Days filled with complexities and decision making strategies make it difficult to decipher what needs be acted on immediately and what should be set aside for further internal debate. Time is referenced in short supply and we are taxed to answer emails, make phone calls, return text messages, book vacations, plan family events, take different jobs, move, and choose what social gatherings to attend. This can cause confusion for the best of us, and making decisions becomes down right overwhelming.
We place intention on perfection with our decisions, but it is challenging to create perfection when we don’t have all the details or information to draw upon. To alleviate as much stress from the process as possible, trust that no decision you make is final, but rather a life experiment with varied results to learn from.
Resolute decision making can put us in a state of analysis paralysis, in attempts to avoid as much risk as possible we freeze and make no selection at all. Calculated risk you ask? Well, yes and no! We calculate to the best of our ability with the knowledge we have at that time, but we are never capable of assessing every factor at hand, and a little faith can be of use at this point. We want to move on and make decisions but are stuck in a place of fear of judgement. “If I fail, Mr. Jones will think I am X Y and Z. But, if I succeed, I will prove my worth to him and be rewarded”. The analogy references failure or acquisition, win or lose, first or last place with no focus on refinement.
Think back to the days of science experiments in early grade school or high school. We start with a hypothesis and move forward with small steps and adjustments and come across findings and discoveries along the journey. It’s like the idea that “relationships are only a test of the human experience”, we have end goals in mind that we have hypothesized in advanced but we cannot measure every single variable that arises in life along the weeks, months, and years of the relationship. Do we then say “oh no!, there are too many things that could go wrong”, or do we jump in with both feet and ride the wave knowing that there will be bumps along the way?
When experiments are performed we are not to be filled with feelings of sadness, anger, happiness or disappointment we just jot down what the results were and review them. The next experiment is then performed with the new insight and slight adjustments are made again. This constantly produces more facts that we can learn from and use to better our experiment (or life choices).
Now if this method is applied to life decisions we will waste less time stuck in thought, spending less time worrying about what the perfect solution is, and more time will be allocated to learning. We can quickly narrow down a couple ‘good’ solutions to any problem at hand. Then act on it; the chips fall where they will.
If the choice you made produced a good solution in the end, great! But, if it didn’t, you aren’t left in a position of failure. You are simply left with more information that will help you to make a more informed decision in the future. This leaves little room for the self critic to come alive, that would probable confine in the proverbial mental jail of negative self talk.
- Don’t know whether you should open that soup boutique? Run an experiment and see if you can sell some of your delicious creations to your friends and family. See if it is worthy of expansion to a larger market.
- Unsure about the new job you just applied for? Gratefully welcome the position with open arms and see what pans out. What is the worse thing that could happen? Will you be less off? At bare minimum you will be left with more information that can be used when attracting a new position.
- Want to date that special guy in your office but don’t know how to get his attention? Ask him for coffee and see what his response is? Maybe he has never been approached before by a female and the inquisitive role reversal may peak his interest.
- Want to write for a career? Start a blog today and share it with your friends and family for quick and easy feedback. Let the words fall from your mind on to the screen and the message will spread or it won’t. At least you know where you stand with little risk or consequence.
The idea is to stop framing these life choices as potential failures or gains, and to reflect on the experiences with an open mind. Learning and self education is the only thing that needs to be focused on. Hold the perception in mind that you can’t fail and every decision will resolve itself with less anxiety and stress. You simply trust your life force and intelligence at that specific moment and watch the results unfold.
There is a voice inside of us that pays reference to hindsight, berating ourselves of ‘bad choices’ of the past with the educated mind of the present. This comparison is inadequate because you are just comparing apples with oranges, and not apples with apples. If you had the knowledge of today back in that specific moment in time, you definitely would have made amendments to your choices, but you didn’t at that time and that is perfectly admissive. You were just doing the best you could at the time, trust that!
Tomorrow you will rise and more information will be gathered, more insight will brew. It is important not to hold the reflection of the past decisions you made as the value of your current situation or worthiness. Your constraints are not of the past or future events. They are only of the perception you hold of opportunity for the present moment and what it may bring. Let go of expectations, trust that the decisions you make today will be of the highest form of your ability, and that you can learn and grow from whatever materializes.
Perfection comes from refinement, and refinement is a result of experiment after experiment after experiment. Did Edison hack away at himself after hundreds of experiments in his quest to create the lightbulb, or did he learn from each experiment, educating himself on what did and didn’t work on his journey towards the final end result?
Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”