One decision could change your life.
We make a thousand small decisions a day. What should I wear (do I look fluffy in those pants)? What should I make for dinner (can I feed my kids corndogs again)? Should I throw a load of laundry in now or can it wait until the morning (will the kids have underwear in the morning)? Do I give in to my kids request for a later bedtime, just this once (oh shit, I did that last night didn’t I)? Our brains are making one decision after the next all day long in fact, so much so that we aren’t even consciously thinking of many of them.
But then there are those huge decisions we make in life. You know, the kind that rock your world. I can recall some of these decisions I’ve made like they were yesterday. I can place myself in those moments, feel the feelings. When I made some of these choices, I knew they would change EVERYTHING and be so impactful in my life. And then there are those earth-shattering decisions that are so sneaky you hardly realize what is about to come.
When I made the decision to end my marriage, I knew my life would forever change. I mean, it’s kinda a big deal to just up and end an eighteen-year relationship. I knew the lives of my kids would also be impacted beyond measure, because of my choice. Which is why that decision involved countless days of barely eating, nights without sleep, and looking back, it was way overdue. That one decision, though I knew deep down for a long time was necessary, was one of the most difficult I’ve made to date. It’s little wonder then, that the path life took after my divorce was windy and rocky before more decisions turned the steep hills to a more level road.
The decision to start my business was someone else’s sneaky plan for me. I made a hasty decision to start using a product promising to deliver more energy, even though my nurse brain was skeptical beyond measure. I actually made that decision and then immediately wanted to take it back! I couldn’t believe I had reached such a state of desperation. When I had to admit to myself a week later I was sleeping better than I ever had, didn’t want to nap every chance I could, was nicer to my kids, and felt motivated and alive again, I knew I would tell anyone that would listen about what I was experiencing. My business was born out of the fact that I have a loud mouth and I made one decision I would not keep my newfound feelings to myself. Turns out, this choice has become one of the best I’ve ever made, and yet it was so random.
I have always wanted to look at big decisions in a systematic way. I would try to be unbiased and even go so far as to attempt to predict what would happen with a particular decision. But can we really calculate what will happen in our lives? Or is life made up of coincidences, compulsions, and fate? Most of us at some point have tried to come to a conclusion based on a pros/cons list. As we attempt to logically list the good and bad about life altering circumstances, somewhere inside our heart is jumping up and down, waving wildly and screaming, “I know, I know!” Because most often, we DO know, about the nagging feeling a relationship isn’t right, about the job we really want to take even though the salary is a little less, about fighting for something we believe in that is an uphill battle.
If you knew a decision would really change the trajectory of your life, would you approach it differently? The interesting thing is, we may or may not know. On one hand, we all have decisions that are obvious. We make a choice about what we want to be when we grow up, who we want to do life with, or not, whether we want to have kids or dogs or both, you know those BIG decisions. Then there are the mysteries. We have no idea if a casual choice could have wildly dramatic outcomes.
Here is the best personal example I can give you. A couple of years ago I made a spontaneous decision to rekindle a friendship with someone I knew in high school and always had fun with. Prior to this point, I had ignored a lot of men who had reached out to me due to a lack of trust and an unwillingness to engage. Trust me when I say, don’t change your Facebook status from married to single until you are ready for some seriously awkward messages from people you may or may not know. I could have easily bypassed this new message or deleted it without reading it, but I made a quick decision from my heart that looked past my fear. A relationship was formed then, a friendship, and now SO MUCH more, and I could have simply missed it all.
Realizing this has made me approach my own decisions in a new way. I have learned not to overanalyze. I trust my gut. I go with the flow. I have faith. That is not to say that I don’t make decisions based on knowledge and information. I just use my heartheaded voice now. I consider the facts surrounding a decision AND let my intuition guide me. It’s ironic (or not) that since making decisions in this way, my life is happier, more energized, and I am the most content I have ever been. All because of one decision, which led to another decision and another. I prosper in my new life because I left the “shoulds” behind (I should do this, that, or the other thing…), grew my confidence in my heartheaded decisions, and stepped into ME. It’s shockingly simple and my hope for you is decisions become an exciting adventure and lead you to a beautiful life.
Need help with decisions? I’m no expert but I know someone who is! Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a guide to decision making from my beautiful and brilliant friend Megan Shaughnessy. It will change your life!