Oh, the decisions you will make.
Sometimes, there is a sense of resolution when I make a decision; a confidence that comes along with the direction chosen. Other times, it feels as if my mind is about to short circuit; even if the decision is just choosing between burgers or burritos. Why is that?
The ability or inability to find this resolution hinges on whether or not I have a clarity on the direction of my life. Imagine if a sailor chose to abandon his map and compass when sailing out to sea. Could the destination or timeline of travel be stated with any level of confidence? Not likely. The sailor who sets out to sea must hold to their bearings even though the storms may come and the wind may shift. Likewise, the course of life is not always smooth, and there will be obstacles to overcome; therefore, we must have an internal compass for who we want to be, or a map of where we want go.
One way that this plays out on my life is through indecisiveness. This has become an indicator for me that it is time to take a breath and reset. It is not only through hesitancy while making a decision that this takes form, but also through feelings of regret that follow a choice that was made. At times, I may even find myself wanting to back out of commitments, even if what I have committed to is good, fun, and exciting.
Have you ever played Tetris? In Tetris, the goal is clear; stack as many shapes as you can to clear as many lines as possible. The game starts slow, allowing you to correct mistakes and manipulate the pieces into the perfect layout; but the speed increases as the point total increases. With each level increase, the decision making time decreases, and a few wrong decisions can cost you the game. In the beginning levels, there is plenty of time and space to think and examine the layout of the screen; and at that speed, the player could likely play for hours on end, creating the perfect layouts over and over again.
This is true in life as well. When we are given time to think, and space to work, we can create and accomplish projects well. We can pause and identify when something doesn’t work; we can then realign to the ideal state. Here is the catch though, we still have to have clear goals for our life. We must still be calibrated at our core of who we are. In life, we have to work through situations that aren’t so straight forward, or the end goal is not so clear. There are also times when a decision needs to be made quickly.
On a plain.
Do you know anyone who seems to handle intense situations with a perceived sense of ease? Times when a freak out would be expected and accepted, this person can settle into even more of a calm. I know people like this, in fact, I’m married to someone like this. We can be facing the same decision, or be experiencing the same amount of fear in a situation, and where I may respond in frustration or rashness, she will find this plain of peace. Though there may be a large divide between the way each of us respond to certain situations, the adjustments needed to close that gap are minor.
We share the same life, we share the same home, we have the same children, and we live in the same town. Outside of our individual perspectives and expectations of life, there is little reason for us to not find common ground when searching for resolve. We all have someone in our life that we can learn from, in fact, all around us there is a world of teachers if we approach the day as a learner.
If we are to have resolution and confidence in our decisions and direction of our life, we must find that plain of thought which aligns with the goals of our life that is rooted at the core of who we are.
A broken compass.
I learn a lot from movies. In Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean, Captain Jack Sparrow has this compass that everyone believes is broken, yet it is a compass that takes him toward what his heart desires. Throughout the movie, we are never really sure if he is actually the best pirate or the worst pirate. The very compass that he uses is unlike the compass that we are used to seeing. He does not actually know the way to what he seeks, he only knows what he seeks.
As the movie unfolds, we find that he has a much grander scheme than finding treasure. We discover this complex, multi-layered plan that serves not only his purpose, but it also serves the greater good. Most of his plans actually never quite go as planned, but he stays true to his goal, and therefore, becomes fluid and adaptable in his decision making processes.
What is your goal for life? What is the impact that you want to have in this world? We need our goals to be as clear to us as they are in Tetris, and we need to be as calibrated and adaptable as Captain Jack Sparrow. Sorry for the cheesy wrap up, but it makes sense to me. As we enter this day, take a moment to breath and calibrate on who we want be and the impact we want to have.
“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem”