Have you ever changed your mind? by Bill Storie
Come on now, be honest.
Have you ever made a decision only to find out that you got it wrong – but you found out that it was wrong only because someone told you that your decision was wrong? In other words, you know that they are right but you hesitate to agree because you don’t want to admit your mistake either through vanity, embarrassment or simply stubbornness.
I reckon that when we were active in the workplace we always wanted to show how clever we were and how we could easily make the big calls. It was a badge of personal honor and self-worth. Especially if we were in a management position where people relied on us to make decisions.
So, we would deflect, or camouflage, or just deny that other people’s opinions are correct.
Were you like that?
More to the point, are you still like that today now that you’re older?
I get the fact that when we were being paid for our decision-making we would tend to hopefully get it right, but if we didn’t, we’d try to massage our way around our decision with comments like, “Yes, that’s right. That’s essentially what I said, so we’re good.”
But as we have got older, and particularly as we enter the retirement years we have much less need to be right. In fact, on many decisions in our life these days our comment changes more to “Sure, I don’t really care. If that’s what you think we should do, let’s do it.” Obviously for the big stuff we ensure that the correct decision is ultimately made, one way or another.
I don’t think it’s because we have given up, so to speak. I don’t think that because we’re older that we can’t be bothered to argue. I just think that we use our years of experience, knowledge and wisdom to separate the wheat from the chaff as they used to say when we were younger. I firmly believe that we can easily see how certain things in life are just not important enough to care too much about. We’ve seen it, done it, and moved on.
The tremendous advantage we have is that, in all probability, we have been in the situation before and we know how it plays out. In other words, we can see the end-game. We have the wonderful advantage of being able to see the panorama of the situation in one glance. Call it intuition if you prefer.
So, when we do make a decision, and we get it wrong, we are much more willing to concede the point and move on. “Sounds good to me.” We simply don’t have the interest or maybe the energy to fight our corner. It just isn’t that important. And if the other person likes to win then we let them win.
We work on the principle that our children, especially the grown-up kids (do they ever?), have their own lives to live. They are old enough to make their own decisions, so we let them get on with it. They believe they are mature enough to handle every situation, so why would we argue?
So, this business of aging has many benefits as we have discussed many times before. This is just another benefit to add to the list.
Just think how we would be under enormous stress when we had to make decisions at work. We’d lie awake at night wondering which path to take. We would analyze, review and change our minds – usually between 3 am and 4 am while still in bed. We did it only because we were being paid to make decisions - so we suffered.
“I have decided to not make decisions.”
That’s why they call it Retirement Happiness.
By Bill Storie