You Should Flip a Coin

I’ve made all sorts of life decisions by the flip of a coin. Seriously. I think it’s a great way of making tough decisions. Here’s why…

I was perusing Fosstodon recently and someone was talking about how they have an important decision to make, but they can’t actually make it. I can’t remember who it was now, so apologies.

Anyway, I replied and said flip a coin. But that response was met with some virtual raised eyebrows.

But I was being serious.

I have made many life decisions by flipping a coin. To name but a few:

  • Giving up university
  • Joining the Army
  • Moving jobs (numerous times)
  • Marrying my wife

Ok, that last one was a joke, but you get the idea.

Why do I flip a coin?

You may think that I believe in fate, and flipping a coin is the powers that be making the decision for me. That’s not the case; I believe we’re responsible for making our own fate.

So why chuck a coin in the air to make a decision? Well, it’s simple and quite logical actually. If I need to make a decision, I think about it, weigh up the options and make a data-driven decision.

However, sometimes that’s not possible. Maybe I’m genuinely torn, or the data isn’t clear and leaves me at a fork in the road. In these instances the flip of a coin make sense to me. But there are some rules:

  • I always go with “heads I do, tails I don’t”
  • There’s only 1 flip allowed. Never best out of 3 or any of that rubbish
  • The coin’s decision is final

That’s literally it. Flipping a coin has really helped me make some difficult decisions in the past, and it continues to do so. Weirdly this came up conversation with my mum recently and she told me she does the same thing. But she goes best out of 3, the weirdo!

Obviously the result of the decisions don’t always pan out as I’d hope; but that’s life, right?

An interesting bi-product of this is that if you flip a coin and you feel the need to flip it again, that’s decision made as it’s not become clear what you really wanted the decision to be. In the instances, you’ve kinda made the decision already, you just didn’t know it. I tend to ignore the coin in these cases.

How do you make difficult decisions? I’d love to know how you do it.

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