At times, all of us make decisions based on something other than the truth. I like to think of this as “decisional delusion.”

The word delusion means “something that is falsely or delusively believed or propagated.”  Decisional delusion points to action – or inaction – that originates from poor understanding or a lack of clear thinking. The end result is usually not good.

One day, during a layover in Minneapolis, I walked in a bookstore to browse the time away. Something caught my eye that made me feel ill. I had been thinking about writing a book titled Thinking Inside the Box for a Change, but I had procrastinated. Decisional delusion convinced me that I could always write it later.

The book that jumped off the shelf at me was titled Thinking Inside the Box. After flipping through the pages, I could tell the content was completely different than what I had been thinking about writing, but it was still too late. I knew that the opportunity to grab people’s attention with that title had passed.

I had missed an opportunity because of Decisional Delusion. I falsely believed that I could always write that book later…so I chose to do something different. I was wrong, and that opportunity is gone.

In the end, a decision to do something now – or to do it later – is either based on absolute truth or it has some components of delusion. As I mentioned in “Procrastination is Your Friend,” procrastination is neither good nor bad. It depends on what you do with it.

In this case, because of a false belief, I had made a poor choice in where to invest my time.

That poor choice didn’t happen overnight. There was a time when I could have still written that book and gotten away with a little procrastination. However, I never knew when that window of time slipped away. Not until I saw that book on the shelf.

By the way, I bought that book, as a reminder to myself to not let opportunities pass me by.

Have you experienced decisional delusion? How have you overcome this silent killer of dreams?