Listening to Your Inner Voice
With so many options bombarding us in our over-information society, we often waste time analyzing decisions when our intuition can usually pinpoint the most effective and useful choice.
The most effective decisions made often are the decisions that are made the quickest. The fastest way to make decisions involves using your instincts, or intuition. You’re already pretty good at this, if for no other reason than you’ve come this far in life. If you want to develop your powers of choosing based on instinct to a finer edge, start a log. Write down your intuitive choice before making any final decision. Then, when enough time has passed to see the results of your more analytical decision, write them down and compare them to the results from your intuitive choice.
Logging choices enables you to track the accuracy of your intuition without forsaking your traditional decision-making procedure. As time passes, you’ll begin to notice how frequently your intuitive choices were good ones, and find yourself relying on your intuition more easily and more often. Once you get cooking, you can bypass the realms of data and information that previously impeded your ability to choose. You can call upon your still, quiet, faithful, internal guidance system.
Intuition in Action
Do you have a dentist? How did you select your dentist? Did you search the web and get the names of the ten to twelve dentists nearest to you, then review what has been said about each, then call the best several who remain, and based on the call decide to a few, and in visiting their offices, discuss with them their billing procedures, background and expertise, competency of their staff, office hours, prices, and overall philosophy?
Then, did you whittle down the list to maybe two, perhaps call them back or visit on another occasion? Then, and only then, did you decide a dentist? Or did you choose a dentist based on who your parents or friends see, or on the most alluring web site?
You probably used the latter method. You didn’t stop and analyze which dentist would be best for you: You picked a dentist by hook or by crook, and if that particular dentist didn’t work out, you switched once or twice. In short, you used a combination of references and intuitive processes to come up with your dentist. Why then, do you over-complicate so many decisions at work and in the rest of your life?
No Let Up
New information is only going to hit you faster and faster as your life proceeds. You’re only going to be able to absorb and use a fraction of which you’re exposed. Suppose you want to make a decision about moving to either town A or town B. What are the factors that you would logically consider?
- housing prices
- taxes, population, and population demographics
- community groups
- lakes, streams, trails, mountains
- the business community
- nearby colleges
- churches, synagogues, mosques
- nearby beaches
- road systems
- traffic patterns
- deviant groups!
You guessed it. There are dozens and dozens of factors that you could analyze and compare. In the end, your decision will probably be based on some combination of data (though not too much) and intuition (probably a lot).
Blasting Through Procrastination
When faced with too many decisions, your natural inclination is to procrastinate. Don’t beat yourself up; lots of people face this today. Decisions that would normally roll off your back become more involved when there’s too much on your plate. Here are some ways to creatively break through the procrastination that stops you from effective decision making:
Face Procrastination Head-On. What is blocking you? What is the real reason you don’t want to choose? Write it down or record it. This exercise alone may dislodge something and help you to decide.
Choose to Easily Begin. Make a positive affirmation of yourself: “I can easily make this decision.” This powerful affirmation is often enough. You can easily maintain a list of daily affirmations that help you make decisions you might otherwise have delayed.
Find the Easy Entry Points. Ask yourself, “What are three to five things I could do to progress toward the final decision, without actually tackling it head-on?” Then initiate these “easy entry” activities. Often, they are enough to get you fully involved.
Move Forward Intuitively
When you choose based on intuition, every cell in your body and every shred of intelligence you’ve ever accumulated is brought to bear. There’s a lot behind the solutions you make. Pay attention to your small voice; it’s there to support you, if you listen to it.
About the Author
Jeff Davidson, the world’s only holder of the title “The Work-Life Balance Expert®” as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, harmony, and integration. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is author of Everyday Project Management, Breathing Space, and Simpler Living. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com.
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