Stay committed to your plans, success will follow your way

Every time I was worried about being struck down, someone from behind would come and kill my potential killer, get a big score and get ahead of me.

By Shilpa Bhasin Mehra

Published: Sat 19 Dec 2020, 8:02 PM

This year I played Ludo a lot, a board game that had been my favourite in childhood. Now it’s online, with points and a timer, unlike the worn out board of yesteryears! What struck me after a few rounds of it were the life lessons we can take from a simple board game.

Every time I was worried about being struck down, someone from behind would come and kill my potential killer, get a big score and get ahead of me. Lesson — I worried in vain when I should have just lived the moment without expecting anything bad to happen and not overthink. It’s an important lesson, especially this year when worry and anxiety have been on top of our minds.

It’s good to weigh one’s options, but over analysis is neither good nor productive. We stress ourselves with our over-thinking mind. My question is how does that help? I would worry, stress and fret if it helped. But there is no evidence that it does.

When in doubt, Google it.This has been my first instinct whenever I face a problem I am unsure of how to deal with. Though we’ve never had more access to high-quality information, it hasn’t made decision-making any easier. Yet, a simple search query can often open a time-sucking black hole of link clicking that can end hours later with me more confused than ever as to what the right action is.

Rather than empowering us to make better choices, our virtually unlimited access to information often leads to greater fear of making the wrong decision, which in turn leads us to spinning our wheels of analysis paralysis, all the while getting nowhere on our important projects. Ironically, a quick Google search of “analysis paralysis” pulls up no less than 1,330,000 resources.

Studies in psychology and neuroscience reveal that analysis paralysis takes a far greater toll on productivity and well-being than lost time.

Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the amount of time you’ve allotted it. If you give yourself an hour to do a task, it will take an hour. If you give yourself 15 minutes to complete the same task, it will take 15 minutes. The same holds true for making decisions. Setting a time constraint can force you to make a decision more efficiently.

Having to present your deliberations to someone else forces you to synthesise the information you’ve been collecting in a clear, concise way. Also, having outward validation of your ideas from someone whose opinion you respect can be just what you need to overcome self-doubt and build the confidence to take action.

Collecting and analysing more and more information is a tempting way to try and overcome the uncertainty that comes with taking on big goals. It’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking we’re making progress. In the end, action is what decides our ultimate success or failure. So the next time you’re stuck in analysis mode, remember that successful people start before they feel ready and figure the rest out on the way.

It’s often our confidence in and commitment to our decisions that determine whether they are the ‘right’ ones in the end. Instead of getting stuck over-analysing a problem to find the best solution, use your time and energy in coming up with a concrete, actionable plan to make your decision succeed.

Remember the simple game of Ludo! Enjoy your turn and don’t stress about the full game.

Shilpa Bhasin Mehra is a legal consultant based in Dubai and the founder of Legal Connect

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