Learning To Be Decisive

"Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the
ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans; that the moment one
definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to
help one that would otherwise not have occurred. A whole stream of events issues
from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and
meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come
his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, do it. Boldness has genius,
power and magic in it. Begin it now."
....... Goethe
The ability to make life changing decisions is closely linked to overcoming
procrastination. After completing "Exercise -- Discourage Procrastination, Enhance
Action," you can now proceed with this exercise. It was once said that living is not
difficult, it’s the decisions in life that are difficult. People are creatures of habit or
better still, people tend to do what they have practiced most in their life. Regardless
of how uncomfortable or unhappy they are, people are loath to change what they are
accustomed to having or operating with in their lives.
The struggle people put forth as resistance to change creates a non-flowing
condition. Acceptance and surrender creates the flowingness necessary to get what
you want out of life. To an aggressive personality, this all seems illogical. Force is
how he or she wants to control his or her life! Hence the opposite happens. They
lose control and consequently feel fearfully helpless in the realities they have created
for themselves. The tighter the grip you have in trying to make things happen, the
more you fail to succeed. It’s the allowance of the process to work that creates what
you want out of life. So patience, tolerance, forgiveness, generosity, gratitude,
grace, kindness, gentleness, repentance, mercy, compassion, humility and
unconditional love are all upper brain region states utilizing more cortical cells. This
then is the link to our spiritual side that connects us to different concepts than the
mundane, greedy, materialistic world. We live in a physical world, but our true
selves are spiritual, so it is easy to lose our purpose for being here! When we
exercise our upper brain regions in a complete way, more of the why becomes clear.
Effective decision-making can also transform your negative, emotional attitudes
into more positive states of mind. You also feel better about yourself in the process.
You have free will to make decisions at any time you wish, but you must initiate the
process.
Some people have great difficulty in deciding what they want to do with their
lives. Making a decision to go to a restaurant or to take a vacation, anyone can make.
But making a decision to change jobs, change lovers or spouses, change homes or
make other meaningful life changes is not so easily managed by some people! As a
result, people may sit on the fence of life - sometimes for months or even years in
unhappy situations without moving in the direction that could make them happier with
themselves. Stress often builds in such people, and physical and emotional health
problems easily develop.
How can you become more decisive? How can you make distinct life choices and
proceed ahead with those choices? To begin, consciously review the life’s choices
that you’ve already made, and see for yourself how you’ve created your own reality
as it stands now! Look at your life and see how directly and how indirectly you’ve
created the circumstances that have brought you to this point in your life. Write it
down on paper and look at it.
Our habitual behavior is simply a neurological pattern in the brain that you get
accustomed to repeating, like a needle stuck on a record. You must consciously
bump the needle off the groove in the record and allow yourself to explore the rest of
the record. Consciously acknowledging that you are stuck on your “record” is the
first step, but consciously bumping yourself off so you can explore the other grooves
of your “record of life” is the second step. Some people never acknowledge they are
stuck in their lives (step one), so consequently they never get to step two and they
simply continue repeating the same things over and over in their lives, making very
few major changes. Of course, you can sometimes acknowledge that you are
unhappily stuck, but feel helpless about being able to make any changes to your
stuckness! Fear of making a mistake or of being wrong can also contribute to your
stuckness.
So with step one, you must acknowledge that you are stuck in a certain pattern of
behavior and that you want to be elsewhere. After all, you are either an active or an
inactive participant in your own life, it’s your choice. What do you really want to do
in your life? Can you see yourself happily doing this? What are the reasons you are
not proceeding in this direction? Put these reasons down on paper. How can you go
about changing your situation? Never once believe that you are helpless to change
your life for the better. You’re always free to choose, and use your will power to go
in any direction you want. Once you have decided on which direction you want to
go, let go of it and simply proceed doing something every day in the direction you
want to go. This commitment to a desired direction and “letting go” of it is an important process, because it allows all of the unplanned and unforeseen events to happen
to you as they assist you along the way.
Decision making requires practice like all other behavior. Remember, your life
can be a continuous series of experiments to see what will work to give you a more
favorable result or outcome. It’s when we feel trapped in experiencing unpleasant
feelings during the process that we must consciously examine the way we behave
(review “Exercise -- Making Better Choices & Getting Unstuck”).
Practice diversifying your life and consciously embracing new experiences. If
you catch yourself repeating a certain behavior in a certain way for 3 or more times in
a row, change it! Get into a habit of doing routine things differently. Even brushing
your teeth can be done with the left hand, in the kitchen, in a public bathroom or even
outside with a canteen of water! Consciously and actively create change in your life.
People can make a verbal decision to be one way or another, but they often find
themselves doing something else. Some people get into a behavioral pattern of
promising to do this or that and never follow through with what they said they would
do. For some reason the saying of what they want to do relieves them temporarily of
the doing of it?! They might have good intentions, but some block in their
personality prevents them from completing a task or accomplishing a job they know
needs to be done. The behavior of saying one thing and doing something else can
certainly confuse you in your life. If you recognize this behavior in yourself, be
mindful of it when it happens and “bite your tongue” before saying anything you are
not really going to do. Learn to mean what you say and say what you mean for more
clarity in your life. You’ll earn more respect from yourself and from others as well.
Most of all, if you feel you have made a mistake with a particular choice, admit it,
and make another choice. No big deal! If you never make mistakes, how can you
learn? Continuing to make choices and experimenting with life is the best way to
flow with life and keep unstuck!