Decisions that default to no.

Decisions that default to no.

[00:00:00] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Well, hello. This is The Daily Five with Aurooba, that's me, where we reflect on creating our best lives a little bit every day. Here we go.

[00:00:15] Okay, take three. I have recorded this entire episode twice already and hated it and now I'm recording again. This episode is, initially, it was all about slow and fast decision making. How I decide which decision should be slow, which should be fast, and how I often pivot fast and hard based on how reversible it is. And all of that is true. And then I realized that I don't actually make my decisions that way initially. It factors into my thinking, but it's not the core way I make my decisions.

[00:00:56] I do really make fast decisions a lot, and I do pivot on them quickly, sometimes a full 180 in the space of a day. And there are many decisions I do make very slowly. Agonizingly slow even. But it's not because I've judged more, one more reversible than the other. Not at all. That comes later.

[00:01:18] Here's the thing.

[00:01:20] My default for every decision is no. Straight up. No, don't spend your time on that. No, don't buy that. No, don't do that. No, don't ask that. Just no. I say no all the time to myself and to others. I might not always use the word no, but I'm saying no anyway. It's often a lot easier to reverse a no and make it a yes without losing much than to take a yes and turn it into a no.

[00:01:47] Yeses are more expensive than no, because yes often requires the exertion of new energy, new expenditure. No, keeps you at homeostasis, the status quo. This is not always true, but it's often true.

[00:02:03] I am all for change and growth and improvement and all of that, but for good reason. Valuable reasons. If you have ever asked me if you should do a thing, and you told me it would require quite a bit of effort, then unless you can give me a real solid reason, I'll say no. Sometimes I'll say no even if I can think of a good reason to say yes myself. But if you asked a question and you didn't give me that reason, I'll say no anyway. Not because I want to be difficult or unhelpful, but because no can easily turn to yes. But if I was wrong, the sunk cost of yes may not be so easy to recover.

[00:02:42] I mean, today, just today, I did it eight times. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I think I said two yeses today. Sometimes these decisions are quick. And sometimes they take a long time to make. But they always start from no. And they never start from yes. Ever. So, the whole reversible vs. irreversible thing? Yeah, that's important.

[00:03:11] That does factor into my framework, but not as strongly as the acknowledgement that yes is more expensive than no most of the time. Not always, but most of the time. In principle, you know?

[00:03:30] Thanks for listening! Same time tomorrow?