Multiple times throughout our day we are all faced with decisions to make. Some decisions are easy and do not require much energy, while others are quite taxing and require considerable mental fortitude. Understanding the factors involved in these tougher decisions can help break through the barriers that often keep us from making a decision. One unhelpful tendency that can occur is the experience of over-thinking or over-analyzing a decision. This involves spending too much time considering the options (the pros and cons of potential choices) to the point where a decision is never made, aptly referred to as “Analysis Paralysis”. A desire for perfection and a fear of failure often fuel this tendency. It’s important to recognize that when we are faced with options, it is inevitable that each option will have both pros and cons associated with it. In other words, there is no perfect option, so stop looking for it. It’s important to recognize the pros and cons of each option, to accept that whatever you choose might not work out, try to see failure as a learning opportunity to embrace and not something to avoid at all costs, and try to see your decision as one step in the process and not the final step.
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When you ask people what the holiday season means to them, you will probably get as many answers as the people you asked. For some, the holiday season brings up memories (some good, some bad, some ugly, some they hope one day to repress) of years past that they either wish or fear could be repeated each year. It can be difficult to know what to expect and how to prepare. I find it easy to feel overwhelmed and distracted by the bombardment of messages about the holidays (you should feel happy, you should spend time with family, you should throw parties, you should buy lots of stuff, you should make resolutions, you should or shouldn’t eat lots of sweets, you should compete with your neighbor for the most electricity used to light the exterior of your dwelling, etc.). By this time in the season, I’m tempted to start dreaming of the life on a deserted island. Continue reading »
I am privileged to author a recurrent Q&A column in the Massachusetts Lawyers Journal (in addition to our anonymous online Q&A system). People seem particularly interested in this month’s column, relating to the problem, seen all too often and unfortunately most likely to contribute to BBO complaints, of unreturned calls and insufficient communication to clients.
Here is a link to that column as it appears in the Journal.
Jeff Fortgang, PhD