On Making Right Choices

matrixYes, you can make the ‘pros and cons’ list, ask why five times, and thoroughly analyze outcomes until your head hurts. The choice is yours, no pun intended. But I feel that making the right choices comes down to having one thing in place first: confidence.

Without confidence, the fuel to get us to destination will be in short supply, decisions will be less than favorable, and in the end our dreams will never quite materialize. In fact, often the choices we make, are not even ours; we do something someone else we think would’ve done. Which in some cases can be all right, but never optimal.

But how can we overcome the voices we’ve internalized that squander our confidence? You know these voices, they breed doubts and tell you you can’t do something you really want to do or get something you really want to have.

Often these voices have been with is so long, its hard to pinpoint their exact origin. Sometimes the more amplified negative beliefs about ourselves are a result of a more recent criticism we’ve accepted as true. (It’s amazing how we humans are so good at beating ourselves up even when there’s no one around). But one thing that unites them all is that they are just voices, thoughts running round and round in our heads, whispering: I can’t do it, I’m not good enough, don’t deserve it.

What makes a thought?

Have you ever wondered what thoughts are? It’s very hard to do because you cannot observe a thought with another thought. They are very sneaky and have the power to suck you right into their conceptual reality, seducing you into believing they are real by creating a real bodily sensation. But thoughts are fleeting and fictional. They are mere concepts and concepts can be rearranged.

When faced with a difficult choice, and these days such moments come in bundles, it is paramount we are first connected with ourselves on a deeper level that exists beyond the layer of thinking. I don’t mean anything esoteric here, even though this idea might sound a bit nebulous at first.

The Silent Background

What I mean is that inside you, there beneath the layer of thoughts like digits falling on a screen a’la The Matrix, there is a black thoughtless screen. What is that black screen? That black screen represents the true nature of your mind. It is a stillness, a silence that is not dependent on the absence of movement or sound.

Have you ever paused to feel it or listen to it? It is really simple and easy to do; all it takes is a tiny shift in attention. The hard part is staying there for a prolonged moment, and that takes practice.

And what are those green numbers falling down the screen? These are concepts, passing through our minds like clouds in the sky, coming and going, without a clear point of origin or destination. One moment they are here; another moment they are gone, replaced by another. And there is nothing wrong with them unless they occlude our clarity, and make us believe they are us, which of course they are not.

Because they are always in flux and have an innate power to arouse emotions, thoughts can hold us back, incite doubts, fears and frustrations. It is very hard to make a good choice from a place like that.

Point of origin

So next time you have a really important choice to make, try to connect with that silent place, that background, the canvas of the mind. You can even take it further and overlay the blank screen with new thoughts, ones that fuel our confidence, not erode it. But what I’ve found is that just connecting with this place, injects doses of confidence and joy so intense, additional thoughts are superfluous.

Because that place is always there, unchanging and unaffected by life’s bazillion changing factors, it is a good place from which to act and decide. Brushing aside factors in flux, brings us right to the core of what truly matters.

From the perspective of a busy mind, the influences contributing to your present moment circumstance that seems to affect your next choice are close to infinite. Sidestepping all of them and going to the center instead, the core of your being is an option where there is only one obvious choice to be made.

It’s a shortcut.

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