A process can be the equivalent of a mountain climber’s harness and rope, allowing you the freedom to explore without constant worry. A process, far from being a drag or a constraint, can actually give you the comfort to be bolder. And bolder is often the right direction.

Short-run emotion, as we’ve seen, makes the status quo seductive. But when researchers ask the elderly what they regret about their lives, they don’t often regret something they did; they regret things they didn’t do. They regret not seizing opportunities. They regret hesitating. They regret being indecisive. Being decisive is itself a choice. Decisiveness is a way of behaving, not an inherited trait. It allows us to make brave and confident choices, not because we know we’ll be right but because it’s better to try and fail than to delay and regret.

Our decisions will never be perfect, but they can be better. Bolder. Wiser. The right process can steer us toward the right choice. And the right choice, at the right moment, can make all the difference.

— Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work by Chip Heath, Dan Heath