Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Analysis Paralysis ..............or, Why I'm Broke.

Mantra: Done is Better than Perfect.
Cognitive process order: NiTeFiSe

When it comes to making decisions I tend to take into account as many variables as possible. The more familiar I am with a given situation the better the outcome (or more accurate the outcome) will be. The problem that I run into is that when not framed properly in my head the variables don't stop. I am always seeing new ways to do something, or new ways that things can go wrong. These become puzzles, large jigsaw puzzles with no clear borders that seem to go on forever.

With jigsaw puzzles it is common practice to start with the border pieces and work your way in. It gives you guidelines to work off of. Picture a jigsaw puzzle that has had the border pieces removed. Now imagine that you find one piece for your jigsaw puzzle every minute. The pieces all seem to fit somewhere. At what point do you stop putting pieces together? You don't know when your picture is complete, there are no borders. So you decide to stop putting together pieces once your puzzle has reached a decent size and it makes a clear image, only to find out that you had only completed a small section of the puzzle. The actual complete puzzle would have shown a totally different image. What do you do when you start getting handed pieces for the next puzzle? When do you stop putting pieces together? You don't want to miss the whole picture again (because in life that means bad choices that waste time and other resources).

So that is where I sit a lot of time. I find pieces everywhere, but I never know when to stop putting them on the puzzle. The more defined the situation the easier it is to make that decision. When I was in the military I would only work on certain things. My goals were well defined. If I didn't know where to stop there were plenty of people around me who would let me know. Once I was out of the Army there were no more people to stop me. Sayings like "you can be anything you want to be" do nothing but add to the number of pieces I want to include. As if there were a picture out there that would be perfect for me, only I can't seem to find it.

I, like all of you, have bills to pay. I took a job in security so that I can live while putting my puzzle together. I am at an age where opening my own business is the most desirable choice. But a business doing what? What picture completes that thought? As far as skill goes it doesn't really matter. I can learn anything. But what magical business is going to let me hit all the criteria I am searching for (money, time, ect). So I put pieces together. I have been burned by moving too fast to accept the picture that I need it to be full. My biggest fear is that I have had the completed picture for decades now without moving on it. All of that time wasted.

I think the puzzle metaphor is most easily understood by watching this video:

I know this one is kind of weird. If it doesn't make sense then please ask me questions so that I can clear it up.

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