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Posts Tagged ‘happiness

Having too many choices brings unhappiness. So how to make a good decision? Here are a few methods.

  1. Don’t rely on your mind – trust your body. When you need to make a decision, don’t let the mind spin in circles. Instead, take a deep breath into your body. Think about one option at a time, and notice how how you physically feel. If you’re relaxed and at ease, that’s a good sign. And if you get tight and constricted, that’s probably not the best path.
  2. Trust your own ability to choose correctly. Don’t let self-doubt plague you. Yes, there’s room for reassessment at various stages, so just go for it.
  3. Ask how much it matters. When I was young and had a hard time deciding on what to eat or such, my mom asked me how much it really mattered. Good point, Mom! If you can’t decide, perhaps both options will be fine. So, try one. See what happens. And adjust accordingly.
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I’ve always liked having choices. What’s best? What would bring the most happiness?

But I can’t tell you how many times, when I was a little younger, that I would sit in a restaurant staring at the menu, trying to decide. In fact, when I found out I had some food allergies, it was a relief to have fewer dishes to choose from!

Research shows that having more options brings greater unhappiness, loneliness and depression. And yet, we live in a world of choice. From smart phones to online dating, there may be something better right around the corner – so why commit?

Next: how to choose.

When we last tuned in, we were striving, searching, seeing for… The Answers! To life! the universe! and everything!

… and realizing how futile it can be.

So we return to the question of: might there be more peace, happiness, and joy within… not knowing?

Let’s explore this, for just a moment. When we find an answer, everything is supposed to fall into place. However, it also creates limitations. If we allow for not having the answers, and perhaps “embrace the question,” we allow for more possibilities to emerge.

Now, as the saying goes, there’s a time and place for everything. It’s not as if answers are bad things – but perhaps we need to wait to have them at the appropriate time.

Action: If you’re obsessing with something, think about whether now is truly the important time to know. See what it would be like to engage with it as a question, rather than needing to know the answer.

Everyone wants the answers. And we want them now. (Or, preferably, last year.) We must know! We all want to be skinnier, healthier, happier, more in love, and what investments to make in order to retire tomorrow (well, the way things are going now, in order to retire at all).

Yet, despite this demand for definitive knowledge, it tends to largely elude us, year after year. (Except for those who invent answers, and then retire off the money people give them for what turns out to be half-baked results.)

So… what would it be like to embrace, well… not knowing? Could that get us somewhere?

Stay tuned for part 2, with… the answer?

 


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