Are You Smarter than a Squirrel?

I was driving home and there was a squirrel nibbling on something in my lane. Knowing there was no one behind me, I tapped my breaks, ready to stop on this little side street and wait for him to cross.

His head jerked up and our eyes met. He dropped his food and started to bolt into the other lane. In typical squirrel fashion, he changed his mind and skittered back in front of me, and waited there for a brilliant escape plan to formulate in his squirrel brain. I had guessed this is what he would do, so I was slowed nearly to a stop before he finally bounded to the curb, only alive because an animal lover was behind the wheel.

That squirrel, like most, was incredibly dumb.

But the dumbest part was not his being in the street. A squirrel’s stupidity shows most clearly in his lack of ability to commit to a decision.

As I watched the rodent hesitate and second-guess himself in the face of a big decision, I couldn’t help but relate to him.Making Decisions: Are You Smarter than a Squirrel? |

Am I the only one who has this problem? I am presented with a decision, and I read. I research. I poll my Facebook friends. I pull up reviews and forums and manuals. I am so comfortable in this state of indecision that I often use my research as an excuse to put off deciding at all. I start to go one way, then the other, then I freeze. I am paralyzed by my need to be right. To make the right decision. To avoid regret at any cost.

It’s usually possible to make a reasonably educated decision, but it’s rare that you can know for sure you’re making a perfect one.

Let’s be smarter than squirrels. Let’s allow space for intuition and instinct and, possibly, imperfection. Let’s go for it!

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