Make a Vibrant Decision
You’ve been given the gift of choice! Each and every day you wake up to a world chock-full of opportunities. Our abundant world offers an amazing array of different choices that require serious decision making skills. At every meal, odds are there are many foods you can eat. At work, in our neighborhoods, and as you navigate social media, there are friends we can 'Like.' You have a closet full of clothes you can wear. The internet, your local community college, and businesses offer you the chance to learn all sorts of things. The issue is: How do you decide what to do (and what not to do)?
The word decision literally means "to cut off." In fact, it has the same root as the word incision. The word choice means "to take on." Discerning what to rid your life of and what to fill your life with is an essential skill called discernment. Vibrant individuals are aware, alert and accountable for their decisions.
As soon as the alarm goes off, your first choice is to rise and S.H.I.N.E., or to push the snooze button. The choice you make will shape you, your day and your life. Turning off the alarm, stretching your body and rising from your bed with a statement of gratitude sets the tone to have a vibrant day. Alternatively, pushing the snooze button, pulling the covers over your head and telling yourself you don’t want to get up sets the tone to have a dispirited day.
The powerful questions are:
- Why do you make the choice you make?
- How will you respond?
Consider the Decision Matrix. There are two states of mind from which our decision making emanates. There is an aware state of mind. There is an unaware state of mind. There are also two points of control from which you make a decision. One is making the choice on your own. The other is allowing someone else to make your decision for you.
Think about the decision to eat or not to eat a particular food. Surely, this decision affects you each and every day. Imagine you are going to lunch with friends. Using the Decision Matrix, start at the bottom right quadrant labeled “socialization.” When it is time to order, will you join your friends who are going to splurge? Your thought might be, “Why not? You only live once.” You inadvertently derail your healthy eating intentions and allow those around you influence decision. You’ve been socialized. This means you’ve allowed others to influence your decision. When lunch is over, and you are back at your desk feeling full and bloated, you’ll escalate into the upper right quadrant. You’ll experience self-awareness of your bad decision to splurge albeit you’ll be blaming others for your decision.
When you find yourself blaming others for your bad decisions, it’s time to move into a state of accountability. The upper left quadrant is the sweet spot of the decision matrix. There you are both aware of your decision and in control of your destiny. At every meal, you can decide how you will feed and fuel your body. It’s an empowering thought that just might push you to take on a positive habit to support your intention of eating healthy. When you put a positive habit in place, you start to automatically do it. Now you are in the bottom left quadrant of the decision matrix. Here you are unaware of your decision, because essentially the decision has been hardwired into your brain. When you eat, you make healthy choices. That's just the way you live!
I must warn you: The bottom left corner can either serve you or slay you. Automatic decision making is habitual. Again, habits either serve you or slay you. You must start in the upper left quadrant with accountability. There you decide what kind of life you want. There you take into account the life you want to have. You stay aware that you must make an effort to automatically do the things you say you want to do….until you do them automatically. My mentor and dear friend Ann Starrette shared a poem of sorts with me years ago, and I'd love to share it with you.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send it! Make a copy and place it on your desk to help you become aware of the decisions YOU make.