Leap of faith

Posted in Big Thought, Business, New, People by Harsha on December 6, 2007

An experiment is a leap of faith. You don’t know the outcome and fingers are crossed.

I was pondering over my life events, at least those in the recent past, and realized that the best decisions made by me have all been spur of the moment. Not even one was well thought out, analyzed or pondered about. They all have been leaps of faith. I’m sharing this with you because we’re all cookie-cuttered into thinking that decisions need to have logic and a clear explanation behind them. Not true, at least for me. If the exact opposite is true for people you know, then more power to them or to you if that is the case. The idea is, you have to find a rhythm that is comfortable and fits your life. And “sound” decisions have no place in mine.

I recently bought a (two year old) 42″ Sony LCD TV that was never on my Christmas list because a new one is ill-affordable. I paid a basement bargain price to the seller (a work colleague of mine) and it has altered the quality of my lifestyle tremendously.

In 2005, when I got my first job, I needed to buy a car and ended up at a dealership in another state (the salesperson was an acquaintance). My mind was all set on the most fuel efficient vehicle I could find. Then I saw this one-of-a-kind beauty (fully loaded with GPS, leather seats, V6, etc.) and was sold. Totally spur of the moment. That car is doing great and as the old Onida advertisement used to say (for Indians who know this) “Neighbors Envy. Owners Pride”.

My decision to marry the girl I knew in kindergarten was also spur of the moment and life could not be better. She happens to be the only person that I can be with as myself. I did not know this at that time, but I know now.

The job (first one) that I am in was spur of the moment. OK, I needed the gig no doubt but I knew nothing about the industry, knew nothing about how to do the job, knew nothing about my chances of succeeding in it. And it has been the best move I could make in all respects. Today, I am generating value for the company beyond my wildest dreams and probably much more in dollar terms when compared to my MBA colleagues.

Yet, I have always been afraid to embrace this concept. And still am because I am afraid to regret my decision. This is despite the fact that I love all the decisions I’ve made so far and it is expected that some percentage of total decisions are guaranteed to fail. At the same time, I don’t think I can go into the decision making process looking to make a spur-of-the-moment move. It has to happen naturally. Which says something about stress. Stress is pointless 🙂

So how does all this relate to work? To business? Before you do anything else, spend a little time to try and recognize the pattern. Your decisions will either be thoroughly researched or spontaneous like mine. If you do seem to form a pattern then becoming comfortable with it is probably going to give you peace of mind. It also might alleviate some of the buyer’s remorse you experience from time to time.

As a small business owner, fast growing startup entrepreneur or Fortune 500 manager, we all have to make decisions each day. Recognize that what works for the person in the cube next to us, our partners, our bosses and subordinates does not necessarily work for us. It may or may not. But the power to succeed, I think, lies in your ability to recognize the pattern, not just “making the right decision”. This could probably unlock the secret to why some people make awesome decisions in certain (tough) situations.


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