Ever open the fridge, pull out something and wonder if it’s spoiled, decide not to eat it and put it back in the fridge, as though next time you’ll decide differently?
One of the books (“Brain Rules” – I’m pretty sure) I read recently discussed being careful how we make our first decisions because we are likely to do it again. The idea is similar to driving by a restaurant and seeing a line out the door. It makes the restaurant look very popular — it must be if that many people are waiting in line to wait.
Similarly when we make a decision, the decision starts the reinforcing loop. The example he used was going into Starbucks for the first time, buying a cup of overpriced coffee, and enjoying it. The next day, you think, well, that was a good experience, maybe I should try it again. Over time, it becomes a habit.
It’s funny to me how many times we make a decision in the moment thinking that the next time we reevaluate the decision we will decide differently. Most of this comes from punting on really thinking through the decision (it’s easier to not decide than it is to make a decision), and yet our non-decision is one and we are likely to take the same action the next time, that is, until mold makes the decision process very easy.