A few years ago, I stumbled on the provocative article, “Fuck Yes or No,” in which author Mark Hanson explores a powerful decision-making concept.
At the time, Mark was dating and eager to marry. At some point, he realized he kept going on dates that were “maybes” or “not that bad,” and it occurred to him that he was wasting his time. So, he made the seemingly radical decision to sort his dates with “if it’s not a fuck, yes, then it’s a no.” After all, he wanted to meet “the one,” not the “for now.”
This concept struck a chord with me. What if, in life AND business, we trusted our gut, heart, and head to make faster, better decisions? How many times have you had a gut feeling that something or someone was right or wrong, but dismissed the signals with, “it’s not that bad” or “let’s see where this goes”? And how many times did those scenarios play out in your favor?
I decided to give it a try (modifying it to “heck, yeah or no”), and immediately my decision-making process shifted. I listened more. I felt more. And I trusted more. It wasn’t necessarily easy; on the contrary, it was uncomfortable and scary. It felt somewhat like jumping out of a plane without a parachute. But, after a while, the benefits started to outweigh the discomforts. Consequently, I was able to more quickly let go of people and situations that didn’t fit my long-term goals.
I’ve since modified my approach slightly to “if it’s not a heck, yeah now – it’s a no.” I like the idea of leaving a little room for people and situations to change (including myself). Today, we even use it in our initial meetings with clients and prospects. Together, before the meeting ends, we determine if we are a “heck, yeah!” If not, it’s a no–at least for now. It’s a particularly powerful tool when screening, hiring, and sorting out new clients/prospects. Bonus: It also applies to dating.
A friend and her husband prefer to call the exercise “heavy or light.” Together they trust their intuitive guidance to make big and small decisions, asking themselves and one another if the scenario feels heavy or light. If it’s heavy, it’s a no (for now). If it’s light, they act.
If this content resonates with you, consider completing the exercise below. You may be surprised at what you learn about yourself, your personal boundaries, and/or how to make decisions faster and with greater confidence.
Apply your own sorting filter (fuck, yes or no; heck, yeah or no; heavy or light) the next time you’re faced with a decision. Act on what your gut, heart, and head tell you. The goal is to avoid getting stuck in “maybe-land” or “let’s wait and see.” Practice making decisions this way for a week, noting the success rate of your choices. At first, I used a spreadsheet to track my decision-making accuracy. After a short while, my “accuracy rating” was over 90 percent, and I chose to stop tracking and start trusting. Heck, yeah!