Critical points

There are critical points to any life and startup. Those critical points can be defined because it produces a profound emotional response, usually in the form of tension or negativity as to how to proceed into the future.

There are three ways to respond when at a critical point. One, you can decide to hesitate to make a decision, unsure of what to do and experiencing the negative emotion fully. Two, you can decide to be passive and back down from the moment and its resulting action. Three, you can reach down inside, say "fuck you", and decide to fight for the resulting action. All three are normal responses.

The first action is fine and nothing inherently wrong. But it's better to cap the first action to a pre-defined time period (I'm going to mope for 1 week) and then decide the next action. The first action produces no outcome, is more a state of being, and highly inefficient.

The second action can be a mixed bag. Sometimes it is optimal to be passive; it is also the most chosen action. But my opposition to this action is that it creates a pattern of passivity and risk-aversion that is very hard to break in the long-term.

The third action is better, but not always the best decision. It is less than optimal to barrel into gun-fire every single opportunity; it is also harder to be action oriented, for most people. But because it is harder, I find this action to be optimal more than not, to start a pattern of decisiveness.

So between action two and three, what's the best way to decide at a critical point? I think viewing the point as a an opportunity to maximize learning is the best outcome to aim for. The reason is because a lot of these critical points have undefined paths that make it hard to predict the exact outcome, but the trajectory can be somewhat reasonably projected.

Therefore, if passive produces the most learnings, go for that; if aggressive go for that.