Mar 092014
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Yogi Berra is reported to have said. “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

Coots and Coots in training are well advised to remember this advice because decisiveness is more important than being right. Others may worry about making the right decision. Cantankerous Old Coots know that getting all the facts and weighing the pros and cons is less important than action. Right and wrong are irrelevant so long as you keep moving. Hesitation is for the weak and insecure. Action is for the Cantankerous Old Coot.

This may be difficult for some who have been trained to analyze and ponder about consequences. Society encourages hesitation and caution. If you have been over socialized, this may make it difficult for you to act. You continue to let your mind consider the possibilities and judge the outcomes and the decision keeps getting deferred. You dither. Nothing undermines the essence of Cootness more than hesitation. It looks weak. It says that you have no convictions.

But how do you break those life-long habits? The best answer is to let your gut decide. There is always that little voice that tells us what to do right before we break it all down into percentages and probabilities and go all indecisive. If you can learn to hear what that voice tells you and then shut the brain down, then your problem is solved. Hear the voice, act on what the voice tells you and don’t look back. That is the way of the Coot. Claim victory and move on the the next lesson.

For some of us, however, it is not so easy. If you can’t turn off the analysis and let the voice speak, I have another suggestion. Just say no. Immediately you eliminate any analysis. You know the answer before there is even a question so the analysis can just stay in bed. You might ask if yes would work as well. In theory, yes or no should be equally useful. It is just that yes usually involves some action on your part where no does not. Say yes and you have likely committed to doing something you might not want to do. Say no and you are protected.

To sum up today’s lesson, always act immediately when you face a decision. If possible always go with the little voice in your head unless you can’t turn off the analysis and begin to dither. If you can’t then just say no. And don’t forget that practice makes perfect.


Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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