There’s a tendency to think many of our important decisions are all or nothing. This or that. Black or white.
We present “go or no go” recommendations based upon a snapshot of facts and figures at a particular point in time, when often a far more sensible and flexible route would be to invest a little bit now to learn a lot more before we double down on a set strategy.
We routinely engage in budgeting processes that force commitments into an annual cycle–often generating estimates up to 18 months out from the actual point of spending–when we know full well the world just doesn’t work that way anymore.
We run discounted cash flow analyses that give a monolithic view of the future–and spit out seemingly precise ROI’s and breakevens–when, more often than not, the reality we face is a series of forks in the road, a sequence of options, decisions and antes, none of which is likely to resemble the well ordered Excel spreadsheet we crafted at all.
In our personal lives, we dislike food we’ve never tasted, give up on something or someone we’ve barely taken time to understand and don’t even try new avenues and ideas to explore because we can’t see our way clear to the very end.
Much of the time our task is not to figure out the total journey or the likely endgame. We don’t have to map out every twist and turn and each step along the path to get started.
Most of the time it’s more than enough to get to the top of the hill right in front of us to see what might be revealed on the other side.
And the journey starts anew.