No Snowflake in an Avalanche Ever Feels Responsible

Image courtesy of Doug and Mike Starn

Image courtesy of Doug and Mike Starn

"No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible."

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, More Unkempt Thoughts


The Big Idea:

Your beliefs are reflected through your decision-making. The challenge is to make decisions that promote what you truly believe. Hunt for ways to align your day-to-day decisions with your beliefs and you’re really on your way to having control over your impact on the world.

The Briefing:

It's pretty amazing that every day you make thousands of decisions. Look who's “The Decider” now, eh? Many of them occur unceremoniously. No trumpets, no pat on the back, no congratulatory remarks from those witnessing the decision. But if you take a moment to consider what becomes of your decisions, you’ll discover how significant you are in either perpetuating or changing our culture and our world.

Decision-making is an immensely complex process, one that we collectively take for granted. Every decision, no matter if it's major or micro, conscious or unconscious, sweated over or delivered off-the-cuff, offers a glimpse into what we believe and how we choose to put those beliefs into action. Decisions don't live in a bubble. That's something we all tend to forget. Our decisions build or collapse economies, defend or criticize value systems, support or protest policies. It might not seem that way, but your decisions have far reaching implications.

Many people decry social media for celebrating the mundane in life. But in reality, those venues are putting a spotlight on the numerous, seemingly tiny decisions we're all making. When "Tom grabbed some fast food for lunch," he made a choice that has a real impact on all of us and the world we live in. That small lunch decision showed support for a culture that places higher value on convenience and disposability, than health and sustainability. Was that Tom's intention when he made that decision? Maybe it's time for each of us to consider the wider impact of our day-to-day decisions. They're never meaningless, and they're never isolated.

Take Action:

  • Start by realizing that you and everyone around you is tremendously influential. Meaningful influence isn’t related to money or ego, it’s rooted in how we interact and contribute to the world.
  • Consider what it is that matters to you and begin to align your decision-making with those values. This is not about being righteous. It's about making your choices truly reflective of you, always.
  • Give yourself a daily reminder that decisions are really opportunities to make an impact.


Dig Deeper:

Here are some resources that offer interesting perspectives and research about the decision-making process.

Don’t Overthink It: 5 Tips for Daily Decision-Makingvia

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?via The New York Times