“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves.”— Marcel Proust
I admit it. I still miss him. I probably always will, but I don’t see that as a bad thing. I do know that all the good that is in him I will look for in another man, and all the bad in him I will avoid like the plague. I learned a lot from his being gone. I learned about being me. I learned what I want and don’t want in a relationship. I learned that I can survive without him in my life, albeit that was a battle I fought for a long time. I learned to surrender my situation to the universe and just let go of the what if’s and could have beens. As I said in my previous post, being alone has rendered me my own salvation. I have had to learn so many things– especially making good decisions in several areas of my life.
Emotional and Rational Decision Making
Every choice in life is a battle between the rational and emotional way of thinking and feeling. In most cases our ego is the little voice in our heads that tell us what to do. Sometimes its good to listen to that inner voice, but other times, for example, when we listen to that ego tell us, “Buy the shoes, forget the electric bill” our rational thinking must kick in. Ouch! That isn’t always the fun thing to do, but it is the best decision for the moment. An emotional decision can create al response within us we may regret later.
Examples of Negative Emotional Decisions
- Bad relationships– Wow, the guy was cute, but what a jerk! Use your own past experience in relationships to guide you to form good , healthy relationships. This isn’t easy to do. We all seem to return back to what we are used to, but remind yourself why he was a jerk and what he did to cause you pain and suffering and then just let him go! It’s never too late to look for a better “Mr. Right.”
- Poor Spending Decisions– Oh the ego loves this one. The ego wants to feel loved or justified in spending to make itself feel better. Be wise about this. Take time to make rational decisions. Impulse buyers or compulsive buyers, gamblers or examples of falling into this emotional trap.
- Instant self-gratification– We are all subject to this type of behavior. Sometimes it can be good to “just let go” as long as it doesn’t affect negatively in an area of your life that can’t afford to take a beating.
I know as you read this you are thinking that’s a bit over-simplified, and perhaps it is, but I have also learned that I have to be more aware of the moment, and how the decision I am making can affect me this afternoon or tomorrow or in the future. I am not saying that every decision should be weighed and measured, but using your past experience as a guideline to good decision making can make your life a lot easier. Remember the best decisions make you feel better- not just for the moment, but in the long term.
So What Can We Do to Help Ourselves Reach Good Choices?
Know your goal! Too many choices aren’t good. Eliminate so many choices that can confuse, but think about the choices that you can or will use. Take your time, and don’t use a bad mood or a stressful situation make the decision for you. That’s your ego talking. Wake up and be aware. Listen to yourself, your ego. Ask if it is hurting you or helping you to make a rational decision. According to Barry Schwartz, PhD., a psychologist and professor of social theory at Swarthmore College, and the author The Paradox Choice, he says,” To improve the odds of reaching decisions we feel good about, we need to reduce the options to a more manageable number.” Goal setting is important to reaching good decisions. Be aware of how your reaching your goal makes you feel, and use it for future decision making.
I’m not trying to judge, or lecture, but give some helpful tips for those of us , including myself , to make good choices. I am still learning, and I hope to always learn to be more aware of me and what my needs are and the best way to achieve them. Now my little voice in my head is saying, go out to lunch, let me check my wallet!