Many times in their lives, people can make decisions too quickly and then end up regretting their choices. Taking some time to carefully consider the consequences of your actions will ensure that long-term troubles will no longer be much of a concern.
The pitfall of acting too fast
According to an estimate, a shopper makes a decision to purchase an item in around 2.5 seconds. This should explain why many people end up in credit card debt — impulsive buying. They see something they like, realize that they can just charge it, and immediately move ahead to satisfy their desire. It is only after obtaining the item and spending some time with it that the person realizes that buying the item may not have been a good idea. This is a perfect example of why hasty decisions are not good for you — they are driven largely by emotions rather than rationality.
The pressure to make a quick decision can be tremendous when one has to make a choice from several alternatives or risk losing a benefit. For instance, when you apply for multiple jobs, a few might respond by giving you deadlines of just a couple of days to accept the job offer. The stress of losing the best-paid job might force you to hastily choose it over others. However, you will not have considered other factors like the time required to commute, the work culture, the taxes involved, perks, commissions, and so on. Why?
Because your mind was occupied with making a decision as quickly as possible. If you had calmed down and rationally analyzed each opportunity by listing out their pros and cons, you could have made the right choice. And this is one of the secrets of not being pressured to make hasty decisions — always remember to weigh advantages against disadvantages. When you condition your mind to follow this rule for every decision you make, you’ll soon stop making hasty decisions. And, you will get better at this as you gain experience.
Now, this does not mean that you should never make quick decisions and should always deliberate on things. Nope. Sometimes, you will have no choice but to decide quickly — when your choice is going to have serious consequences. “There are many situations in life when the cost of not acting is higher than making an error in judgment. For example, if the decision is whether or not to shut down a nuclear reactor in the presence of a potential meltdown, I’d prefer haste,” Jeffrey Schall, a Professor of Neuroscience, says to Vanderbilt.
Here’s something you might not be aware of — people who often make hasty, imprudent decisions tend to get fatter! This was observed by researchers from the University of Dallas who believe that addressing impulsive personality traits can aid 70 percent of American citizens who are obese or overweight. For the study, the researchers looked at 45 individuals between the ages of 22 and 43 who had an average Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30.7.
The team analyzed three measures to determine how impulsive behaviors affect weight — self-reports, neuropsychological tests, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The researchers found that people with a high BMI ended up with altered neural functions when compared against people with normal weight. As such, integrating solutions to reduce impulsive behaviors might soon become a regular component of weight-loss programs. So always be mindful of slowing down impulsive decisions and you will not only make better choices, but you might even become more fit!