How on EARTH does one make the right decision?
This question opens a giant a bog-mire (if that’s even a word) of self doubt, angst and worry for most people (and yes moi is included )
Three clients have spoken about this this week – in very different forms – and they fall into three rather classic categories – which in a flowery round about way can be described like this:
1) something super lovely that you’ve been reeeeally wanting – actually appears as an option – and then BANG you have to make the choice – to say yes or no – BUT in doing that it’s going to change other things….uh oh….questions and doubt begins to appear…
2) you KNOW that something has to give…life or work isn’t flowing right…it’s feeling some shade of shitty…but do you make a drastic change or a subtle re-arrange?
3) something appears – seemingly out of nowhere – and it’s shaken you’re rather lovely status quo of ‘life is going swimmingly along’ – to a boom bell in your mind shouting ‘WTF do I do now?’. Damn it. I have to make a choice… Bring it in or loose the opportunity…maybe forever?…oh goodness is this a once in a lifetime chance…arghhhhh decisions decisions!!
My thoughts on this:
There is no such thing as the right or wrong choice. And there certainly is no such thing as the perfect choice. Yes, I’ll admit this is always a bloody annoying thing to hear – way too philosophical – and way too vague to be any blimmin real use… or is it??!!
Think about it.
Nothing stays the same.
Nothing is absolute.
Nothing stays the same…for more than a fraction of a moment.
Everything is moving and changing…all the time. Any ‘right decision’ you make right now will change by tomorrow morning because other factors will come to light or into your life and cause you to look once more at your options…to make another choice…or perhaps stick with the same decision.
In essence – decisions are not static – this is a strange myth belief we seem to all have – decisions are a momentary flicker in a greater ongoing process…what I’ll call the ‘law of constant change’
Nothing is absolute – not even maths…
…something of a bug bear as I personally loved maths purely because it WAS absolute…you know 1+1=2 blah blah blah… It was a royal disappointment to find out otherwise in my A-Level Maths (which yeh ok I got kicked out of in term one…for well…not being the ‘right kind of maths persona’ e.g. too creative lol…Mr Teacher stood me up in the front of class and I was asked to go join the English department…beautifully executed. Anyway the point of that experience was realising that even maths when taken to the higher levels was not absolute and this shook me – later on – when in a more self-reflective mode… Because if even maths can be subjective and changing etc etc then how the heck can you be certain of anything?
So on this basis – How can you ever make a sound and reasoned and perfect decision?
Well you can’t. As far as I can tell. Black and white thinking is a lovely concept but that grey matter in-between exists… annoying huh…or is it?
You see I actually find that this is freeing.
Try me out on this for a moment.
If the ‘grey’ matter exists in “what is the right decision” then it opens up more than logic and perfection. It opens up more than 1+1 will = 2.
It opens up 1+1 could equal 5 if you add 7 and allow 4 to drop away…leaving you back at 2. Confused? So am I 😉
Ok. Let’s simplify this.
1) It means that you are not being asked to solely look at the facts. Although these may help you for sure.
2) You are also being asked to realise that every choice is just one drop in your grey matter, that will create a butterfly effect of experiences for your next moment in life and open doors for your next decision.
You see as far as I can tell we can become paralysed by the idea of perfect decisions – the decision that will ‘solve’ our current situation – the decision that will make everything perfect and amazing and la de da…
However, if you move away from trying to work out what is right or wrong or perfect, it leaves you with the freedom to actually live and allow life to unfold…
Instead of looking for the whole package e.g. the ‘perfect answer wrapped up in a box’ – look for the next step…the bit that you do know…and let it lead you to the next step and the next…
I hate my job and I want to change my career.
Don’t look for and expect the perfect career to appear in a nano second…instead start to explore, brainstorm, the ooooh that feels interesting, let me take a step in that direction, make a play project to explore it, chat to someone whose doing it etc
or, I feel completely overwhelmed, there’s too much stuff to manage in my days and weeks
Instead of sacking it all off in one swoop and jumping on a plane (yes I believe I did try that a few times) you might like to lay everything out and say hmmmmm which 2 or 3 things feel like they could be dropped, aren’t really needing my attention right now and could give me some extra space in my life?
Instead of right, wrong and perfection, look towards what feels good right now.
Trust that that is enough of a decision.
Then move towards that.
And then watch and see what happens next…making the next mini decision from there…each time checking in with your deepest self, the most honest part of you…
Then sometimes…a big mega decision will appear in clarity…and sometimes the little choices add up to the same effect
Decisions are not static. Nor final. They too are a process.
Food for thought 😉