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Decision-Making: Dive Right In or Look Before You Leap?

Updated on January 29, 2018
Paddycat profile image

The author of this article is an ex-adult education lecturer and retired expat who has lived in France since 2001.

Impulsiveness Versus Procrastination, A Balance To Be Struck



To be impulsive

To be impulsive is to act on instinct without thinking things through carefully. To save up for something over a long period of time and then suddenly spend it all on something completely different would be an impulsive thing to do.


Decision Making

To procrastinate

To procrastinate is to continually put off doing something, or to fail to make a decision. To save up for something over a long period of time and then be unable to make the decision to spend the money, even though that was what the money was originally intended for, would be procrastination.

Being Impulsive

Diving in head-first without even checking the temperature is probably not a very wise thing to do. Any number of perils could be lying in wait beneath the surface. It would be so much wiser to dip a toe in first and test the water before easing oneself in. That seems logical, and definitely what I would advise my children to do with regard to all aspects of their lives.


When I was a child, I can vividly remember being dragged round the shops with my mother and eldest sister. Every prospective purchase involved a major discussion which absorbed all their attention and excluded me. The subject of interest was dissected and scrutinised to the nth degree. The humblest of economy toilet rolls received exactly the same treatment as the most luxurious designer item.

All this painstaking analysis, however, would not result in a decision being made. 99% of the time they'd come away with nothing, and resolve instead to go back the next week to repeat the whole miserable exercise.

Character Flaw

To them I'm sure it was a useful, enjoyable experience; time well spent. For me, it was hell. Those weekly expeditions, occurring as they did over several of my most formative years, moulded me into a short tempered, impatient adult with the mentality of the proverbial bull at a gate.

This flaw of mine is not just restricted to shopping, It occurs in all aspects of my life where decision-making skills are required.

I have no patience with ditherers. To squander precious time procrastinating to me seems senseless. Life is too short. Better to dive in head-first, take the consequences and move on.

Weigh Up the Risks

I must say, this approach has seriously backfired on more than one occasion, and I don't recommend it, but I have been made the way I am. There has even been the odd time when it's enabled me to seize an advantage over more cautious types when I've been quicker off the mark.

A Balance to be Struck

Somewhere in all of this, I think there is a balance to be struck. By all means do some research, but don't spend hours agonising over every possible eventuality. Assess the level of risk. If the water is clear, you may wish to dive straight in, but if you can't see what you're getting into, beware in case there's something nasty lurking in the murky depths.

Trust Your Instincts

And at the very last, however irrational it may seem, when you've done your research and assessed all the risks, don't ignore your instincts. They are usually right. If something inside you is telling you not to step of the board, whatever you do, don't.


What Do You Think About Trump's Decision Making Approach?


Donald Trump

Do you think President Trump is a firm, decisive leader, or a person who acts on impulse?

See results


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    • profile image

      Miss Markayla 

      11 years ago

      I say dive right in too..most of the time! I read this yesterday, and forgot to comment on it- I'm sorry! Very well written, and I hope someday I get this good! Thank-You!

    • Paddycat profile imageAUTHOR

      Annabelle Johnson 

      11 years ago from Charente, France

      Thanks for sending the hub request, KCC. It certainly made me get a move on and take the plunge. All your encouragement is helping me to gain in confidence, and it's much appreciated. Once again, thank you.

    • KCC Big Country profile image


      11 years ago from Central Texas

      Very well-written hub giving excellent advice! Thanks so much for answering my hub request!


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