Never ignore a gut feeling, but never believe that it’s enough. — Robert Heller
One of our security face-murdering grizzly bears got loose at HQ last night and started a car fire in our beer fridge! Sam had to wrestle it into submission to save our alcohol! Today, we sent him to rest… and stock up on booze. So I’m taking his AI.
A couple of nights ago, I had a conversation with my friend Joe about how we make big decisions.
I told him what I do — I research every last detail beyond what is necessary. I get advice from everyone I trust. I argue with my parents about it. I research some more. I obsess about the decision for weeks, maybe months, until I’m totally burnt out thinking about it…. then I just go with my gut without considering anything I just did.
“Does it work?” Joe asked.
“It does when it works.” I shrugged.
I like to rationalize it by saying that my gut is probably swayed by all the information I crammed into my brain, but I don’t even know if all that matters. But then I don’t know if there’s really a great way to make a big life decision. You can only consider the variables you can foresee. And life has so many unknowns. Is obsessively researching too much? Is going with your gut not enough? I wonder if my “gut instinct” is too woo-ey considering how much is unknowable. Then I think that trying to account for every conceivable detail is an attempt to control the uncontrollable.
How do you make big decisions? Is “going with your gut” a reliable strategy? Is it even possible to make a great decision or can decisions only be made and turn out great by chance? Do you think it was a mistake for me to decide against buying a dozen helper monkeys?