Most of us make decisions based on a few criteria:
a. Our investment – time, money, reputation, effort, relationships – these often form the foundation of which way a decision goes.
b. Fear – we may be afraid of doing or not doing something. We imagine all sorts of outcomes, 90% of which will never happen.
c. External factors – these may be peer or family pressure, ideas of letting people down or not living up to ‘our potential’
d. Auto-pilot – We don’t even really think about our choices, we consider them momentarily but then we sweep them aside because they don’t seem like real choices.
I’m sad when I think about how many decisions I made based on the above. I know it’s ‘normal’ but I like to think that I live a more ‘conscious’ life. That I’m a bit more aware than the average person. The reality is, I’m just like everyone else. I had good intentions, but I let myself down at the expense of pleasing others. I don’t regret those decisions, I did the best I could at the time I made them, but happily, I can change.
I have come to the conclusion that my own peace of mind needs to be one of the top criteria. Peace of mind doesn’t necessarily = selfish. You may put yourself before others and that may be okay. For me, personal responsibility is also a very important criteria. I take my obligations to my family and loved ones seriously. That doesn’t mean that I have to ignore myself and my own needs every time.
When You Try It
The consequences of putting your peace of mind first is that others won’t like it. If you have given in to what they want, especially if you’ve been doing it for a long time. They will try to make sure that you ‘go back’ to your old way. My suggestion is to be clear about what you want and work to communicate it as clearly as you can. Stick to your decision, expect push back. Practice thinking about your peace of mind and why it’s important.
It’s taken me a long time to realize this and then to absorb the importance of peace of mind in life. I’m interested in your thoughts.
Image Credit: Decision-making