Making Wise Decisions

“It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you get off on sometimes. What matters most is getting off. You cannot make progress without making decisions.” -Jim Rohn

“When your values are clear to you, making decisions become easier.” -Roy E. Disney

“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man focuses on the public opinion.” -Grantland Rice

“Making good decisions is a crucial skill at every level.” -Peter Drucker

wise decisions

Life is all about making decisions. From the moment we get out of bed until the moment we return to bed. Some decisions are small and others are large. Some we make consciously and others we make without even thinking about them.

Let’s talk about the seemingly “small” decisions first.

These decisions while on their own may seem ineffectual, as if they really don’t make a big difference in the grand scheme of our lives. They do over time, however, steer the course of our lives.

For instance, what we choose to eat for breakfast may seem trivial. Yet over time, that daily decision can have long-term effects on our health.

The movies we choose to watch, the people we choose to hang out with, the way we spend our spare time, the thoughts we choose to think, the books we choose to read or not read, the attitude we choose to harbor, the words we choose to speak or not speak, the way we choose to spend our money, the love we choose to offer or withhold, the truth we choose to share or not share–these all contribute to the fabric of our lives by molding who we are and how we show up in the world. So while seemingly small, they can and do amount to a large part of our daily lives and our overall health and happiness.

Now for the “BIG” decisions.

What are big decisions? They could be what career we choose to pursue, who we choose to live with or marry, where we choose to live, whether we leave an unhappy marriage or or an unfulfilling job or choose to stay. Do we follow our dreams and passions or decide to stay safe and always wonder “what if”. These are the some of the decisions that can keep us stuck because of fear of the unknown, or that can ignite passion and excitement and spur us into taking action.

Whatever these decisions are, we know we are at the point of decision when we start to feel feelings of unhappiness, anxiety, depression, low energy, despair, or even when health issues start showing up in our bodies.

Many people choose to live with these feelings and suffer rather than making a decision; however, even choosing not to make a decision is still a decision.

So how do we know when a decision is right for us? We listen to our hearts and our bodies.

To give you a real life example: because this has been a big part of my experience this past week, my daughter was faced with a BIG decision. Four and a half years ago she decided to leave home at the age of eleven to pursue her passion for dance and the dream of becoming a Ballerina.

At any stage of life this would be considered a very big decision, and at eleven it was beyond big. She had to leave the safety and comfort of her home and family, to live in Toronto eleven months of the year with a few trips home throughout. I don’t have to really get into too many details for you to appreciate the enormity of this decision.

For the first couple of years or so, this proved to be a very good decision for her and she was very happy, which made me happy. Not only was this a very big decision for her it was incredibly hard for me as well.

Now, four and a half years later, she has found herself at the point of decision again. This decision was to stay and continue on her current path or leave and come home.

So how did she know she was at a point of decision?

It didn’t just come on one day, it happened slowly over time. She found her level of happiness starting to fade, she was getting sick a lot, her inspiration and passion seemed to be on shaky ground, and she wasn’t feeling as committed. She still tried hard and gave 150%. However, she was not getting the return of joy, happiness and fulfillment that was once there. She even tried to fake it until she could make it, hoping that by doing this she would just wake up and all the good feelings would be back. She was in a struggle between her heart and her head, and this was creating all of her anxiety and leaving her body depleted.

Decision time was upon her, so much so that she couldn’t focus on anything else. To her credit, she finally acknowledged and admitted not only to herself but to others what she was feeling. This was step one. Then she accepted what she was feeling: step two. Then she decided to let go of the fears around leaving (which were many): step three. Then she sat with the decision to leave and paid attention to how this made her feel in heart, mind and body: step four. Then she slept with her decision and upon waking in the morning knew in her heart and mind that the decision was right for her because she was finally at peace: step five.

It takes courage to make these big decisions. If a child of eleven, and then of fifteen, can do this, so can you.

What BIG decision are you avoiding making in your life? And how is that effecting your health and happiness?

Lots of love and may all your decisions be based on love and trust as opposed to fear.

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