Note to self

Whatever you put your attention on will grow.

The frustrating, the bad, the ugly.

The amazing, the loving, the kind.

You get to choose.

Your life will respond accordingly.

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Instead of either/or, again

This is a repost from a year ago; it’s worked its way back into the line-up because of a question recently posed to me.

Do you have a hard time making decisions? When faced with two equally positive or negative options have you ever felt stuck?

Most of us at sometime in our lives have been paralyzed by the thought of having to choose between door one or door two. Here’s an idea that might help:

“Instead of either/or, add one more.”

Huh? I know it sounds odd, and is counterintuitive, but it works . . .

Instead of either/or, add one more.

The idea is not mine, but turning it into a cute little rhyme is. (And, as silly as the rhyme sounds, it’s more memorable, and I think it’s a line worth remembering.)

Instead of either/or, add one more.

Picture this, you’ve inherited a huge sum of money, never have to work again, and have been house hunting for months. You finally found two homes you love, and although they are very different each offers you a lifestyle you’ve dreamed about. You can’t decide whether to go with the brownstone in Manhattan or the rambling ranch on a mountain in Colorado and rich as you are, you can’t afford both.

Or, you have two great job options, life coach in Florida or actress in Hollywood – naw, that one is way too easy, I’d choose being a life coach, anywhere! But, I digress.

A while back, I read brothers Chip and Dan Heath’s book “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die”, and their comments about the paradoxes of how we make decisions led me to come up with my little ditty:

Instead of either/or, add one more.

The decision-making research they cited reveals the value of adding one more choice to an either/or mix. Adding “one more”, helps us prioritize, which makes it easier for us to recognize what we truly prefer. We tend to think that by making things black or white, or narrowing down our choices to just two – this or that, we are making things easier on ourselves, but the opposite may be true. It appears that it’s easier for us to choose when we look at and compare three options rather than two.

Expanding on my earlier example . . . brownstone in Manhattan, rambling ranch in Colorado, or beach house in Florida? Did the picture get any clearer for you? It did for me.

  • Manhattan/Colorado/Florida
  • City life/country life/beach bum

Comparing three options rather than two, changes the way we think, and may lead us to faster and less regrettable decisions. (It’s easy to spend our lives regretting either/or decisions; I think comparing three options reduces the drama, which may in turn reduce lingering regrets.)

So, what would you choose, brownstone, ranch, beach house? There are no wrong answers – don’t over think it – pick the one that appeals most to you and go from there.

Try applying the rhyme this week. It works well on big or little stuff.

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WTW Dandelion

Parties, picnics and pyrotechnics

July 1 at 12:00 noon marks the halfway point of this year. At noon on the 1st, there will be exactly 182 1/2 days left before the 2012 New Year!

Besides beginning to think about what I will wear for New Year’s 2012, I thought we might use the next few weeks to plan how to celebrate your 2011 triumphs to date.

  • What have you accomplished that just six months ago seemed impossible, or at least a distant possibility?
  • What new trails have you blazed?
  • Promises kept?
  • Steps taken?

Since folks are already planning parties, picnics and pyrotechnics for the Fourth of  July, perhaps it might be a good time to combine our patriotic and personal triumphs and celebrate everything that is special in our lives.

Don’t be shy, this is the perfect time of year to celebrate your success. Even if you don’t tell your friends and family what you are up to, when those booms and bright lights fill the sky you can look-up and know that they are there for freedom and for you!

Start planning now to make this Fourth of July your personal independence day. Count your successes, free yourself from what’s bothering you or get started on something you want to change. If our forefathers did it, we can too.

If you are standing at a crossroads, I’ve listed questions from Debbie Ford’s book, The Right Questions,  which I have used in the past to make decisions big and small:

The Right Questions

1. Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future or will it keep me stuck in the past?

2. Will this choice bring me long-term fulfillment or will it bring me short-term gratification?

3. Am I standing in my power or am I trying to please another?

4. Am I looking for what’s right or am I looking for what’s wrong?

5. Will this choice add to my life force or will it rob me of my energy?

6. Will I use this situation as a catalyst to grow and evolve or will I use it to beat myself up?

7. Does this choice empower me or does it dis-empower me?

8. Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?

9. Is this an act of faith or is it an act of fear?

10. Am I choosing from my divinity or am I choosing from my humanity? (Soul vs self)

It’s never too soon or too late to create the life you really want. If you don’t like these questions, create your own! And, remember celebrating your success is always the right thing to do.

Wednesday’s short and salty, and then sweet question

Okay, totally off topic, except that it is slightly sweet and salty – if you like dark chocolate, you have to try the one with sea salt.  It is seriously wonderful.  It tastes like a dark chocolate covered pretzel – only better and without the pretzel.  I quickly learned to make my own, and am now sprinkling sea salt on dark chocolate everywhere I go!

On to more serious issues, today’s short and salty, then sweet question is . . .

What would you be doing, if money were not an issue?

People tend to think this is a pie-in-the-sky question, but it led me to finish two mid-life degrees; make interesting life-expanding moves; travel – lots; join the Peace Corps and has guided me everyday of the past year since my return – with amazing results.

What would you be doing, if money were not an issue?

Honestly, what would it be for you – not just for today, but say for the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years?  How would your life look and feel? (I know that is another question, just answer it anyway.)

Money never really is the issue, at least not the final one, our choices are what make the difference.

 

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