Why Making Conscious Decisions is Key to Personal Development
If you don’t want to count yourself among the disenchanted and disenfranchised, it is time to think through issues and make choices, conscious decisions.
Pick a path you are comfortable in trudging whether it is well travelled or less travelled. Perhaps, comfortable is the wrong word. The path may not be smooth. It may disturb you beyond the point of comfort. It may overturn every decision you have ever made up to this point. It may be dark at first before light comes through. But if it is a path that makes sense to you, screw up your courage and get moving along.
Yes, it could be as lumpy as suggested above. That is why many refuse to make a choice or procrastinate. Doing nothing and letting life unfold is easy and no one can say you made a bad choice. Choosing, making a decision, a comittment is a break from our comfortable situation moving deliberately into something new, unknown and unfamiliar. It is something over which you may have no control once you are on the path.
Because of the queasy feelings and the discomfort that change can bring, many just let circumstances decide. They just let it carry them like a plastic bottle in the tide. They just let it dump them into something and they accept whatever it is with a shrug saying "not my fault". This is the hand we were dealt, they say. THEY ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MESS THAT LIFE FLOWS AT THEM.
Why they sat in a LUMP of indecision could be because of fear. Fear of failure is strong in many and you may not be an exception. You fear that you will be blamed for the failure. You fear of what people say. You fear of what will happen to your loved ones. You fear people will make fun of you or disagree.
You fear for so many reasons. So, you don't make any choice. When you just let things happen, you can at least say, it happened and so I wash my hands of the blame.
Has it ever occurred to you that had you made a decision then, maybe life would be different. Yes, you have put such thoughts aside before. If not, then you keep blaming yourself and end up a bitter human. Or you just erase your laziness ….but it bothers you once in a while and dims whatever happiness you have in life.
It is the difference between being a spectator and being a player. Spectating is easy....two beers and it's on to the next game...no personal failure...and of course, no personal gain.
Has this happened to you?
It happened to me. I was rudderless. This means I could not or did not make a choice. I went to enroll in university but did not bother to think out the course I wanted. I went along with my friends. After the first semester, I knew engineering was not for me. I really didn't make a choice, I just drifted with the flow of buddies. I flopped into the easiest non choice giving me a fun life in College. I told myself, I studied very hard in grade school and high school, College is going to be fun.
I had an easy time but I kept looking at my friends and my dissatisfaction with my life crept into me. I felt even then I was wasting whatever talents I had and so many other people kept reminding me. This latter I hated, but I kept on with my choice and just drifted until graduation. For many years, I was bored the whole day. I had no direction. I finished education. I was not interested in teaching. No, that was the last thing I wanted but at least I finished University. I had a degree. Finally, someone decided for me.
One of the nuns in the school where I taught told me that since I did not know what I wanted to do, maybe I should volunteer in one of their poor schools. Spend a few months and leave if it was not what I wanted. See if I could find myself.
For lack of something meaningful to do I went. I stayed for 2 years. At least, I was doing something. Enjoyed it very much but there is still the nagging feeling that there was a decision I was avoiding, some choice I must make.
Again, another circumstance took place which made the decision for me and I ended up making a commitment I stuck to for over 17 years. I was happy but that feeling was still there. I was restless but I don’t know why. I went for retreats, therapies, and then a graduate program to kick the conscious decision can further down the road.
Looking back now, I failed to make decisions. I let circumstances do the choosing. Until I reached 40 and I told myself this is my last chance. I made my decision to take whatever risks there may be and I packed a lifetime of choice into one conscious decision roll of the dice.
I left for another country. I started all over again. I had not built the capacity to be decisive because I had not made conscious decisions for 40 years of my life, decisions that really matter. Finally, understanding that if I did not make decisions, life would make them for me. I would be safe, but completely dissatisfied in my permanent role of chief spectator of my own life, but never the Quarterback.
So, look at yourself. Are you a spectator in the game of your own life or the lead player? Are you the plastic bottle in the tide or a boat with a motor and a clear direction? Don't wait till you're forty to take charge.
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