You may have heard this story:
Buridan’s donkey is standing halfway between a pile of hay and a bucket of water. It keeps looking left and right, trying to decide between hay and water. Unable to decide, it eventually falls over and dies of hunger and thirst.
A donkey can’t think of the future. If he could, he’d clearly realize he could first drink the water, then go eat the hay.
Don’t be a donkey.
You can do everything you want to do.
You just need foresight and patience.
Like the donkey, we get stuck. Decisions paralyze us.
Snap judgments work better.
Whether you nudge the donkey towards the water or the hay doesn’t matter. Force a decision arbitrarily.
Nudge the donkey toward the food, and he will eat until he is full and then go drink water. The donkey will live. He will thrive even.
Nudge the donkey toward the water, and you achieve the same outcome. He will get on with his life, and he hopefully won’t get stuck between the hay and the water again.
If he does, he needs another nudge. Simple as that.
“Whether you nudge the donkey towards the water or the hay doesn’t matter. Force a decision arbitrarily.”
Buridan’s ass is an illustration of a paradox in which one is unable to make a rational decision between two things that would produce a similar outcome. The solution is to introduce a little randomness. In other words, a nudge.
With those few words ;-), kindly walk with me as I nudge myself out of the discombobulated cocoon I have sheltered myself for way too long.