The Season of Decision Making
More and more I´ve been paying attention to how much time it takes me to make decisions in my everyday life. After observing and reflecting I realized I was taking too long time to make basic decisions. For example, if I have to spend a couple of nights in a hotel how long do I take out of my day to decide which one I pick from the hundreds of options that are available to me.
The truth is that in this day and age we have so many options available, that often the process itself of deciding can drag longer that it needs to. I also found out that I´m not the only one dealing with these and there´s a lot of literature, theories and opinions on the matter.
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) the Liver organ is responsible for our decision making process and when the energy of the liver is flowing we are able to decide on a moment to moment basis and follow up with a creative action to manifest our choice.
When the Liver is stagnant, we dwell on uncertainty, we over think, we procrastinate and are unable to act decidedly. This can be a very disempowering and confusing energy to dwell for a long period of time. The first step is of course to notice that we are doing it!
In the way society is structured today and the speed of internet living, we need to incorporate mindfulness moments in the micro and macro aspects of lives, in the small and big decisions and realize when are we dwelling on uncertainty out of habit and when are we genuinely confused.
The second step in to do something about it. Spring is the season of creative action so this is a model of decision making I love to use both for my personal and professional life to help me use my time effectively and free space to focus in what is really important.
The Four Approaches to Decision Making
|1 – No Brainer|
Easy to compare and no big consequence if you choose something else. Choose in the moment.
|3 – Big Choice|
A big decision but looks like it´s our only option. Easy to make but can take time. The quicker you choose the easier it gets.
|2 – Apple/Pear Decision|
They are not really comparable, the level of decision here is hard. Pick one see what happens.
|4 – Hard Choice|
Big consequences and hard to decide. Being objective doesn´t help here, be subjective and set a time frame to decide.
According to philosopher Ruth Chang, we have the ability to find internal reasons to our choices: “When alternatives are on a par, the reasons given to us, the ones that determine whether we’re making a mistake, are silent as to what to do. It’s here, in the space of hard choices, that we get to exercise our normative power — the power to create reasons for yourself, to make yourself into the kind of person YOU CHOOSE”
“This response in hard choices is a rational response, but it’s not dictated by reasons given to us. Rather, it’s supported by reasons created by us. When we create reasons for ourselves to become this kind of person rather than that, we wholeheartedly become the people that we are. You might say that we become the authors of our own lives.”
From the smallest and trivial decisions you make in your daily life to the big shifters, remember every opportunity is a chance to practice your ability to shape your reality and making small choices are practice from big decisions. Have a great practice!