Yes, You May Make That Big Life Change
If you’re seriously considering making a major change in your life such as switching jobs, having a baby, getting married or leaving a marriage, you should probably give yourself the green light, according to the findings of a recent study. Developed by Steven Levitt, coauthor of the bestseller Freakonomics, and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the study concluded that “people may be excessively cautious when facing life-changing choices.”
Study participants who were on the fence about a life decision were sent to a website where they could toss a virtual coin. If the coin toss told them to make the change, followups two and six months later found them happier with their decision than people who took the advice of a coin toss telling them not to make the change. The website recorded a total of 20,000 coin flips over a period of one year.
When people were making less important decisions, such as whether to go on a diet or grow a beard, they were equally happy in followup reports whether they chose to make the change or not. But if you’re thinking of switching to a significantly different direction, go for it!
“As a basic rule of thumb,” Levitt told a reporter from The Atlantic, “I believe that people are too cautious when it comes to making a change.”