Your Best Decision Yet

tumblr_static_tumblr_static__640The ability to make a form and resolute decision has the power to change our lives because decisions lead to results.  A quote from Raynold Alorse. The decisions you make today lead to your destiny. Wisdom from Tony Robbins.

It does not matter where you come from. What matters most is where you decide to go. Your best decision is to make better decisions for your future.

The Power of Your Potential

Focus on your limitless potential and know that there is something inside of you that is superior to your current circumstances. Be the stubborn optimist that believes in your human potential.

When we lack confidence, we are easily inclined to listen to our inner voice of negativity and opinions of others around us. Refuse to listen to those voices and instead focus on the power of your potential and on what you want to achieve.

Thought Seeds – Growing the Garden of Your Mind

You cannot grow figs from thistles. – (Matthew 12:33-37Luke 6:43-45)

You can’t think and feel negatively and expect positive things to come into your life. Yes, you do reap what you sow.

If you are planting negative seeds of criticism, guilt, regret and fear than you will grow weeds in your mind. If you are planting thoughts of gratitude, love, compassion and generosity, your garden will surely bloom. From a great mind great decisions will grow.

How to Make Great Decisions

Before we look at how to make a great decision, first we review The Four Villains of Decision-Making as taken from Daring to Live Fully, the full post here.

1. Narrow framing: The tendency to define our choices too narrowly, or to set them in binary terms. Here are three examples:

  • Narrow framing: Should I break up with my partner?
  • Better framing: How can I make this relationship better?
  • Narrow framing: Should I buy a car?
  • Better framing: How can I best use my money so that my family will be better off?
  • Narrow framing: Should I accept this job offer?
  • Better framing: What’s the best way for me to generate income?

2. The confirmation bias: In most situations we allow our guts to come to a decision, and then we look for information that will support that decision. That is, we have a tendency to spotlight the information that supports the conclusion we’ve come to and to disregard any information that opposes it.

3. Short-term emotions: Our short-term emotions often lead us to make the wrong choices. For example, suppose that you’re offered a job that pays a lot more money than what you’re currently making. Your short-term emotion will probably be happiness at the prospect of making more money. However, this short-term happiness could lead you to accept the job offer without taking into account things like following:

  • That the job is in a city far away from your friends and family;
  • That the work you’ll be doing doesn’t have much meaning for you; and
  • That the person you’ll be working for has a difficult temperament.

That is, the short-term flush of happiness could lead you to make the wrong decision.

4. Overconfidence: People have a tendency to think that they know more than they do about the future and how it will unfold. They feel certain that  X or Y will take place, and they make decisions based on their predictions. However, a lot of the time it turns out that their predictions about the future are wrong.

So Before Deciding, first, do some decision analysis

Research in psychology has revealed that our decisions are disrupted by an array of biases and irrationalities: We’re overconfident. We seek out information that supports us and downplay information that doesn’t.

  1. Pay attention to your state of mind. Never make decisions when you are angry, fearful or upset.
  2. Ask yourself, what do you hope to achieve by making this decision?
  3. What do you think will happen if you don’t make this decision?
  4. What are the long term effects of this decision?
  5. What advice would I give my closest friend if they were making this decision?

Apply the WRAP process as described in the book Decisive. Explore all the opportunities, test them, and prepare to be wrong –

  • Widen Your Options
  • Reality Test Your Assumptions
  • Attain Distance Before Deciding
  • Prepare to Be Wrong

Then Make Your Decision

  1. State clearly what you want.
  2. Take immediate action with small steps to follow.
  3. Be realistic. Remember to WRAP your decisions. Test them along the way.

Always decide on your own. Sure, factor in other people’s opinions, but bear in mind that they may value things (very) differently. Blindly following other people’s advice may lead to disastrous decisions — even if they are based on “sound” advice from people with the best intentions of helping you. Read more wise advice from LiteMind here

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

My keystone decision – To commit to contributing something unique each day to enrich the world.

I’m curious, what decisions are you making to better your life today?

Recommended Reading: My Library of Inspiration

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Recommended Reading

Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work

Think and Grow Rich!: The Original Version, Restored and Revised (TM)

Awaken the Giant Within : How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!

The Power of Decision: A Step-By-Step Program to Overcome Indecision and Live Without Failure Forever (Tarcher Master Mind Editions)

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Complete Collection of Works with analysis and historical background (Annotated and Illustrated) (Annotated Classics)

The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life — Master Any Skill or Challenge by Learning to Love the Process

 

Daily Victories and Mapping Out a Successful Day

BigMagicFinal_cropped-for-headerMost of you will agree that we can read, listen and study for hours upon end on how to enhance our minds and become 1% better versions of ourselves daily, but the greatest lessons in life are from actual experience. 

Mapping Out a Successful Day

I am a professional list maker and note taker. If I don’t write it down, my wild and creative crazy nine year old inner child takes over and the next thing you know I have 20 projects that I have begun but will probably never finish. This is one of the things that I struggle with daily, so I have decided that as I begin to declutter my life and brain, I will become more mindful of my approach and system to tackling the day.

