On Indecisiveness

Written by Mike Parish, Illustrated by Dan Tarnowski
On Indecisiveness


Indecisiveness is a killer. Before one begins they are done. A state of indecisiveness is a lose/lose situation.

When I cannot make a decision I am stuck in limbo. While some decisions can affect me negatively, unless the negativity is foreseen, such as acting in a way that is morally wrong and choosing to accept the consequences, the true outcome of my decisions are steeped in mystery. Decisions set off chain reactions of more consequences and more decisions.

The technical term for this phenomenon is chaos theory or the butterfly effect. Rather than get into science, math, or marginal movies starring Ashton Kutcher, we’ll let this train of thought halt.

Onto the Next Train

As I write, a subway is speeding me under Manhattan. Instead of making a solid decision this evening as to whether I was going to purchase tickets and attend a concert in advance, I let the decision float around like a dust particle in my mind. Being that my mind is dark and that I have a lot of other stuff floating around in there, the entire idea settled somewhere, got lost, or blew away. I forgot.

Instead of making a decision and developing a succinct plan and sticking to it, I am now being rocketed forward into an unknown future. I may show up to the venue and the show may be sold out. Or it may not. While I do want to attend the concert, if I can’t it may not be the worse outcome, as I will still be in Manhattan. And something is bound to be happening in Manhattan.


Indecisiveness has the power to add excitement to one’s life. But it is an uncertain, anxious excitement. There is a certain amount of poor planning associated with being unable to make a decision; such is the life of the indecisive. I live on the edge of a chasm of unpredictable outcomes, teeter tottering forever over a canyon of endless black.

But doesn’t everyone? Herein lies the trick to defeating indecision: Even when decisions are made, there is no telling what will really come of them. We know what we want to come of them and we hope what will come of them will be for the best, but in the end, there’s no telling what could happen.

It became a lot easier for me to make decisions once I realized this and since I get the impression that I may not be explaining it right, I’ll liken it to a metaphor: Once I realized the vastness of the place where I existed, I found it easier to bend with the wind then stand up tall against it, to get taken out to sea by the current then to swim against it.

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