Monday, July 05, 2010

Overcome the Most Common Decision-Making Pitfalls

The author of this article, Deepak Chopra, discusses the fact that how you make your decision is many times more important than what you actually decide.


Just for a moment, think about the various decisions you have made this week.  Which ones were easy? Which were difficult? Are there any decisions you have been putting off or avoiding? Did you make any impulsive choices?

The way you make decisions is important because, ultimately, the quality, happiness, and fulfillment of your life is shaped by your choices.

The following are different paths that people take when they are trying to make a decision.  It’s helpful to know which one is your decision-making style.

I Need to Make the Right Decision

If you obsess over making the so-called right decision, you need to reframe the decision-making process away from a life-or-death dilemma to an enjoyable process of taking assessment, choosing, and then working with that choice until you make your next choice.

Remind yourself that there are no mistakes in life. If you make a decision that doesn’t lead you in the direction you want, you can then make another decision. 

Don’t feel like you have to be certain that your decision will be “right” and don’t think you have to wait until you have perfect knowledge of the situation. In reality, it isn’t possible to have complete certainty or complete knowledge.

I Avoid Risks and Make Decisions Based on What Seems Safe

In reality, every decision involves some level of risk. There are no safe paths, and that is actually a good thing, for it is in the wisdom of uncertainty that we find freedom from past conditioning. Realizing that at the level of spirit, your choices are always supported. When you have a decision to make, instead of getting caught up in risk analysis, ask yourself the following questions:

Does this choice feel right for me?
Am I interested in where this choice is leading?
Do I like the people involved?
Is this choice good for my entire family?
Does this choice make sense given my stage in life?
Do I feel morally justified in making this choice?
Do I feel inspired by what I’m about to do?

I Feel a lot of Regret about Past Decisions

We are always doing our best we can at our current level of awareness. If you have made a decision that has resulted in pain for yourself or others, you have the option now to make new choices. Remember that every event in life can only cause one of two things. Either it is good for you, or it’s bringing up what you need to look at in order to create good for yourself and others.

I Tend to Base My Decisions on Other People’s Opinions

This pattern is a clear symptom that you aren’t in touch with your inner self and what you really want. Instead of trying to fit in or please other people, find out who you really are. Turn inward and follow the path that leads to your inner intelligence. From this place of knowing, you will be able to make decisions that will serve your higher good and, ultimately, those around you as well.  How do you do this? The most effective way to connect to your deepest self is a regular practice of meditation. In meditation, you go beyond the mind’s perpetual noisy chatter and enter the silence and peace of pure awareness. This is where you’ll discover your true self and connect to your deepest desires and purpose.