Never make important decisions past midnight

Cuz you’re most likely drunk, tired, or looking for a booty call.

Okay, it’s a facetious notion but it brings me to my general message:

Making decisions when you’re not in your “normal” state of mind usually leads to regret.

What’s that you say? “That’s common sense, you idiot.” Oh really, shmuck? Then why do you keep making the same mistakes over and over? Why do you keep shooting off drunken texts, Facebook posts, and emails to the point that you installed that Gmail app that makes you solve complex math problems before you can hit the “send” button past midnight?

Here’s a quick list of other examples….

“Don’t make important decisions when you’re”:

  • drunk from the happy hour you went to with your coworkers at 4pm
  • depressed cuz they got your order wrong at Starbucks
  • tired from that Tuesday night concert that started at midnight
  • hopped up on caffeine
  • hopped up on drugs (NyQuil, Vicodin, or God knows what else)
  • angry at your better half about hair on the bar of soap (or something important)
  • peeved with your roommate and/or their annoying pet
  • way too happy cuz you just watched Kindergarten Cop again for the twelfth time
  • way too happy cuz you just watched Predator again for the twenty-third time

1

It all comes down to hormones, people. Whether it’s a rush of adrenaline from an emotional high or an overload of cortisol from stress, our choices are influenced on a daily basis by compounds that flow through our body. They can cause a complete lapse in previously established attitudes we may have on any given situation….and encourage a complete 180 degree turn of our personality to create Mr. Hyde (see picture, right).

All of this is totally natural, of course, and can make for a fun night out with your drinking buddies. What I’m talking about, however, is making major life decisions when you’re under the influence of booze, caffeine, sexual eye candy, whatever. Sure, there’s stuff like getting a tattoo at 3am or buying a ’68 Shelby Mustang with your life savings (not necessarily a bad one though….) but you can also screw up your career or personal relationships based on a couple of bad choices.

The saying, “learn from your mistakes”, is a really hackneyed phrase but it also couldn’t ring more true. What I’m trying to prescribe, though, is preventative medicine for bad choices. Identifying your personal risk factors is one thing; identifying them and remembering to take a moment to think is another. Try having a friend give you some Pavlovian love and smack you upside the head every time you’re about to do something stupid.

Especially if you think something is “a really, really good idea” or you’re laughing at your “future self” for what you’re about to do….

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