The Right Decision


Every day we grapple with making the right decisions.  If we are intellectual, we weigh the options against potential gains and losses.  If we are emotional, we are swayed by the winds of passion.  Some decisions are small, and others are life changing.  How can we be sure that we are making the right decisions?

It helps to have some context in answering this question.  The first thing is that we are responsible.  We are always responsible 100% and assigning that empowerment away is a choice itself.  We sometimes feel trapped in a given situation, but we are never inert.  The next thing is that change is constant, and there is always a web of consequences, even when we don’t act.  It helps to have the perspective that life is a dynamic process, and in relative existence, nothing is ever static.

It’s also helpful to keep in mind that life is wonderful and mysterious; hard facts & logic don’t always prevail.  Take feng shui as an example.  With feng shui, the way a house may be laid out makes no logical sense from a western viewpoint, and may even be functionally impractical, but the movement of energy through the space is of paramount importance for a feng shui practitioner.

With this broader perspective, we can take another look at decision-making that is based on the ultimate truth.  The key is to be grounded when making decisions.  We already know not to make decisions when in peak emotional states, like anger.  But it goes much deeper than that.  Far too often, we make decisions based on protecting our personality, or things we identify with.  One of the toughest lessons to learn is that we are not these things, they are merely transitory.

Calculations, pros and cons, and cost/benefit analysis have their place but ultimately, they will only take us so far.  Living life is not a transaction, and when we only seek utility, we miss the magic of existence.  Realizing this, the best practice for making the right decision is to be still and feel the guidance form intuition.  If we are faced with big decisions, it’s best to take a few days removed from the situation, in a peaceful place.  Take a walk in nature for example.  The idea is to gain perspective and zoom out a little – to create a bit of space between the awareness of the situation and the judgements, emotions and mental calculations.

When trying to make a decision, what we need most is clarity.  It’s hard to know which way to go when the visibility is foggy, but when the fog lifts, the direction is obvious and natural.  So much so that often there doesn’t even need to be a choice, the path is organic and spontaneous.  So, the question is, how do we bring clarity?  Well, the insight here is that clarity is already there but we have muddied it up with our compulsiveness.  We have to allow the silt to settle, and not constantly agitate it with our incessant impulsions.  We spend a lot of energy propping up all of the facades we have built up around ourselves, and believe it or not, so many of our decisions are just more ways of fortifying these.  Simply cutting away the fat in our lives will eliminate a whole collection of things to worry about.  The more entanglements we have, the more we fret about decisions.

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