Flip a coin and test your reaction

@Porcospino (18685)
Denmark
February 4, 2013 12:13pm CST
A Danish poet called Piet Hein has written a poem about decisions: "Whenever you're called on to make up your mind, and you're hampered by not having any, the best way to solve the dilemma, you'll find, is simply by spinning a penny. No - not so that chance shall decide the affair while you're passively standing there moping; but the moment the penny is up in the air, you suddenly know what you're hoping." I thought about his poem a while ago when I had to make a decision and found it really difficult to make up my mind. At one point I decided to I was going to count the number of words on a random page in a book and base my decision on the result. It was an important decision and I didn’t really intend to base my decision on a random number of words in a book, but I wanted to test my reaction. I tried it twice and I got two different results. After the first time I felt disappointed and after the second time (when I got the opposite result) I felt happy and relieved. Afterwards I realized that I knew what I wanted, but somehow I was afraid to make that decision. My disappointment when I got the opposite result helped me understand my true feelings. What do you think about the poem? Do you think it is true that you discover your true feelings when you flip a coin or something similar? Have you experienced that situation?
7 responses
@peavey (16866)
• United States
4 Feb 13
I hadn't seen that poem before, but it has amazing insight! I do think that we often hide our feelings and real desires from ourselves out of fear. This is one way for us to see what we really want. The decision becomes, then, one of whether we have the courage to do what we really want to do. I'm going to copy this poem to remind myself of that!
1 person likes this
@Porcospino (18685)
• Denmark
8 Feb 13
That is also my experience. Sometimes I discover that I actually knew which option I wanted the most, but there was something about that option that scared me and because of that fear I didn't even realize what I wanted. I am happy to hear that you liked the poem. I read it many years ago and I wrote it down in my calendar because I liked the message in the poem and I wanted to keep it. Some time I ago I had to make an important decision and it was really hard for me make up my mind and I thought a lot about both options. I suddenly remembered the poem and decided to test the idea.
@peavey (16866)
• United States
8 Feb 13
Did it work the way the poem says? I haven't had to make a decision like that to test it on but from past experience, I'm sure that it works. I have a new favorite poet, thanks to you! I looked him up online and he has several poems with surprising insight.
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@peavey (16866)
• United States
8 Feb 13
I had never heard of him before, but from what I have seen so far, he was a very wise man. I'm going to try to find a book to read more.
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@kingparker (9698)
• United States
5 Feb 13
I, sometimes can be indecisive on many decision I have to make. It is difficult for me to predict the very outcome, or maybe I am lack of confidence of it. An action of flip a coin to decide whether I should do an alternative action maybe foolish, but it is one way to make yourself to push on the decision to make. I won't know the true feelings nor I already make up my mind when I flip a coin. Maybe behind my mind, I am still indecisive.
@Porcospino (18685)
• Denmark
7 Mar 13
I can also be very indecisive. Sometimes it is difficult to predict how a certain decision is going to turn out, and in those situation I think a lot about the different options but it is hard for me to make a decision. This discussion was inspired by a decision that I had to make. I thought a lot about it, but I simply wasn't able to find the best option. I remembered the poem that I had read a long time ago and I decided to check the idea behind the poems. "Should I do it or should I not do it?" was my question and when the answer was no I felt disappointed and when the answer was yes I felt happy and relieved and the experiment made me realize my true feelings.
@jalucia (1435)
• United States
4 Feb 13
it sounds like there could be some to truth to this especially after your own experiment. I'll test it out to see if it really helps to make a decision. I guess the real hurdle is going with the decision that you're too scared to go with
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@Porcospino (18685)
• Denmark
5 Feb 13
When I decided to experiment with this method I didn't really expect much. I just thought that it could be interesting to test the method and see what happened. It surpriced me that the feeling of disappointment and happiness were so strong when I decided to pick a random page in a book. Afterwards I realized that I had known what I wanted right from the start, but it was hard for me to take that decision. Deep down I knew that it was the right decision, but there were things about that decision that scared me and I think that was the main reason why I found it hard to take the decision.
@sriroshan (2586)
• India
5 Feb 13
If you believe in such things then it is fine to flip the coin or any such article to discover your luck as such. I have seen many people who do believe in such things
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@thesids (22357)
• Bhubaneswar, India
5 Feb 13
hi Porcospino Childish, but that is me. I have done it several times and most of the times, the true expectaions have been revealed. I agree with what has been said in that poem quite 100%. Such a flipping of the coin is best suited when there are only two results or options to select from and hence you have to narrow down the options to two. Something like - to have that mug of Cold Coffee or that Mug of Hot Coffe kind of. Once you get closer then decide whether it will be black or milked. Then go down again on further narrowing the choice... It works amazingly right for me as I do get to identify what I really need when the coin is in the air. It is that disappointment or that enjoyment of the result which determines what you prefer rather than the actual result. And that reveals what you needed.
@chiyosan (30205)
• Philippines
5 Feb 13
Hmm i think there is some things that are true, some things that has to be verified, though. My take is that whenever i cannot decide i actually do try to just toss a coin and pick a side before doing so, depending on what landed on my palm that is the decision - but the thing is it is not always the case and i do not follow what i say or maybe often i silently hope that the side i want lands on my hand heheh :D
1 person likes this
• Ireland
4 Feb 13
I think if you have a decision that is evenly matched, then it makes sense
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