I’ve been wondering, pondering decisions, how they are made or not made.
Not the decisions I’ve already made- I’ve found myself to be lacking the ability to acknowledge and praise my own good decision making and too quick to slide into self-indulgent, guilt ridden ridicule for some of the others.
Neither of which makes for a pleasant visit down memory lane.
I’m not revisiting, for now.
I’m not sure if we are required or do make more decisions than ever before. It does feel that way.
From the posts we like, to the diets or lifestyle we choose, to the workouts we adhere to…. endless.
I recently found myself staring at a wall full of travel books at the local book store, I’m planning an upcoming trip.
There were so many to choose from, my 10-minute errand was morphing into an epic adventure. I started flipping through and comparing, and, obviously, none of them had every feature I wanted. I finally chose one. I wondered on the way home, if I’d made THE.RIGHT.CHOICE.ABOUT.A.TRAVEL.BOOK.
Like There Is One.
That situation is probably why, when I find a brand or place I like, I don’t bother changing.
I don’t want to have to make a new decision.
I think of my decision-making ability as limited. Every morning, after a good night’s rest, my decision-making ability tank is full, supercharged even. (all bets are off if a good night’s sleep didn’t happen)
The more decisions I make during the course of the day, the emptier my tank gets. Stress, not eating right, too much sugar, distractions, all influence the number and quality of the decisions.
It’s why I start the day with limited breakfast options, I don’t want to waste my valuable decision allotment on something I already know how to do well.
This is not a new concept. I have a friend who only owns black socks, all the same brand, one less decision a day. (seems to work, he’s brilliant and accomplished, btw)
I’ve realized the simple decisions for me, like eating right and exercising, support my core beliefs about health and fitness.
The bigger decision, the ones that affect the other things I profess to care about in my life, are a struggle. (It’s possible I am discovering my core beliefs are not in alignment with..., I think that is a post for another day)
I’m working on a combo of pro-ing and con-ning my way through to a decision and doing a gut check.
What I’ve realized; if I check in and see if every pro and con I’ve listed feels right on its own merit, I get a little closer to where I need to be.
Because, what my friends, acquaintances, and society may think is the wrong thing for me to do, might be the one that’s calling me the most. And what some folks think is the right thing to do might feel soul sucking to me. (I’m not talking about things that are clearly right or wrong, or out of alignment with a good moral code).
The biggest hurdle with a decision, the thing that stops me in my tracks, is that feeling like each decision is permanent. That the decision I make is going to have long-lasting, far-reaching and possibly damaging effects.
And, some decisions are permanent, it’s true. And important to get right.
A lot of them though, aren’t.
What they really are are choices.
Choices that I am making with the information I have, based upon the criteria I’m judging them against.
If I want to make “better” decisions, I may have to start with changing a framework that I’ve built. Or acknowledging that there is a framework. That I am being less than open-minded or objective about the decision or idea in front of me.
I could be taking the easy route because while the decision may not be perfect, it’ll get me mostly there.
I could be basing a decision on some story I’ve built in my head about possible outcomes-which at some point might have been an excellent coping strategy but now just keeps me stuck.
There are lot of decisions to be made.
There are even decisions to be made about what decisions need to be made.
I’m trying a new strategy.
I’m asking myself some questions.
By when do I need to make this decision?
Who will this decision affect?
Will making this decision affect my life or the lives of others in a positive way?
I’m going to apply the rules I use to the decisions I make easily and see if there is a pattern I can use.
And then, I’ll make the decision.
I’ll put a plan in place to review it.
I’ll see if it is getting me further from the things I wanted to leave behind and closer to the person I want to be.
One choice at a time
One day at a time
One by one.