In Wal-Mart recently, I walked past a man lightly sawing the side frames of his glasses back and forth as the ends moved off the edge of his ear. At the same time, his mouth opened just wide enough to make it obvious a tough decision was being contemplated. A line of plastic round medication labels with terms having meanings most are unfamiliar with was playing the “staring contest” with him, and it seemed as if the shelves had the upper-hand in this game.
Every ten seconds he leaned over to look closer at a bottle, grin and then proceed to remove that medication bottle from the shelf. However, this action repeated itself, and in the time it took for me to observe this man’s non-decision, I tried my best not run into Wal-Mart’s typical busy shoppers as their feet were charging in my direction with their eyes peeled to the clearance signs in another.
When our eyes squint to read the small bold print plastered on these bottles, we read words like “Nutrition” or “Caution.” This is an action that can be related to how we make decisions.
The man I saw in Wal-Mart, for instance, never did make a medication selection that day.
Maybe the guy at Wal-Mart wanted to be sure he made the right choice, only to discover it was not available. On the other hand, he might not have known what he was looking for, making the act of deciding on a medication purchase even more challenging. Looking two, three, even four times at the red bottle with a list of ingredients including words lasting longer than the relief these medications promise, it is possible he was overwhelmed.
Sometimes, we need to have staring contests in our decision processes.
For example, we find ourselves in front of shelves packed with a hundred options, but are rushed into this stance before establishing what we want and need. In the same way, we could feel like this everlasting list of medication ingredients representing the many times we must make decisions to keep life interesting.
Simply put, hesitating before making a decision, like the Wal-Mart man, can be beneficial to us even if we opt out of deciding on anything. For the Wal-Mart man, this was the case.
This consideration time, the act of deciding or not deciding, can make this process all the more easy simply by taking the time to consider.