Last week I attended college orientation with my son. This orientation session was for transfer students–those who have already attended another school and at least obtained 30 credit hours. The orientation group was divided up by majors (my son’s being Finance). To my surprise there was a group for undeclared majors–the Undecided.

My immediate thought was “undecided”?! How is it possible to be a transfer student (i.e…you’ve already started college, had an opportunity to consider careers for at least a year if not two or more…) and still not know what you want to be when you grow up! I craned my neck to catch a glimpse of these students who couldn’t, wouldn’t or just hadn’t made a course of study decision. I also wanted to get a look at their parents who had raised such directionless non-committers.

Later that evening however as I relayed my experience to my husband it dawned on me that perhaps my initial judgment was wrong. Perhaps there is an experience unknown to me that I needed to try out. The experience of being “undecided”.

You see my personality is one of certainty and decisiveness. I’m more often than not sure of what I’m going to do and not going to do. I keep my own counsel. I deliberate in private so by the time I publicize a plan it’s not to get opinions but to communicate a direction. It would appear that I never undecided (at least in public). Being decided has contributed to my success as a capable leader. Let’s face it nobody follows a leader who can’t or won’t make decisions. My teams have always know that I have a plan, a vision and a way to get their very decisively. I’m fairly sure that I am decided because I have always needed to behave that way. Growing up without parents, if I didn’t decide no one was going to do it for me. Thus I have always needed to trust my judgment.

But now my brief experience with the undecided college major students has me rethinking my approach. What might I gain from releasing the need to be decisive and just be “undecided”? Person: Hey what do you think, Dianne? Me: “I don’t know. I’m undecided.”

I decided to give it a try. My first experience was with my son who was going out to get breakfast. He asked me what I wanted. I said, “I’m undecided.” To which he wearily responded, “You’re using that inappropriately”.

I’m not thwarted. I am going to continue trying on being undecided. This will look like the following:

  1. Seeking out other’s opinions.
  2. Delaying decisions while I weigh options a while longer.
  3. Paying purposeful attention to how I come to decisions.
  4. Praying about the issue rather than praying about my decision. This means being less specific in prayer and more open to God’s direction for me.
  5. Slowing down and being okay not knowing.

I will let you know how it goes.




George and Dianne