assumptions in decision making
I cant tell you how many times, I pray someone would have been there to stop me ” hey Alisa hold it! you will really regret this because so and so” and I give them a giant hug of gratitude…
Learning from experience happens on different levels depending on how significant the mistake.
To lose due to my fault a sentient being that loves me, opens doors in polar directions. Regret sets in instantly. Regret is already there as I am making a decision based on assumptions. I simply choose to ignore it. But the cold feeling is there and I tense up in panic but allow it to happen as though its my only option. I analyzed these symptoms further in Subconscious Dialogue in Decision Making
I am learning to tap into these subtle messages in real time. Life never throws the same scenario. Its important to remind myself to tap into the lesson, rather than beat myself up and fall into depression. Yes a loss of someone you love is a rude awakening. Its what creates the dark backdrop to reveal all the right answers and let a cherished moment shine as it passes into the distance.
I will learn to problem solve a situation rather than rely on experience to teach me every time.
Its my intent in this post to set the blueprint of critical decision making in life. Step out of the moment and look at the whole picture. Are there any thought patterns that seem to repeat from past experiences?
For me its in fact taking the easy route. Making excuses based on assumptions instead of checking facts. Waiting to take action until circumstance gets out of control. Once things get out of control I freeze up, sitting on my hands anticipating instead of taking charge of precious time that remains! This pattern of thinking happens at a subconscious level, a habit.
Three years ago I also missed the chance to save my pet cat, because of making excuses why going to the vet isnt necessary. I did a preliminary check up but when vet said he didnt find anything but suggested bloodwork, I decided to wait… I didnt really have anything to lose besides money. But money is here to keep us alive, not to hoard it. Ive been this way with myself too.
- write pros and cons
- dont give status quo excuses
- Dont follow the herd: Learn facts
Write pro and con list
Pros and cons I decided should come first, because if one decision is obviously the less risky and especially if its cons are amendable, go with that one! No brainer, but in practice I didnt focus and write down this list and made the opposite decision.
Write them down.
Amend the Cons
In other words if circumstances make you feel compromised/unsafe, do your best in thinking up solutions to change status quo, amend the cons. Dont just give into excuses and work around them. Easily said, but in practice I make plenty of excuses why status quo works just fine.
In my case, the property I am staying at is temporary, so logically it seems like too much trouble to put up a cat fence around the whole yard. Do you see the assumption already? “Seems like too much trouble”. Its so easy to put something off when coast is clear and to miss the perfect opportunity to prepare for the worst. What did I mean by too much trouble? Is it physically hard? Not really, just maybe time consuming.
Besides, I had a pool guy that came through that could have helped readily to make it go faster.
Pickle wasnt yet ready to jump out. Once he was ready, I would hang over the fence and observe him. Once he got too frisky for me to keep an eye on as he darted from one yard to the next, I lifted my hands saying Oh well there is no way I can keep up and no way I can provide that much entertainment to feed his curiosity. whats the point of putting up the cat fence if he belongs out there exploring?
Thats the freeze up moment! Could have been avoided all together if I just sat down and made the pro and con list.
Assumption: no way I can keep up and no way I can provide that much entertainment. I had seriously only considered my own play time investment. I dismissed bringing in live prey as cruel, but did not even think of bringing in other cats thinking I couldnt afford to keep more cats.
Once again assumption: dont think I can. What if food is donated to foster animals and I could buy some inexpensive food for an animal Im keeping temporarily. I didnt even consider how much fun it would be for Pickle to have kitties to socialize with on my own terms and property, rather than rely on occasional visits from neighbor’s cat, setting up playdates and letting him roam.
Cons of letting him outside the fence:
- Constant worry amend: not really
2. Real danger: cars, cats that may attack and may lead far from home, hungry predators amend: no
3.Diseases from other cats amend: no, except for holistic treatments with varying success depending on the disease
Cons of keeping him on property:
Pickle can escape easily. amend: put up cat fence ( I had even done all the research way back when he was a tiny kitten and found a cheap do it your self option with deer block and some garden posts. More than that I had ordered it and it was all sitting at home ready for me to install)
the con of that amend is only that it may take a little time and I can hire help or just deal with the time investment,
Pickle is eager to explore outside the yard because there is not enough on property to keep him preoccupied. amend: bring in interactive toys, adopt another cat/foster cats or kittens, bring in mice and other animals to chase.
property is temporary amend: put up cat fence in the meantime and then take it down. not a big deal after realizing other more weighty cons have solutions.
