Pliable Perception – Making Effective Decisions Part 2
In part one of the making effective decisions insight, we looked at the tool of: give less shits, the obliged check, and recentring on I. Here is part two of the tactical tools to help you shift your perception in the moment…
Needs and wants… I have previously released a quote which challenges our perceptions of what we need and what we want:
You can want the whole world, but as long as you don’t need it, you will get along just fine.
– Ramsey Bond
In the western world, society conditions us to expect a things from life… to have a nice car, to sleep under a duvet, to wear a designer fragrance, to eat out at fancy restaurants, to feel relaxed and comfortable at all times, to not feel pain and distress the list goes on and on…
We come to integrate all of these objects and behavioural expectations in to our definition of comfort. That means if we do not have them, we miss them and feel at a loss.
Redefining comfort is about two things:
- Being able to tell the difference between what you really need to live an authentic life in which you fulfil your potential, and what you simply want just because, and
- Learning how to embrace discomfort so that you can face in to, and find new challenges to help you grow.
Comfort is an interesting thing… it represents safety and security. It does however make us soft… when a lion has a full belly, it no longer hunts.
Think about examples of boxers who were young, hungry and had nothing to lose. With such drive and ambition, they apply themselves with the determination to win and rise up the ranks. The moment they are at the top and have money and success, they spend this money, make themselves comfortable, then lose the drive to perform and win.
Now I am not saying that we should live a spartan life and devoid ourselves of all pleasure and comfort. We do however need to see it for what it is and practice gratitude.
If you need very little your will always have everything you could ever want. Contentment is the highest order of happiness. At the same time though, we have to be willing to push ourselves to grow and learn. This means being willing to put ourselves in situations which create psychological and physical discomfort.
Remember that for the new to be born, the old must first die, and change can hurt sometimes.
Practice Acceptance Wisely
Accept what you cannot change as “what is”, and do not waste effort fighting against what you have no choice about or influence over.
If you do have a choice (and more often or not you do), accept your responsibility to make the right choice for you.
Once you realise that choice is available, and you have accepted your responsibility to be decisive, apply the insights from the previous making effective decisions post.
It all sounds so simple!
The key to this is learning to distinguish between when you need to accept “what is”, and when you have a choice.
You have a choice over how you think, feel and behave in response to a situation or life event. Yes, you may have made choices which have led to that event unfolding (as ultimately you are responsible for pretty much all events in your own life), but right in the moment, forget about that wider net of responsibility and focus on what inner choices you can make to best apply yourself to life right in front of you.
You have the Power
Nobody else can make you happy, sad, or fearful. All of these emotions are constructs of the human mind. A mind which you own and govern.
The only way that something external to you can make you happy, sad or fearful is if you first bestow the power to that thing or person to be able to do that.
Doing this is a choice where you dimnish your own responsibility for your wellbeing by handing the power over to something else. Doing this is not something you need to accept as “what is”, this is where you need to spot the choice you are making and take back your responsibility.
You can only make effective decisions when you first are able to see the full range of possible choices available to you. Practicing acceptance wisely is all about challenging yourself to accept responsibility for all of the choices that you can make.
The more you practice this way of thinking, the more you find you will arrive in situations with a refreshed expanded perspective where you can survey your available choices wide and far from a position of power and authority.
You are the master of your inner world and all of the choices that really matter in life can be found therein.
– Ramsey Bond
Enjoy, for now.