Recently, a friend of mine asked me how I decide between two good options. First of all, I didn’t really know what to answer. But soon I realised I am constantly making these kind of decisions. I have loads of freedom: no work contract, no partner, no kids. So, what have I actually done the past years while deciding what do with my life?
Fear or passion?
First of all, I make myself clear whether the options I have are both based on a passion or whether one of them might be based in fear.
Sometimes it’s tricky to find out the difference. Fear can be pretty sneaky and can be so intense we might think it’s our passion. Look at all those people wanting to make more money than they can spend, working 60 hours a week. Can this really be a passion? For some it might be the case, but many are most probably driven by fear.
Whether a decision is fear or passion driven depends per person. Two people can be exactly in the same situation, but with two complete different motivations. Let’s say, for the example, Emma and Tony had both planned a world trip when they suddenly get a job offer. For Emma, this is an offer she has never had before. Making this trip has been her wish for so long, but now she doubts whether she is ever going to make this much money again… Tony, on the other hand, only wants to make this trip so can keep up with all his friends. He actually doesn’t really like travelling, but he is afraid people will think he is closed minded and backward. The job offer he gets is exactly what he has wanted, but are people still going to take him seriously if he only travelled to two neighbouring countries?
In order to find out whether my options are passion or fear based, I pay close attention to myself. I observe my thoughts, my bodily sensations, my breath, my mood. All my focus goes to the here and now and not to a mental movie about what might happen in the future.
But how do I ever make a decision if I don’t deal directly with it?
Because mentally obsessing about an issue is not going to bring you any clarity. Mindfulness on the other hand does. Here is how:
If you observe yourself mindfully on a daily basis (even if there are no decisions to be made), you will start noticing changes in yourself. You’ll notice how you react to certain things. Over the course of time, you will be able to make decisions without even having to think about it. With other words: You will learn how to tap into your intuition. Because we are so cut off from ourselves, we don’t hear this precious inner voice anymore which is so crucial in our decision making process. Regular mindfulness will bring back this gift!
Whether you are still about to make a decision or you have already decided: Try to let go of wanting to control any outcome. Start to trust in the universe.
Letting go is an invitation to the universe to provide me with the right information to make the right decision. Life has mysterious ways and you will be surprised about the guidance you get from the universe once you let go of control! This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t undertake any action, but action will come more natural and without doubt.
Eventually you need to know that there is no such thing as a wrong decision. Even if you perceive your decision to be “wrong” in hindsight, stay mindful and try to understand why this situation came into your life. Any “wrong” decision can only have come into your life to bring you a lesson, which will eventually bring you closer to the “right” decision.
Once you have made your decision, go with the flow and quietly observe whatever happens in your life. Chances are big that the decisions you have made with the help of your intuition and the universe are going to yield different results than usual.