Good morning and welcome to your fifty-seventh meditation. You are in a situation where you are confronted with a decision that you have to make. To avoid the decision altogether is a decision in itself that will be far more likely to yield undesired results than if you take initiative and decide for yourself. But how does one decide? How do we even identify a situation as one that requires us to make a decision? And what are some guidelines we can follow to help us make the right choice?
Sometimes the fact that a decision must be made is obvious. Perhaps the world offers us two distinct options — do I want to go to the party tonight, or would I rather stay home and get some rest; should I take the job with higher work hours, or should I politely demur, take the pay cut, and spend that time with my family instead. These types of decisions can vary widely in how difficult they are to make and in how consequential they are — and there is not necessarily a logical correlation between these two factors. However, there is another type of decision that doesn’t announce itself quite so loudly and that can take a heightened level of awareness to recognize that it ought to be made. Perhaps you are in a job or a relationship that is just sort of fine, where there is no one clear, identifiable reason why you should be unhappy with your lot, and yet you slowly become increasingly miserable. A good way to help avoid this scenario to begin with, and to be more cognizant of when a decision must be made, is to regularly meditate. This doesn’t have to mean anything more than simply giving yourself the time to sit or lie down and observe your thoughts, feelings, and body. Watch yourself as though you were observing someone else. Don’t try to make decisions in these moments, or try to find decisions to be made. Just observe. A great time to do this is before bed when you are on the cusp of sleep where powerful subconscious processes can continue the work you have begun while awake. This exercise will start to allow some of our deepest feelings, feelings that are fundamental to who we are as individuals, to surface and become conscious thoughts. We will thus be more in tune with our own needs and desires in a way that is unmediated by the chatter of the different and sometimes opposing voices that occupy our brain and that often repress those same needs and desires. And as a result, we will be more aware of when we are called upon to make a decision.
This strategy of meditation also can certainly help with the actual process of deciding. Of course, there are always methods like weighing pros and cons, or cost/benefit analysis, and these can sometimes be helpful. Although more often than not, we already know what we want; we just have to be transparent enough with ourselves to be able to see it. Another great way to decide anything is to ask yourself, “what would make me proud of myself?”. This question tends to get at what you value most and so guides you to a decision that aligns well with those values and that you will ultimately feel good about.
There are lots of ways to help you make decisions. So don’t just wait for them to be made for you. Keep it up. You’re doing great. Have a wonderful day.`