If you have to choose between two options each of which requires you to act in a specific manner, do what this study says. Do nothing.
According to the New York Times, that is the surprising conclusion of a paper published by a team of Israeli scientists in Journal of Economic Psychology. The academics studied the behaviour of goal keepers trying to stop penalty kicks. Was the success rate higher when they jumped to their right or to their left? The team analyzed 286 penalty kicks and found that though 94 percent of the time the goalies dived to the right or the left, the chances of stopping the ball were highest when the goalie stayed in the center. In short, when they stayed put, right where they were.
But, why do the goalies try to jump to the right or left? Because they want to be seen doing something. The temptation to appear decisive — particularly when you’re being heavily scrutinized — can be overwhelming. This behaviour can be seen in other fields too. During periods of economic turmoil, C.E.O.’s might be tempted to change their corporate strategy, or investment managers to juggle their portfolios, even when staying put is the wisest course.
Mr P.V.Narasimha Rao was an exemplar of this ‘doing-nothing’ style. “Deciding not to do anything is also a decision” he used to tell his critics. His philosophy was that more than 90% of the crises will blow by on their own, without the need for any heroic or decisive action. So, don't think you need to plunge into action all the time. What a wise man.