Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Power Of Choice. A Good Thing Or A Bad Thing? And Does It Help Or Hurt?



In every single thing you do, you are choosing a direction. Your life is a product of choices. Dr. Kathleen Hall

We're given free will, and we have power to make choices. Then we tend to label things good or bad, helpful or hurtful. But the initial outcome of our decisions can be deceiving. What we at first consider a negative outcome can be a blessing in disguise. Our choices take us in many directions. And the process can be complicated.

Formula for choosing: We choose with our mind, our heart, or both, and our formula in this process depends upon many variables. We come into the world with inherent traits, and during childhood those traits are either nurtured or discouraged by our environment. We're molded into a personality, and what we learn from our experiences influences the way in which we make choices.

 Blockages to positive outcomes: In our own unique way, we sometimes create outcomes we don't consciously intend to create. An impulsive person may make impulsive decisions, and then suffer disappointing consequences. Being fearful of making a mistake can cause hesitancy in choosing. A lack of self-confidence may cause someone to lean too much on the opinions of others, and lose out in the long run. Much depends upon our personal approach.

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live. Flora Whittemore

We don't realize how many hundreds, maybe thousands, of times each day we choose something...coffee or tea, which radio station or TV channel, back door or front, answer that call or not...on and on. And most of the time we don't say, "I think I'll choose this instead of that." We simply choose and then act upon our choice, unaware of the brain and heart activity at the time.You may believe that only the 'big' choices are important, like those pertaining to work, relationships, health, finances, etc. The rest is just little stuff. But that little stuff is part of your overall approach to decision-making. And all of your choices determine the quality of your life, with consequences depending upon the importance of each choice.

Choice is strength. Having choice is also freedom. Coulter Watt

And having choice is a blessing. You choose what you want in your life, and you can choose to be happy with a positive attitude. You choose. Then the happier and more satisfied you are, the more good you can bring into your world. Maybe you're already a good decision-maker but, once in a while, when you create a negative outcome, you can choose to learn from it and find a blessing in that lesson. I used to be an expert in creating painful outcomes from well-meaning choices. And I didn't see a blessing in any of it. But sheer frustration and 2 years of therapy saved me. Now when I occasionally goof up, I can find the blessing. We're all works in progress, aren't we?

So how do we reduce the goof ups?


First step in decision-making: The first step is to train yourself to be a good decision-maker, so you can choose wisely.
1. Get to know how you make decisions. Impulsive, thoughtful, thorough? Clarify your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Notice what you feel when faced with a minor/major decision. Fear, discomfort, confidence?
3. What do you really want in your life? Or not want? Be specific.
4. How much do you trust yourself? Or others? (family, friends, sales people)
5. Think about your past mistakes, and what you might change. How do you handle mistakes? Guilt, anger, let it go, learn from it?
Next step: Choosing.
1. Know the outcome you want, and clarify your requirements.
2. Gather information. Read, ask questions, explore your possibilities and ways to get what you want. Will your choice hurt you or help you?
3. Analyze and compare different choices.
4. Explore your alternatives. Consider outcomes, positive and negative.
5. Now leave your mind, and quietly go within to your intuition. What is your heart telling you? Listen with your full attention.

Now choose, not in fear, but with confidence. You know yourself better, and you've done your homework. You've learned well, and you will goof less. And you're blessed.

I wish you many wonderful outcomes.


Marilyn

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