Life is a long sequence with highly frequent decisions. Every moment you’re making one. Large or small. Conscious or subconscious. I just decided to write about this topic (relatively large and conscious decision) and my fingers follow up on the keyboard (relatively small and subconscious decision). In other words: We’re deciding all the time. Even avoiding action is a decision. The quality of your life is a function of the quality of your decisions. So, how do you take better decisions? Let’s dive into it the ExperienceZone way.
We’re always on the run to…nowhere!
Success in our “developed” world is often the result of doing more in less time. Thus busyness can become an addiction. It means ‘having a valuable life’. We’re rewarded with money which allows us to buy stuff, which makes us feel even more valuable. No suprise that most of us engage in this rat race. Yet if we’re always down in the wheats, we’re not realigning to our mission. Also, we’re running the risk to become puppets and satisfy the expectations of others (incl. our partner, parents, children and friends) rather than living our own dreams. It’s like being on a fast-train, which destination we don’t know. We even don’t take time to look outside the window. We’re just too busy to make it run faster. The results are devastating: With the acceleration of our lives (mind that in the last 10 years our walking speed increased by 10%), burn-out rates as well as those of other stress related diseases skyrocket.
How do you escape the vicious circle?
- Make up your mind: Acknowledge that your’re part of the race. Admission is the first step towards change. Moreover, you want to feel an urge to shift gears. Just begin to write a no-to-do-list (documenting all activities, which you don’t want to engage in any longer) and/or craft your own eulogy (what other people should say about you when you’re dead). Those techniques enable you to take a step back and build the bridge to step #2.
- Define your mission: Why the heck are you on the planet? Well, you might respond that you want to become happy. Duh, everybody wants that. Yet only a few dig deeper and describe how they want to accomplish that. Countless ways lead to Rome. Lay your own path. Your unique reason for existence.
- Become an essentialist: A decision is a choice combined with an action plan. Once you select an alternative, you discard all others. They’re not part of your belief-system and thus reality anymore. In fact, those alternatives are only valid until you picked one. Afterwards all others vanish since reality changes with your decision. Hence you burn all bridges. This also allows you to focus on the things you want and relentlessly stop those activities, which don’t support your goals.
- Take a step back regularly: Our world is full of temptations. Even the smallest distraction might lead you astray. Realign to your mission every now and then. I’m reading latter daily and reviewing my aims in life on an annual basis. This brings me mentally back on track, so that I can follow up physically.
- Create and enjoy precious moments: Reasearch proves that accumulation of material goods don’t make us happier. Experiences do. Yet those need to be enjoyed. That requires time. Take it. You’re only a few decades on this planet. The older you get, the faster time runs. Design high-quality moments, which you’ll remember on your death bed. Everything else is just ambient noise.