We make a lot of decisions every day, and not all of them actually have clear cut, objective right and wrong answers. To get past this, comedian Louie CK suggests a simple rule: if you’re 70% happy with a decision, just go for it.
There are a lot of factors that go into, say, choosing the right Android phone for you, or whether you should invest in stocks or mutual funds. No matter how much analysis we do though, we’re probably gonna have problems — or discover benefits! — we didn’t expect along the way. So, unless the analysis will actually yield significant results, “good enough” may just be good enough:
These situations where I can’t make a choice because I’m too busy trying to envision the perfect one — that false perfectionism traps you in this painful ambivalence: If I do this, then that other thing I could have done becomes attractive. But if I go and choose the other one, the same thing happens again. It’s part of our consumer culture. People do this trying to get a DVD player or a service provider, but it also bleeds into big decisions. So my rule is that if you have someone or something that gets 70 per cent approval, you just do it. ‘Cause here’s what happens. The fact that other options go away immediately brings your choice to 80. Because the pain of deciding is over.
“And,” he continues, “when you get to 80 per cent, you work. You apply your knowledge, and that gets you to 85 per cent! And the thing itself, especially if it’s a human being, will always reveal itself — 100 per cent of the time! — to be more than you thought. And that will get you to 90 per cent. After that, you’re stuck at 90, but who the fuck do you think you are, a god? You got to 90 per cent? It’s incredible!
Of course, there’s also something to be said for accepting that some faults are going to exist (particularly in regards to relationships). It’s smart to weigh your choices and make good decisions, but nothing is ever perfect right off the bat. You still have to put in some effort no matter how good the options are.
Louis CK’s 70% Rule For Decision-making [The Billfold]