Opportunity’s assassin.

Opportunity is fleeting.
Favorable circumstances arise and fade away.
Like the evanescence of a rainbow in the sky.
But unlike beauty, the longer we contemplate an opportunity.
The more likely we’ll be to reject it.
Even if we are correct in our initial assessment.
Because the passage of time darkens our perception.
A team of NYU neuroscientists demonstrated this in a recent study.
Participants were asked to decide on the direction of moving dots on a display.
They signalled their choice of direction and their confidence level with eye movements.
As the experiment went on, the researchers made the choice of direction more or less challenging.
By manipulating the evidence.
And what they found was no surprise.
More evidence increased the participants’ confidence level.
And that confidence level correlated highly with decision time.
The less time it took to make a decision, the more confident they felt.
In a second experiment the researchers manipulated the movement of the dots.
Creating brief periods with no real evidence of their direction.
As expected, the time it took for participants to make a decision increased.
But the accuracy remained the same.
What didn’t remain the same was the participants’ level of confidence.
It went down.
Decisions which took longer to make were perceived by the participants as less confident ones.
Even though they were just as accurate.
We crave certainty in our decision-making.
We want to feel confident in our choices.
And increased decision time diminishes that feeling.
Victor Kiam, the guy who “liked the shaver so much, he bought the company,” was absolutely right.
“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.”
It chips away at belief and kills our confidence.
So don’t let it happen to you.
When you encounter an opportunity that feels right, take it!
It may give rise to a personal rainbow.