What rules do you have for yourself when making life decisions?

Life Decision

My answer will sound very counter-intuitive. Until it won’t. 🙂

This was my approach earlier:

  • Have I analysed all the pros and cons?
  • Am I sure the pros outweigh the cons?
  • Have I made sure that I have thought of a solution for all possible cons?
  • Have I taken steps to avoid all possible negative consequences?
  • Am I positively sure this will work?
  • Have I really got a very, very strong and intense feeling about this? That I am right?

Things have changed now. I have realized some truths.

My mood will dictate whether I come up with more pros or cons. If I am desperate – the pros will seem sweeter than they are. If I am afraid, the cons will seem scarier than they need to be.

A lot of analysis is often aimed not at finding the right answer, but on proving that my chosen answer is right.

So I can do a little analysis, to make an ‘informed’ decision – but there is absolutely no point overdoing it.

All my thinking, analysing is usually aimed at one thing: To protect myself from failure. From uncertainty. But uncertainty is inevitable. Better accept it rather than run away from it. I will be in a better position to manage the consequences, if I am not busy being afraid of them!

I can analyse, I can plan – but there is no guarantee of making the ‘right’ choice. Ever. That would need me to know the entire future. Impossible. No wonder we embark on this impossible mission, keep thinking, keep analysing, but never taking a steap forward. And then wonder why we are stuck!

So instead of asking “What is the right decision? Which will cause the least pain?” I should simply ask “What is the decision worth taking? Worth any possible pain”

If I am feeling frustrated, angry and something like “That’s it!! I have had enough!! I need to decide NOW”….

That is the worst time to decide.

If I have to try too hard, think too much …

That is the worst time to decide.

Instead, I articulate the question in my mind, and leave it out there.

The answer will come. It always does.

Not when I am thinking hard, but when I am thinking less.

Not the answer that is right. But the answer that is worth taking responsibility for.

Not the choice that is ‘right’. But the choice that I am ready for.

Not the choice that will make me happy. But the choice I am happy making.

Fear of uncertainty is a perfectly human condition. Often hidden under lies we tell ourselves like “its too risky” or “its impractical”. Transcending this lie is often a matter of understanding how we exaggerate the risks, and face them by starting off with small steps. I talk about this in one of the chapters in my book How to stop lying to yourself and start fulfilling your dreams

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