Making Tough Decisions: A Coin Toss With a Twist

Toss a CoinI love the sense of excitement that comes from being clear about things.

I think quickly, and it’s often easy for me to make decisions based on… well, I guess “intuition” is the best explanation.

But still, like everyone else, sometimes I just can’t decide which course to take.

Fortunately, my friend Anne gave me a perfect decision-making method for those times when I simply can’t commit one way or the other.

A Foolproof Decision Making Technique for When You Can’t Decide

It goes like this:

Clarify the two sides of the decision you need to make: You’ll either do A or B.

Then, flip a coin. If it comes up heads, you’ll do A. If it comes up tails, you’ll do B.
Of course there’s nothing new about tossing a coin to make a decision.

But here’s the kicker…

If the coin comes up A and you feel your heart sink, do B instead.


Because your inner voice (or intuition) is often much wiser than your reasoning voice, and this ingenious little trick makes you pay attention to that voice.

Not Right? Flip Again

But what happens if you flip again and get the same heart-sinking sensation? Or perhaps you feel the need to flip over and over again?

In that case, don’t do either A or B — do something else.

At the very least, take a step back from the decision and reconsider your options and the possible results and consequences of each one.

Putting Too Much Stock in Reason

Social scientists warn against putting too much stock in reason.

I’m currently reading The Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons. In this fascinating book they describe study after study, all of which conclude that people seldom experience or remember the world the way it really is.

If that’s the case, then it seems to me that flipping a coin and listening to your heart is every bit as good a strategy as using the false data available through your senses!

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Flip a Coin and Listen to Your Heart

The next time you have a tough decision to make, flip a coin and notice your feelings. Then let your heart decide. You may actually make a decision that’ll work for you.

At the very least you’ll take a moment to listen to your quiet inner voice that’s frequently drowned out in all of the noise and “To Do” lists in your life.

When faced with making a tough decision, what strategies have you tried to help you decide?

Share your approach in the comments below.