Friday, March 16, 2007

Decisions Decisions Decisions...

Buy this, or buy that, do this or do that, go here, go there, or go elsewhere....heady is the power of the decision maker. And such power is as likely to create the stress of responsibility as much as it can create that nagging question, should I have done that, should I have waited a little while longer, will this decision come back to bite me in the ass! How do we make out decisions. What instinct drives us to select option A over options B or C or D. Is life always this sort of multiple choice test, firing questions without any warning whatsoever?

Or am I unprepared. Where is the README file for life. Where can I look up my Questions for hints and feasible solutions. Or am I supposed to just shoot off the hip. Small wonder that I end up missing the target entirely, on occasion.

Ok.. so I make the usual newbie mistakes, I then learn from them and learn to avoid repeating them. Now how to I maximize their impact? How do I ensure that every decision I make plays out to be the smartest, most profitable one possible. Instinct, that must be it. This is the key to decision making. The same instinct that drives a man to protect and a woman to nurture. We must overcome these genetically hardwired tendencies. For decision making needs a blend of both aggression and the instinct of preservation.

How does one achieve this synthesis. how does one subjectively analyze one's own thoughts to ensure this congregation of instincts. The answer probably lies hidden. Hidden in human thoughts, and in the collective human experience...honed over years of silent, sometimes expensive practice.

Where does one go, in order to tap this vault of human knowledge. Where can one access this zeitgeist, or spirit of the times that we live in. We cannot rely just on our peers, Their knowledge has not withstood the test of time. We cannot even rely on the advice of our elders. Their experience is limited by the circumstances surrounding their decisions. But we can, and must rely on History.

We have to study the mistakes made by legends of the past. It will be a long and obstacle ridden journey to attempt to unravel the faults of the great men of history. Though their successes are well documented, their failures and the lessons learnt from them are, shall we say, obscured. For history is written by the winners, the dominant ones, those who have vanquished their opponents and their own weaknesses. To ask them to detail their failures is to ask a man to betray himself.

Persevere, stick with the damn thing. Dig deep enough to uncover their mistakes, not in an attempt to discredit their legacy, but to only learn that legends that they were, they were only human...just like you.

So you learnt from their mistakes, and their ability to turn moments of weakness into occasions to showcase their genius, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, as the cliche goes. This is where your theory lesson ends. I wish I could just as confidently tell you that this is where your practical experience begins. It is not so. Most men are not fortunate enough to be allowed to test the strength of their bodies and minds like the Greatest, Muhammad Ali. Generations of men have waited for the opportunity to test their fortitude while being under the stresses and circumstances of greats, such as him. That chance is only given to a chosen few. Only they can claim greatness, who have endured what the legends have endured, while still making their mark on history. How can we ever ascertain that our own untested skills and strengths will not fail us under duress. We cannot. We can never compare the reaction of a great with our own.

So what is left for us, just the opportunity to carry on, breathe, live, decide...but this time with the experience of legends to back us.

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