Sometimes, we can torment ourselves unnecessarily about decisions that are to come. Decisions that you expect to have to make in the future. You may ruminate and ruminate, forgetting that you don’t have to decide before you need to decide.
There may even be obvious informational advantages to waiting, for time reveals new things. The real question is then, why? What is behind your anticipation? And, there will inevitably be a fear — a fear of some undesirable outcome that you wish to avoid.
But, what if the outcome itself is undefined and very much related to how you feel about it on the day. For example, whether to do something or not, meet somebody or not, continue a personal/professional relationship or not.
Often, we want to have certainty over the outcome when there are so many unknowns. And that includes how you, yourself, will feel about matters in the future. So, how can you decide now? Such anticipation is the working of a mind that wants a kind of control over life that is both impractical AND causes inner tension.
So, there is freedom to be found in relinquishing control of decisions before you actually need to make them. Otherwise, you end-up in a situation where you are constantly deciding to decide, to decide, ad infinitum.
Different classes of decision
Of course, some decisions need to be made now, like getting on the last ferry that is about to leave! And, some decisions require swift, early action — such as taking precautionary action under risk of catastrophe (e.g. Covid, where idiotic governments didn’t act fast).
What I am talking about here is a class of personal decisions that are deeply connected to how you feel about the situation. Where the felt difficulty around the decision arises from how you relate to the decision, itself. Because you desire to know the outcome now, without realising that the outcome is unknowable. For, the reality is that you don’t even know how you will feel in the future!
You don’t have to decide before you need to decide
Remember that you don’t have to decide before you need to decide. Sometimes, you have to let things unfold. What you can do, however, is become really attuned to yourself and how you feel. About your hopes, dreams and deepest fears in relation to the decision — things perhaps hidden outside of conscious awareness. See them, acknowledge them.
And, when the time comes for you to decide, you can do so from a place of real self-knowledge. In a sense, the decision will happen without you having to make it. This is the art of skilful living.
Harsha is a 1:1 coach and independent thinker based in London. He empowers people to find more clarity, confidence and focus in their lives — to cut through the noise, in a world so full of it. Harsha’s new book, Machine Ego: Tragedy of the Modern Mind, is now available in paperback and Kindle through Amazon.