How to make good decisions
In the beginning this is easier said than done. In fact, if you’re reading this and thinking, “How on earth do I just drop thoughts, I can’t help what I’m thinking!”, then that’s OK. There is a process that can help you…
Let’s imagine you have a decision to make. It could be important, it could be charged with emotion, or it could be really simple and you’ve pretty much already decided which way you’re going to go. Pick something to use as an example as you read this.
Now, as you think of that decision, you probably have lots of thoughts around each possible course of action. Let’s assume for simplicity that there are two possible things you could do. You may want to jot these two options down on a piece of paper.
For each option, there are going to be advantages and disadvantages. So beneath those two options, start two columns labelled positive and negative.
Now empty out every thought you have around each of those points – paying attention to and allocating to a column, every single thought that comes up. If you have a thought that doesn’t easily fit into one of the four columns, then you can jot this down elsewhere on the piece of paper.
Now go through each column, completely emptying out every thought you can possibly come up with. Once you’ve got them out of your head and on to paper, you are then free to make a decision without trying to hold everything in mind.
If this is resonating with you, you can take this one step further. For each thought, you put onto the page, see if you can pay attention to any sensation you get in your body and then observe it until it leaves. You’ll be surprised at how suddenly you can’t even remember what that original thought was!
Don’t worry: you won’t forget anything that is important to remember. Your brain will allow you to let go of the thoughts, live in the moment and still function effectively without having to hold everything in your mind the whole time.
Once you get to this stage, you’ll be completely free of the mind trash and the emotional charge around your decision. You’ll be able to make a decision from a place of balance and complete freedom.
The above likely seems odd — or stupid — but, trust me, it’s not.
Most people already know what they have to do. This is why I make my living asking questions all day — I help people discover what they already know, assure them that they know it, add some tools around doing it, point them right at the key targets and help them find the courage to change their minds and behaviours so they are more likely to hit those targets the first time.
But, it is possible to learn to do the same thing yourself — if you can learn to let go of the static. It’s about letting go of the fear, the shame, the guilt, the confusion, the lies you have fed yourself and the fiction others want you to believe. If you can just lay that down, even for a second, you will usually find you already know what to do.
The above writing exercise is just one way to get to a place of full connection with yourself, your longings and the voice of God in you rather than to the static. At that moment, you are halfway there.
Then it is just about finding the courage, skills and resources to do it.