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  • Writer's pictureJohn Brandy

35,000 Decisions A Day

No wonder we get tired!

Various internet sources estimate that an adult makes about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions each day, compared to a child's 3,000. That's some serious decision-making, about 2.5 decisions every second! On the other hand, I learned recently that the average 4-year-old laughs 300 times per day, while the average 40-year-old takes 2 to 3 months to laugh that much.

Coincidence? Maybe.

You will decide to listen to this podcast.

See what I did there?

This number may sound absurd, but in fact, people...we make 226.7 decisions each day on just food alone according to researchers at Cornell University. This probably factors into the reason why Steve Jobs always famously wore a black turtleneck and jeans, because he didn't want the 35K decisions rattling around in his brain to include "what to wear today".

You and I have been given a free-will and a multitude of choices in life about:

What to eat.

What to wear.

What to purchase.

What we believe

What jobs and career choices we will pursue?

How we vote.

Who to spend our time with?

Who we will date and marry?

What we say and how we say it.

Whether or not we would like to have children.

What we will name our children.

Who our children spend their time with?

And believe it or not, even more stuff. These daily decisions add up to 35,000 things, remember!

Talk about decision fatigue! Did I say, "thousands of decisions"?

Yes, I think I did.

What To Choose?

Each choice carries certain consequences - good and bad. This ability to choose is an incredible and exciting power that we have, but it also uses energy, and quick decisions are often difficult decisions.

Choices carry good and bad consequences, so you shouldn't be surprised to learn that when we CHOOSE, no pun intended, to turn something into a habit, we not only remove a major decision from our task list but we also ensure predictably positive results.

Where does this statistic come from? Some research indicates that it comes from psychologist Daniel Kahneman. I don't know if that's true, but he and his former partner Amos Tversky certainly did a lot of great research themselves, so I'm happy to go with it.

The point here being that doing this and doing it repetitively, on a daily basis, in no less important.

Now let's be clear...they're not all life-changing decisions or even decisions that we will remember.

Little stuff is included, like "should I get out of my chair & get a glass of water".

And so I ask you about your long-term future decisions. Focus on those - the little stuff will take care of itself when you do. We are most effective when we don't spend lots and lots of time on decisions that have very little impact.

Don't let time be taken away from important and possibly more beneficial decisions, like investing for your future.

Don't let hindsight be blinding, let foresight do that instead.

That's the kind of game-changer we all need.

Am I Making The Right Choice?

Once upon a time our heroine, Sophie Stevens, set about to make a decision.

She was aware of the idea that we make 35,000 decisions in a day.

But it didn't matter.

What mattered is what she was thinking.

This particular decision.

It was the most important thing ever.

In ANYBODY's life, not just hers, ANYBODY's life.

Her epiphany? She realized she could make things easy and skip the bad choices!

People who make things more difficult for themselves rarely if ever prosper from doing that.

Lots of people make lots of decisions, bad decisions this way, and it doesn't matter if they back them up with posts by email.

Sophie knew, like all successful people know, that the good that she would get out of this wasn't more available to her than it was to anyone else.

Not her friends, not the average person, not me, not anybody else.

Just like you don't solve a math problem by gathering all the possible answers and letting them try to prove themselves, you don't make good decisions by considering every possible outcome before becoming a leader and making simple decisions.

You have to take some action in addition to knowing about taking action.

Take control of a couple of decisions at first and focus on changing those couple.

Make them count.

The good which is revealed in our financial decisions is so overwhelmingly positive.

More about that wonderful day

How We Overcome This

We make 35,000 decisions every day.

What do we do about that? What's our Call To Action?

Can we make all 35,000 decisions just go away? Maybe 30,000 of them?


We know that's not how it works, right?

That's not exactly a proper analysis.

We can chase that rabbit all the way up and down that trail but instead we're going to identify just one decision.

One decision.

That we find ourselves making on a routine basis.

We're going to make a modification to that one decision.

We're going to:

As we find that working, we can add a second decision.

And as we find that working, we can add a third decision and a fourth decision and beyond, and each of them will be an effective decision.

As with all my lessons, the emphasis is on patience and repetition.

Not shocking yourself. Not with the significance of the decisions and not with the volume of decisions.

Let's go back to work on Action Step One: identify one decision that you make over and over.

It can be from the list above, focusing on what to eat or what to wear.

It can be brand new, like should I brush my teeth? Should I brush them now? See how

decisions add up fast?

If you want to stretch yourself with something that's such a basic thing you don't even realize it's a decision, don't even realize it's another energy level, try writing something with the hand you don't normally use for that.

Yes, every day you decide to write right-handed, or, if you're in your right mind as the old joke goes, you decide to write left-handed.

It's become automatic, but it's still a decision. Don't believe me yet? Try writing something with that "other" hand.

Then do that again but write it backwards. Watch, no, be hypnotized as the level of responsibility increases.

Okay whew. Mental energy is good, but "Simple, simple, simple".

Back to the teeth brushing thing.

No wait, back to the financial connection.

Make your decision-making process simple.

Find a first investment, or a first new one. All of us have different taste buds, as they say.

Get it going. Put real money into it and do it today. Or this week.

Do it in a specific timeframe.

I'll give my subscribers until the end of this month - just leave a message timestamped on the day you read this and that will be your word.

We’re changing the way we look at things, and

Remember, “THAT’S GOOD”.

Also remember, this is Financial Life Coaching from A Happiness Perspective! Coaching Happiness.

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