Monday, May 21, 2012

Recipe for Deciding

No Dichotomy

I can modestly say I'm pretty good at Flying By Seat O' Pants. But sometimes it seems like a little decisive foresight might do a world of good for the home team. In the game of life, it can help to pick a card, any card, and go from there, without back-talk. 


Here is one of my fave current mind toys:

Ingredients: paper, pen. 

1. Make a list of "Things I might want to do" related to the decision-needing topic.
  • Drop any concern with How? or Why?
  • Abstain from But... and Because...
  • Include the silly, improbable and fun.
  • Include variations on themes, different configurations of possibilities.
  • Don't pre-qualify. Go for speed and quantity.
2. Do something else for a little while. 
  • Take a 10 minute Field Trip.
  • Or: hum a tune 
  • Get a little snack
  • Take a walk
  • Pat a resident pet.   
3. Recall a recent satisfying decision, big or little. How did it feel?
  • Confident? Playful? Light and energetic?
  • Did the decision seem to make itself without resistance or second-guessing?
  • Did you sense this would be a fine move for all concerned? 
  • Did you feel like if it didn't work out, you'd just try something else?
4. From the feeling-state of happy deciding you just recalled, read each item on your list, listening to your heart and gut.
  • Cross out, ruthlessly, anything that makes your energy sag. Be a warrior: the pen is your sword. 
  • Circle anything that has a lift, a whiff of enthusiasm, a Yes. 
  • If you truly Don't Know yet, write DK next to the option. 
  • Let yourself be surprised.
  • Move quickly. Don't linger or cogitate.
5. Acknowledge:
  • No=Yes. No is yes to you, to your truth right now.
  • Don't Know=Yes also. Are you willing to whole-heartedly Not-Know about this option for now? 
  • Don't Know is a place to stand and step on from, just like No and Yes are.

Voila! You have made decisions. To continue....


"If it's not a Hell, YES! it's a No."--Marie Forleo 


6. Pick a circled option, a Yes–preferably a 'Hell, YES!'
  • Make a list of small, clearly-defined actions you could take to move towards it.
  • Clearly-defined means you can tell when you've done it, and it's within your power to do on a day of average wattage, not genius. Time limits often work well for defining actions. 
  • Do something else for a little while. Mental sorbet: clear the palate.
  • Come back and circle and cross out those actions, yessing the ones with a lift....
  • and do one of the Yes's
Repeat as needed. ;-)