How to Make Great Decisions: Part 1

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We all make bad decisions, but some folks do it a lot better than the rest of us. Take, for example, the criminals who decided to rob a spy store that specialized in high-end security systems. They were caught on no less than 17 surveillance cameras.L1 Or what about the inmate that tried to escape from prison one day before his sentence was over.L2 I have a feeling he didn’t make parole. Although I’ve never attacked a police horse with my shoeL3, I’ve certainly made plenty of stupid decisions in my lifetime.

Here’s a great story about making bad decisions

People wakeboard behind Personal Watercraft all the time. But when I tried it, something went terribly wrong. My fair skinned, red-headed buddy—Bird-man—woke me up early so we could catch the glassy water of Lake Powell before the tourists roughed it up. We made it out and launched the Sea-Doo before they even finished putting on their knee-high dress socks and flip flops.

Bad decision #1: wakeboarding in the main channel

We headed straight to the middle of the main channel about a mile away from the shore. If you’ve spent any time on a lake you’ll know that the main channel is both the roughest part of the lake, and also the most dangerous part of the lake. We knew that I’m sure. Why did we go to the main channel? I have no idea.

Bad decision #2: letting the rope float willy-nilly

Bird-man and I grew up on the lake so it’s not like we were novices. But there’s something about a floating ski line and a jet intake that just don’t mix. If you’re lucky the rope will just break but in our case all 65 feet of it got sucked into the propulsion unit and wrapped around the drive shaft about 700 times.

Bad decision #3: no tools, who’s holding the flag?

So there we were, stranded in the middle of the main channel. We didn’t have any tools, nor any other way of getting the rope out of the propulsion unit. We eventually chewed (yes, chewed) through enough of the plastic-like ski line to dislodge the rope but by that time the seat and engine compartment were so filled with water that the Sea-Doo barely stayed afloat. And nobody was holding the flag, which is required by law in Arizona.

Our first good decision: scream like little girls

Bird-man and I realized that our situation was not improving and so we finally managed to make a good decision: we hollered for help until some house boater finished his shower and came to our rescue.

The poor choices persist

Like most men, I continued to make poor choices throughout my childhood, through my teenage years, and finally into my late teens and early twenties. The vast majority of my bad decisions were made on the lake because that’s where I grew up. But I’ve made plenty of other stupid decisions and I’m still making poor decisions to this very day.

In the upcoming posts I’ll tell you about what’s making a difference in my decision making but in the mean time I’d love to hear about your experiences.

So, what’s your story? What kind of bad decisions have you made in your lifetime? Tell me in the comments.


  1. Men Steal From Spy Store
  2. Sheriff: Escapee Was 1 Day From Release, via Dumb Criminals
  3. Woman accused of attacking Austin police horse with her shoe, via Dumb Criminals

Photo by popsarmchair