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January 8th, 2009

I was facing an interesting dilemma this week: whether to stay in Washington on January 20th, the much-anticipated Inauguration Day. The same day for which millions of people are paying thousands of dollars! And it would be FREE for me since I live right here. Except I need to get to a conference in Florida and, unfortunately, it begins the day after. And if I don’t fly on the 20th chances are I’ll miss some of it. So what to do? What to do?? SHOULD I stay or should I go now?!? (sing it with me… or not.)

I was quite in a quandary! A huge part of me thought, “Are you crazy? 6 million people are dying to be here and you’re leaving town? You’ll miss history in the making! You SHOULD definitely stay!” By the way, it’s the same part that as a child firmly believed that all the fun happens after you go to sleep!

The other part of me reasoned, “Sure being here would be great. But you can still take part in festivities all weekend. And remember how you dislike herds? Well, imagine what being amidst 6 million people will be like!And the airport is going to be a fascinating place to chat with people in the same boat… or plane, as the case may be. ” At first I thought I was just rationalizing a more disappointing option. I didn’t want to miss out on a life-changing experience and I didn’t want to let the “shoulds” run the show. I was driving me nutty!

I learned how I truly feel in a slightly unusual (for the usually-decisive-me) way. I flipped a coin! No, not to actually decide FOR me but to validate the knowing I already had but was drowning out by all the “shoulds” and considerations. You see, I truly believe that in our gut, we all know exactly what’s right for us at any given time. We just spend a lot of time and energy over-thinking, over-logicing, and over-considering how we feel. The moment I flipped the coin, I clearly knew the outcome I was hoping for – GO! I didn’t even have to check which side it landed on (but I did – it told me to go too.) I immediately called the airline and booked my ticket… should-lessly!

So next time you have a tough decision to make, consider flipping a coin and validate what you already know!

P.S. I was just telling my friend Steve Shapiro about my decision-making process!  Turns out, his is just as scientific – rock, paper, scissors!

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