Listening to an interview with one of my favorite writers, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of  Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear I love the way she handles the creative younger sister in her mind, the one who wants to do everything at once. She calms her down by devoting 15 minutes a day to letting her mind run free and capturing those creative thoughts on index cards and in notebooks – to do later on.   Listen to her interview with Rob Bell here.

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The Morning Journal, Master List and the Top 5 for the Day

As for prioritizing my daily to do list, I have a new approach. I have come to appreciate the wild and creative mind that I have as just an excitable version of me that wants it ALL and that is okay. I love that about me, I just know that I can’t do it ALL right now. So here are my steps/system to making it happen over time.

The Morning Journal

After a five minute gratitude journal moment, I write down my goals and tasks for the day/week/month in Evernote. I love how Evernote is accessible from everywhere – my phone, desktop, tablet and laptop and automatically syncs my lists so they are always updated.

Organizing My Tasks – The Master List

I organize these tasks in three categories: Personal, Work and Creating (writing, photography, making things). I dump everything I want to include in this master list – things like outlining my book, clients I have to call, learning more about social media strategy and tools like Periscope, etc.

My Daily Top Five

I then take a notebook from Muji (love this Japanese store) and write down the Top 5 tasks I will complete for the day – or start for the month. I am sure to include at least one thing from each area of my life to keep it balanced. I prioritize by sense of urgency and importance.

I also use Moleskin note books and Pinterest to help keep track of things that inspiring me throughout the day.

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Recording Daily Activities

Try this with me.  I am now committed to taking an extra 90 seconds a day and recording not only what I have achieved, but how it felt to accomplish the task. This will include my personal and work achievements because I don’t believe any one of my clients is recording my wins. This job journal will come in handy later on when I decide to raise my fees and move towards more.

Organizing Systems

If you love journals and notebooks and have developed a system for creating tasks and documenting wins I would love to hear more about what works for you. Be sure to comment in the section below.

Moleskine_notebooks_GROUP Moleskine Classic Notebook, Extra Large, Plain, Black, Soft Cover (7.5 x 10) (Classic Notebooks)

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Not just for wandering the world, Midori Traveler’s Notebook Brown Leather (1, 1 LB)

Because inspiration can spark at any time. . .

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Rite in the Rain – Green Tactical Note Book (All Weather)

On your road to greatness, the details make all the difference. Write them down.

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Leuchtturm Medium Notebook, Ruled, 5.75 x 8.25 inches (LBL11)

The Creative Process -When Inspiration Hits 

  The only obstacle in your way is you. Go ahead, get out of your own way. Get going. That’s the beginning of the muddled,scrappy and chaotic creative process. 

You can’t wait for the brilliant idea to come to you, you need to move toward it – you just need to start. If you don’t have a clue what you are creating – it doesn’t really matter.

   Act first and inspiration will follow. Write that sentence, paint that stroke, move your body, put pen to paper, pencil to pad, hand to mouse. Begin. 

You will only be inspired after you set forth. The brilliant stroke of genius appears after practice. Frustration will happen, push through.  This is the creative process. 

Mount Climbers, Transhumanism and Being Bored to Genius

transhumanismNever one to get too comfortable with my routine, I’ve added mountain climbers (fat burning, toning and strength-training all-in-one) to my daily workout, which now includes – 60+ minutes of interval cardio with strong sprints, 100 bicycle sit ups, 30 push ups, 50 squats, 50 forward and 50 backward lunges, 25 side lunges and 30 mountain climbers. I am aiming for 100 of each daily.

Podcast Picks

Tim Ferriss and Srivanas Rao of The Unmistakable Creative both had interviews with artificial intelligence experts this week.  You can listen to a fascinating interview about the future of technology and the human race with Zoltan Istvan, the transhumanist running for U.S. president here.

What exactly is a “Transhumanist?”Transhumanism_h+_2.svg

Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. Think bionic eyes and robotic hearts. Note: I am not a member of this tribe, I just find their stories of the future very intriguing.

One of my favorite Zoltan (his name even sounds transhuman) quotes from the interview –

“I do not let emotions be part of my decision making

process because it leads to dangerous things.”

Zoltan warns of the dangers of “going with your gut” when making big decisions. He claims that one should really consider the long term effect each decision may have. Emotions shouldn’t dictate every decision because they may lead to irrational choices – and you know what happens then.

I must remind myself that today I am a result of the decisions I made yesterday. Deciding to workout each day a year ago, has made me a healthier and happier person today.

The takeaway: Decisions are what get you where you want to go. Everything you are today is a direct result of a decision you made at one point in time.

Some should be made through the prism of reason.

In the meantime, back on the treadmill, I can make bigger decisions because I have Fitbit technology to track my workout habits and success.  Habits + technology help free up the brain. Not having to think about tracking my movements or what to eat for breakfast, leaves more brainpower for the bigger, creative ideas. Read more about the science behind being bored to genius.

Fitbit Charge HR Wireless Activity Wristband, Black, Large

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Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Black

As you think, so shall you become. – Bruce Lee