When to Just Flip a Coin

July 19, 2012
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Sometimes the best way to make a decision is to flip a coin.

Not all decisions need to be made through elaborate decision processes. Sometimes you need to rely on your gut or hand it over to fate.

Flip a coin when:

Sometimes the best way to make a decision is to flip a coin.

Not all decisions need to be made through elaborate decision processes. Sometimes you need to rely on your gut or hand it over to fate.

Flip a coin when:

  • Random or chaotic influences have too much say over the outcome. For instance, choosing lottery numbers or predicting where the roulette ball will land.
  • All options have equal benefits, costs and risks. When all options are equal, any option will do.
  • You’ll rationalize your choice in the end anyway, such as when the success criteria are fuzzy and the decision relies heavily on personal preferences. For instance, picking art for your apartment.

In these decisions, the decision process has little effect on the outcome. So don’t waste time trying to make the best decision. Aim for making a fast decision instead. Roll a dice, flip a coin, or listen to your heart. But just decide.

What decisions have you left over to fate?