How to Unplug the Gather Information App: Decide!

The Gather Information App loops these messages: “There are more books about the subject." "There are more opinions to gather." "Think how smart it will  look in the board meeting to show all this data on a spread sheet." "Just let me spend this added time pondering the Why, figuring it out."

Sometimes in systemic anxiety, the Increase Effort App interacts with the Gather Information App to create an almost frantic drive to discover and accumulate more data. Decide to ask again, "What do I really want, for myself and for others?" Decide to write a list of wants to discover them more deeply.

To unplug the Gather Information App, make a decision! When all the questions Why, and the information gathering, produce only swirling thoughts or arguments, then just decide. Maybe I don’t have to decide about the big thing, but I can decide about the next step I can do. Decide!

Despite systemic anxiety to gather information, I can decide to change the question, to rearrange it, turn it on its head, broaden it, narrow it, make its opposite, or play with its parts. I can even decide to sit with questions rather than run for answers. I can decide to calm the quest and devalue data.

To disable the second app that powers systemic anxiety, make a decision. Listen to know when a decision is ready to come, and then capture it. Do not keep talking. Say, “Now is the moment I can decide to do the next thing that is clear to me.” Decide!

Some of the ideas in this article came from: Friedman, Edwin H. A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. New York: Seabury Books, 1999, 2007.

Copyright 2015 Wilma Zalabak