Chapters in the Story of Consciousness Lecture Series, Vol 35 . read
Making good choices
Decision fatigue drains you of your energy to make thoughtful choices. Whether you’re making breakfast or deciding what to wear in the morning, your brain is making upward of 35,000 decisions each day, according to Eva Krockow, lecturer at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. By the evening, you’re exhausted, but you can’t quite put your finger on why. Chances are, you may be experiencing decision fatigue.
Decision fatigue is when it feels overwhelming to be faced with decisions, regardless of how large or small they are, said Lynn Bufka, the American Psychological Association’s associate executive director for practice research and policy.
“What people worry about is that they’re going to make decisions that they end up regretting simply because they either did not think through all the options close enough and chose impulsively, or chose the default option,” Says Grant Pignatiello, instructor, and Clinical Research KL2 Scholar at Case Western Reserve University
You may have decision fatigue:
- If you find you’re more irritable and are struggling to deal with certain situations you wouldn’t ordinarily have trouble dealing with.
- If you’re having trouble processing incoming information.
- If you are regretting choices or second-guessing choices you have already made.
Emotions are the best indicator about how we are dealing with all that life throws at us. If you’re feeling more emotionally overwhelmed or burdened by life, that could be a sign that your inner resources are depleted from decision fatigue.
Throughout my writings you have heard or will hear me say that the highest and best decision space is from the being state of mediation. It is in this state that the mind and body are relaxed, sensory input is shut down and the ego is disconnected from the decision-making process.
Here are some rules you might apply to your decision-making process to eliminate or reduce decision fatigue:
- Do not mediate on a problem you are struggling with when you feel fatigued, which may come at the end of the day. Quiet yourself for a few minutes when you feel overwhelmed, close your eyes, and take several deep breaths. Focus on telling yourself in this more settled state this problem can be solved, and it can wait until the morning then surrender it to the universe, let go of it. You may want to do this quick-release meditation more than once.
- If you find yourself regretting a past decision that is not reversible, your meditation must focus on letting it go and understanding there is a lesson here. Determine you can live with the consequences without re-litigating your choice in your mind whenever it comes up. Going over past decisions just uses up your energy and is not productive. As above do a quick release meditation telling yourself to let go of this thought and just rest comfortably in the idea that you are moving on.
- Be proactive and consolidate as many decisions as possible that you can into a routine. Remember every decision even the very small ones eat up your energy. Some routine ideas:
- have a wardrobe schedule already planned for each day of the week.
- Keep a schedule of appointments and take time to consider what you want to accomplish on each one ahead of time.
- Commit to certain activities each day with a firm time so that there is no decision i.e., going to the gym, meditating etc.
For larger and more challenging life decisions get into a state of point consciousness in meditation and gently bring the thing you want to work on into focus. If you are feeling emotions, go deeper into your meditation until they dissolve, or you are less affected by them. You goal here is to gain some mind control before moving on.
- Now make a clear concise statement to the universe about “what you want ” it is best to write out different versions of your question before your mediation to make sure you are asking the clearest, shortest, most understandable version. Your question might go something like this; I want help in finding the best solutions to this problem…..
- State your question and ask the universe to share with you all the best possible outcomes and creative solutions. As the responses form in your mind don’t be surprised if you haven’t already considered many of them. Sit quietly and just let everything come into focus, do not respond to anything that comes in. Don’t judge anything just pay close attention. If you think these are coming from your own mind, pause and quiet the mind further by concentrating on your breath and ask the question again.
If you feel like you are just making things up and going over things you already know, this maybe the case because you have already considered the options that are in the range of possibilities you have to choose from. However, most of the time you will experience something new or a twist to the options you already know of that can make a solution workable for you.
Once you have chosen the best option, even though it may offer a difficult path, ask the universe to guide you now on making a plan and forming an intention to manifest this choice into your life.
If you are making a very difficult decision like seeking a divorce, negative emotions can come up throughout the process. If they do let them go or sit quietly going deeper into your meditation. It is not a good idea to make your decision when it feels bad. It is OK to feel sadness or feel good that you are fixing a big problem and you are upset it took you so long to act. You should always review feelings like revenge. When you are ready allow your intention to form like you did when you asked the universe for solutions. In this state you will have clarity of mind and your intention will be strong.
Conversely if it is a decision about choosing which new home to buy you may be surrounded by feelings of excitement and passion. These are coming from the field of love. It is a great place to make a decision from but be careful not to rationalize a decision i.e., the house you love the most is over your budget. From this place in your meditation, you can see the right answer maybe your second choice because it fits your budget. Your goal is to make a balanced choice between your passion and your intellect. The best choice will always be the one that will have have the greatest likelihood of preventing you from having to solve another problem.
Choices involving love and creativity are generally made from love or passion. However even choices in these areas can be difficult and create decision fatigue.
- A decision to leave your job to do what you have always wanted to do in a creative field or starting your own company can be very difficult yet the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do. Other less challenging areas of creativity may involve taking the time from your family to write that book, paint a picture or build a piece of furniture.
- Areas involving love like taking care of ones aging parents or grandchild can lead to wonderful yet challenging experiences.
In both of these examples and any situation that falls into one of these categories excitement, passion or both will be present. Take your time and be thorough in your meditation to ask the question “what do I want” and use your intention to make a plan. You may want to do this over several meditations to get comfortable with your bigger decisions before committing to them. Over the long-term your plan can change. You should review it often during your meditations and use affirmations to stay on course or make corrections. Always ask the question “what do I want” to discover you plan corrections.
There is no doubt that making decisions from a higher state of consciousness will yield the highest and best outcomes. Even making the best decisions from the place of your-higher self does not guarantee success. It does guarantee that you have greatly increased the probability for success though. It will increase your ability to reason through all the options and find new ones to examine in depth, to avoid making an impulsive choice as the default option.
The universe may give you an experience that does not work according to your plan, even though it helped you devise that plan, because it has a greater lesson for you to learn. There is a reason for the way life unfolds the way it does for each of us, keep an open mind to all possibilities. There is a pattern to the way Existence Consciousness works and with practice you will learn to trust it. The lesson often increases our opportunities at some point and can work out wonderfully. Pain from not getting what you originally desired is often the best teacher for developing the higher levels of consciousness and wisdom that life can bring to you.
Making good decisions is an art and evolves as your practice evolves. As you learn to self-inquire with greater skills, exploring the subconscious and managing it with auto suggestion and intention you will continue to evolve these foundational techniques we have introduced here. Using these techniques in making choices help you with self-inquiry in all aspects of your practice. I can tell you here that you can also use this technique in all creative endeavors not just to solve a problem but to expand your creative inspirations to add to your success. A simple reminder here is to begin all of your meditations with the question “What do I want.” The more you explore the answers you receive from asking this question the better you will come to know the authentic you, your higher-self, and so will the universe.