Often decisions are a surprise. They pop up spontaneously like a fork in the road, seemingly out of nowhere. They usually have a deadline that leaves one scrambling to meet it. You have to quickly find a friend who knows something about this topic (like Google), get input and take the plunge. There’s always a nagging feeling that some important factors were overlooked.
When you understand that life, business or engineering decisions follow a pattern, continuing as a “reactive” decision-maker is foolish. Although it may take a while to discern these patterns, when a decision “pops up”, a pattern can be matched and the decisions that I will be face can be anticipated. You can be “proactive” when attacking these decisions. This gives plenty of time to gather the appropriate information (which also follows a pattern) and produces both better decisions and greater peace of mind along the way. Even when events beyond our control throw us into a new situation (e.g. a major illness diagnosed), checking the pattern can help to quickly respond to the new circumstances.
There is great power in proactive decision-making. Like any other new habit, you’ll have to apply a little effort until it becomes second nature. You just need to decide to start your journey toward becoming a proactive decision-maker.