How did Romans decide where to stay in Paris?
Lately I’ve been using the word decision a lot, so I thought that today I’d go out and find what it really means, and where the word comes from. Here’s what I found.
Decision is a derivative of decide, and decide is a Latin word which means “to cut off”.
Which is quite apt, as that’s exactly what we do when we make a decision – we cut off options. And one of the problems of decision-making is that we prefer to keep our options open as long as possible.
But how long is too long? I recall spending hours and hours once researching which hotel to stay at for 2 nights in Paris. There was so much information on tripadvisor, booking.com and other review and rating sites. I did spreadsheets, got prices, looked at locations, and read countless reviews. It turns out I spent more time researching which hotel to stay in than I spent at the hotel. So, that would be my definition of “too long”.
It seems to me that Romans were a pretty decisive bunch.
They liked their roads straight, their armies well organised, and they used their thumbs up or down to decide whether to save or kill the gladiators. I don’t imagine they had a thumbs waving around the horizontal for “undecided”. What can we learn from them?
One way of being more decisive is to reduce your options down to 3. Theory has it that considering all the hotels in Paris gives you analysis paralysis. But only considering two hotels can become too hard. So, in the spirit of the Romans, I advise you to quickly cut off all your options except 3, and then pick the final choice from these 3. Thus saving huge amounts of time, and giving yourself a very high chance that the chosen hotel will be very good. It might not be the single most perfect hotel for you in all of Paris, but then again, you didn’t spend more time researching it than enjoying it.
How exactly Titus Andronicus or Julius Caesar chose where to stay in Paris is lost in the mists of time. They probably rocked up, spotted the best house in town and turfed the owner out. Which is another option, but I think I prefer tripadvisor.
Posted by Rob Pyne