Day 22 – Don’t be an Ass

Philosophical Thought

An experiment from Jean Buridan proposed the following:

An ass that is equally hungry AND thirsty is placed precisely midway between a basket of hay and a bucket of water.

Unable to decide on which to consume first, the ass cannot make a rational decision and eventually dies. Either from thirst or hunger.

The ass is dead because it is unable to make a decision.

Don’t be an Ass

So the question this bright Sunday morning for you is, how many times have you stalled because you couldn’t make a decision?

The question is an important one to answer today because being Sunday; it’s time to look at our weekly plan. Brand new week – wide open – how will you spend your time? Are you between two or three choices this week? Maybe the decision is a simple one. But perhaps it’s a little more complicated, and you’re not sure how to determine your Best Yes?

Time, like money, has an opportunity cost. Most people are familiar with the adage “When you buy a cup of Starbucks, you’re giving up the ability to buy something elsewhere.” The point being when we spend money on something – we can’t spend it on something else. Our financial resources are finite to an extent. But our time even more so. Using the same Starbucks – the time you spend in line comes with a cost.

**And before you think there is Starbucks judgment here, please don’t. I’m a huge fan of Starbucks and a hot cup of latte. But I am also intentional about my decision – I’ve categorized it as “small pleasures.”

But I also don’t want my whole life frittered away with small pleasures – because they are small…tiny…fleeting. So, like small decadent purchases, I must keep frivolous time pleasures to a minimum so that the bulk of my time is spent on my BIG things.

Once you’ve assessed the opportunity costs, where do your choices fall within your values…going back to your manifesto…your guideline? Do both choices line up or is one outside the overall principles you want to live?

Not making a choice is making a choice

And finally, sometimes, we have two good choices, and a decision must be made…NOT making a choice IS making a choice. I think approaching life passively is just as dangerous as frittering it away.


But a more common trap, at least one I frequently fall into, is trying to do BOTH things AT ONCE. Unlike the ass, I’ll attempt to eat and drink at the same time…usually ending with me choking and not having enjoyed the experience. If both or all your choices are good and aligned…then make a decision…do one and then the other…you can do it all, just not all today.

See ya tomorrow.

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Donna Matthews

Donna is a passionate soul eager to help others clear the chaos from their minds, souls, and homes with keep it simple, real life, productivity and organizational solutions.