Laziness was yet another con that in fact precipitated :Excuse based on Assumption:
he is horny so none of this will work.
how do I know this wont work?
In fact he loves playing with me and interacting with the neighbor’s spayed female cat.
What do I have to lose? Only some time in putting up fence.
What do I have to gain? A happy safe kitty, his company, and other furry friends to play with!
so really, the right decision was quite clear all along.
Envision the situation
Anytime before making a decision I need to familiarize myself with what its enforcement will actually look like.
I mean it sounded simple enough, when I committed to keeping my intact tom confined within my yard. However, as he got bigger and bolder, it became hard for me to imagine how he could stay happy and my strong conviction got swept aside. Sure, the sudden possibility of a move didnt help. However, had I stopped to really take it in may have made all the difference.
You see, he actually acted exactly the way he should have. Otherwise there is no reason to confine him. He was exuberant about climbing out and going on a journey. He got over his initial fear of my pool skimmer and would push right past it, as I frantically pushed blocked his path along an overhanging branch. He was very smart. As soon as I got distracted and walked off a bit he would be climbing the tree and jumping into the neighbor’s yard. That is the reason for this special netting, called deer block and the reason for the angle slightly into the yard. What did I expect? The problem is I did not have an image of what to expect. I actually was looking for him to give me clues that its ok to confine him. I felt guilty and made excuses for that reason too. May sound ridiculous but it was all on a subconscious level.
Also envision how exactly it may be. Really I should have followed him, although many times I would lose sight of him. Thats where inquiring others fills in some gaps.
Ask people questions if you find yourself making assumptions or drawing blanks.
In my case, I already knew the choice to let my cat run outside of the yard came with inherent risks: but cars and cats were the only ones that really crossed my mind.
how safe is this neighborhood for cats? that would be a good general question to ask cat owners in the neighborhood. You can also post such a question online on some of these neighborhood websites.
Coyotes? Owls? Oh!
Making a quick assumption is easily overlooked. Many times when I assume, I feel certain about and dismiss it as unimportant or even dont consider it at all. Cars and cats. Thats all I can think of so thats all that concerns me.
This confidence of ignorance, has me spotlight on what I want the outcome to be, and stop short of playing out scenarios that I dont want. In fact even if you did! there may be things that you dont know you dont want.
You cant make that list can you? For example, I did not even consider coyotes as being part of this list. Also, while I didnt expect to have him gone into the evening, learning about coyotes’ timing would have helped once he did stay out into the twilight.
Knowing that would have probably precluded allowing him to roam at all or even if I had let him, I would have thought it wise to go calling for him before sunset. Its true that I was thinking he may not want to come but at least I would be keeping an eye out for coyotes.
This ofcourse applies to generally asking the expert or person with experience. Common sense in business but absent in real life.
Blissful ignorance vs enlightened confusion
Ofcourse, many times my quest for knowledge leaves some confusion.
How far do intact cats roam? This one left me with more confusion online.
I usually have chosen to stop and hope for the best at that point. That may become a block unless you think creatively. For example, I found these answers from a pet detective. I didnt even know there is a pet detective, but maybe I could have brainstormed and thought of that as a possibility. That would have been extremely time sensitive information, had I thought of it once Pickle went missing.
However, its possible I could think of contacting a pet detective prior to making my decision to let Pickle roam. She told me cats rarely venture more than a 3-4 houses down or to the side of the house. She said intact toms are wild cards but still likely to stick with that pattern unless chased out of territory and afraid to come home.
She also said we live in a greenbelt with predators, but that was only after I hired her.
That piece proved most significant and would have had me possibly reconsidering the decision entirely.
Ultimately you cant know everything, and safeguard completely. There is room for forgiveness. Its not easy but necessary if I am to pursue a thriving life. The alternative to live out in misery is not what life is about.
Forgive my weaknesses.
Laziness did play a part. I can attribute it to habit but also health. However, had I ran those other steps, laziness would have taken care of itself. Its amazing what a little information can do to laziness.