I got a new bicycle as a gift from my parents when I got good marks in my 10th board. My elder brother took me next morning to the ground to teach me how to ride. Within the next 2-3 days , I could ride the cycle with him holding the carrier loosely. On the forth day, he said that he will leave the carrier as i can ride on my own now. I was not ready…and i was not sure. I panicked and fell the first time he left the carrier. He then apologized and said he would hold the carrier, I do not need to worry. On the 6th day, when i turned back after completing a small lap; i found that he was not holding the carrier. He had left it midway, and i did my first ride without his support.
That is but one example of how simply we proceeded in our lives. I will give another example below.
I went to Delhi to prepare for my IIT JEE in 2001. Most of my friends had taken admission in FIITJEE for the JEE coaching. When I landed in Delhi however, the FIITJEE admissions were over. I had to pay an additional fee for late admission( or whatever they would have called it) Money was a big factor as always and we were evaluating options we had. A new coaching institute had started operations that year by some former FIITJEE teachers. It was next door to FIITJEE, so we paid a visit. It was a new kid on the block, thus the cost of admission and coaching were 75% of FIIT JEE costs. Was not sure of the credentials then, but i opted to join the other institute.
Both the above examples were from my early years. If we try to visualize the second example`s situation for 17-18 years today it would be something like the following
I wanted to join a coaching institute to prepare for my IIT JEE in 2016. My friends were spread all over the country across 100 coaching institutes. Some of them had taken online courses. I had registered with 5 top institutes each in KOTA, Delhi, and Ranchi for the quotes. Most of them have 5 different packages for which I have given multiple scholarship tests. After the different scholarship amounts and fees adjusted, I have earmarked 6 institutes from which i had to choose one. However, when i looked for reviews on the internet, all of them had negative reviews. Confused, i talked to my friends in different institutes, they all were doing more or less similar in their preparation and i could not decide which institute is the best. Thus, i posted a question on Quora. Most of the answers were by the representatives of the institutes themselves claiming their institutes to be the best. Some independent answers guided me to some extent and i just am going through my gut and joining an institute in KOTA.
The above might look like an exaggeration. It is to some an extent, just to drive home a point that our power of proceeding without being sure has diminished like crazy. Techonlogy and information has played ( unwantedly maybe) the biggest role in this. Since there are so many reviews and so much of information about everything on the internet today, we tend to think that we will be able to take 100% correct decision based on these. As you would see in most cases, this is not the case though. Our decisions are still the same, our decisions. Even after the sea of information, we are at the end driven by our gut. Only thing that the information does is, confuses us, self-doubts creep in. We are still more unsure about the sure decision that we take.
I myself have been a victim of the so called decision paralysis since the available information on the internet does not clearly tell yes/know. And when it does, we question the integrity of the information. And not without a reason. In the age and times of twitter influencers and youtube paid review channels, we are more confused than ever. Earlier, we sought advice from our seniors. Today, everyone has a say in our decision making. A boy who might not have used a phone which i am planning to buy – can very easily post a review/opinion video. Since i have asked for the opinion from youtube, i have asked the opinion of the whole world.
This superwant of being 100% sure is a byproduct of today`s complicated life. This has made us loose our power of “Unsurity” . It might sound contrary to conventional wisdom but unsurty has a lot of power in it. Unsurity is a prox:y surity which enable us to do the following in spite of not being aware of the outcomes:
- In taking action
- In taking that action quickly
- In giving 100% effort to the action taken
In Taking Action and taking it quickly
Since we know that this is the limited information that is available to us, we tend to not be in constant search for more information. We pat ourselves on our back of evaluating all options and take a decision. The clutter of information which is available in today`s net ( google, youtube etc) is confusing and never ending. One can not evaluate all the options available, as there are so many of them. Thus the satisfaction of having gone through all the options is never reached. In absence of that satisfaction, we keep on doing the research and postpone the action.
In giving 100% effort to the action taken
Even if we end up taking an action after going through the numerous data avialable, we are not 100% convinced. The self doubt is huge which renders our optimism weak. We become destination oriented rather than journey oriented. On the contrary in the case of unsurity, we take a decision and make it right. rather than taking the right decision.