The indecisive wall

On my walk in the neighborhood today I came across this example of indecisiveness.

I imagined the internal struggle that must have tormented the man who built this wall.

“I will build this wall in red brick.”

“Yes, it’s looking good.”

“Hold on. I’m not sure.”

“Perhaps white bricks would be better.”

“I’ll use white bricks.”

“Yes, that was the right decision.”

“Hmm, perhaps it would look better in stone.”

“I’ll use stone and angle the stones to the right.”

“Yes. They look great angled to the right.”

“Hmm, perhaps they would look better angled to the left.”

“Fantastic!”

“I’m not sure, I think they did look much better angled to the right.”

“I’ll angle them to the right.”

Yes, that was the right decision.”

“Wait. I’m not sure about stone. The red bricks do look good. I’ll use red bricks.”

“All done!”

“Hmm, I’m still not sure.”

“Perhaps a wooden fence would have been better.”

“Now, shall I get the bus home or walk?”

“I think I’ll walk.”

“No, I’ll get the bus.”

I asked the tall person why some people have problems making decisions and he told me that it often stems from an irrational and impossible need for certainty. Making a good decision is important, but when we escalate that preference into an ironclad need to get it right, not only do we get indecisive, we also fret and worry about any decision we do make. He said that it is better to make the best decision you can, even if it turns out not to be a great one because we tend to regret what we fail to do much more than what we actually do.

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21 thoughts on “The indecisive wall

  1. I don’t think you’ll have to look far for the wall-builder… I suspect he (or she) is down at the end of the road going round in circles.

  2. Very attractive! I’m glad the builder couldn’t decide what materials to use. But the tall person does have a point that seeking certainty can thwart us in the end. Much better to make a good decision than not make a perfect one.

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