stove” or “I hit the jackpot” feedback.   Most take months or years for the consequences to flow in and be fully appreciated.  And it takes effort (thinking) to get our heads around those consequences and declare the decision a success, a failure or something in between.

The good news is that the amazing computer on top of our shoulders has a wondrous ability to anticipate, visualize, or imagine the outcome of decisions.  We can fast-forward ourselves mentally into the future, think through the various alternatives we could choose and experience in advance a bit of what each course of action might produce.  Although the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF) can never offer the immediate gratification of a slot machine jackpot, it certainly can help you better visualize and experience-in-the-present the eventual results of your decisions.

Be proactive by taking control of your decisions. Explore the powerful capabilities of the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF) to help you. Please contact the Decision Driven® Solutions team at or to start your free trial of DDSF.

About decisiondriven

Innovator in Decision Management, Systems Thinking and System Engineering methods and tools
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