Decisions: How to Make the Best One
Your life is a series of choices. How do you decide which choice to make, to live most fully now and going forward?
Let’s examine three essential components.
1. Your intuitive mind
Where you have a choice – whether big or small – you may notice a feeling in your gut or heart. The gut and heart do overlap.
To distinguish, a gut feeling has more to do with instincts, keeping one safe. Following your heart takes you in a more soulful direction, connecting with the bigger picture around you.
It’s wise to consider both your gut instincts and heartfelt guidance.
An important caveat on the intuitive mind:
Sometimes we want something so much — say, a job or relationship — that we attribute that desire to our intuition Yet, in truth, it is an impulse an urge for something we’ve inflated to be urgently necessary to succeed.
In contrast, your intuitive mind communicates with calmness and clarity, although it can spark excitement in you. Contrast the inner knowingness of your intuitive mind with grasping and seeking gratification.
As a note, if you are interested in intuition training, see our EFT Intuitive Healer Online Certification Training.
2. Your rational mind
Your rational mind can also help you make decisions. Yet there may be a split between head and heart. Generally, when the two are in conflict, following your heart has a deeper understanding, one that transcends the thinking mind.
Nonetheless, the brain can give you important information to consider. If you want to start a new job or training, for instance, your brain can help you figure the investment in terms of time, money and energy.
Your rational mind might lead you to resources, such as experts who can give you valuable input on your decision. Your intuitive mind, also, might sense there are resources out there that would be good to consult before deciding.
It’s good to take these factors into account. Keep in mind, your heart might override the data you have at hand.
An important caveat on the rational mind:
Sometimes what poses as rational thinking is your past programming. In other words, what your family or society normally does is considered right and rational. Yet much of this can be illogical, impractical, and sometimes fear-based
Most of us, for example, have been conditioned with racist ideas about people that are not based on objective facts. And it might be quite unconscious or even seem reasonable or true. Stereotypes like, “ “_______ [name race or religion] are ________ [give label or characteristic].” All-or-nothing thinking, such as this example, is rarely actual thinking.
Or if you “think” someone with your background or genetics can’t succeed, this may be just a program you inherited. It’s running unconsciously, like an app in the background, coming from your family or society.
By contrast, actual rational thinking considers objective elements. It weighs facts and examines evidence. Higher-level thinking considers how the part relates to the whole
3. External conditions or influences
Besides your inner minds – intuitive and rational – there are external factors to consider. Consider the following three areas that can affect you.
* Is there a deadline?
If so, you may need to act within a time frame. Just be careful not to react or rush your decision. You can still be deliberative even if time is short.
For example, if someone sends you an email, unless it’s a genuine emergency, you can allow some time before responding. If needed, you can send a short reply acknowledging you received the message and that you will get back to them in the next day or after the weekend.
* Is it a lunar phase?
The moon affects the earth’s water and waves, as well as the water within your body. Full moons are notorious times for increased numbers of accidents and hospitalizations. Making a decision during a full moon is like trying to think clearly during a rocky ride. If you can wait till things settle down, it’s easier.
In effect, the idea here is what may feel urgent may be quite temporary. The intensity and chaos of the full-moon period can make it seem more extreme than it is.
Once the period ends, things calm down, including your thinking and you have more stability.
So if possible, wait a couple days after the full moon ends before deciding.
* What is your state of mind?
When making a decision, take time to consider your own condition at the time. Is this a high-stress period in your day or life?
If so, breathe, meditate, soul center, take a walk or find ways to calm down before deciding. The idea is to have the right state of mind so you won’t regret your decision.
Here’s how using the three elements might play out. Say you are deciding to enroll in a 6 to 12 month training. You can feel how drawn you are to this course.
What does your rational mind say? You can make the time – and the learning and connections are worth the energy of investing in the course. You are not sure if you can afford it though. [Alternatively, a person might be short on time, or both money and time.]
External conditions that may affect the decision: You have a part-time job and are raising two elementary school-age children with your partner. Can you take on something else?
Returning to your heart calling. Yes, this course might be a stretch, but you know deep down it is a good fit and really resonates. You can adjust some finances and scheduling — and trust confidently that things will work out.
With all the learning and support the course offers, it will more than make up for any reasonable doubts you have about taking it. You can always quit if things get too difficult as well.
So if you go with your heart – taking into account reasoning and circumstances – you would enroll in the course. Alternatively, you might see if the course is offered later and note the details in your calendar, so you are sure to enroll at that later time. But definitely follow your heart in this grounded way.
Exercise for Good Decision Making
Here’s a handy exercise to help you make a sound decision. After each category below, fill in your response.
- Find an area where you need to make a decision (such as a new project, training, job or relationship).
- Consider your intuitive mind’s input. What does it say regarding safety (gut feelings)?
What does your heart tell you (big-picture, soul-based)?
- Consider your rational mind’s input. To help, are there any references, relevant research or experts you can connect to on this matter? Is there a deadline / time limit?
If it’s within two days before or after a full moon, can you delay the decision until after this time passes?
Do you need to factor in stressors in my life, current pressures that need to be considered like, say, taking care of a child or relative?
After responding (perhaps in writing) to the above questions, note your insights and conclusions about the decision in question.
So there are your three key components for making good decisions. To translate it into a recipe: put in some solid reasoning, take stock of your current situation and stressors, then you’ve got to have heart to finish things off.
With the internals and externals combined, you now have all he ingredients to make a good decision