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um-1027-emailThis week I have been thinking about some of the everyday choices I make, and I’m left wondering why one day I make effective choices and on another I make poor choices. I know the difference because effective choices leave no residue and poor choices leave a trail of “why did I”, inconsistent with my bigger goals and commitments.

The last 2 weeks I’ve been writing about the shift from careless to conscious. What precedes that shift for making choices?

How do you switch on your choice maker to get in front of the choices you make, instead of having them made for you by the conditions of the moment? How do you make what you say is important, important? It seems to me that knowing what you want for your highest good prepares the way.

It’s simple until what you want is in conflict with what you want in the moment! That’s why I added, for your highest good, to give you some perspective on your choices in the making. Let’s look at some examples.

You want to tell someone off. You know you’re right! You also want more peace in the world. Is reacting in anger now, for the highest good?

You want dessert. You also want to be healthy and able to sleep well. Is having dessert now, for the highest good?

You want a new (you fill in the blank). You also want financial security. Is spending now, for the highest good?

It may seem awkward to slow your thinking down to consider the highest good in the moment, but in that pause, conscious choosing can emerge that focuses on your highest values. Then you have the opportunity to move from careless thinking to conscious thinking by inquiring into the highest good, and from careless choices to conscious choices by deciding from your commitment instead of the circumstances of the moment.

Planning is the practice that makes the process of choosing easier. You gain confidence when your choices are consistent with your commitment. How do you strengthen your commitment? Make a plan.

When you plan you make it work on paper. As you write down your plan, you’re also programming your thinking to operate in a new way, so you’re prepared when conditions or obstacles arise that test your commitment.

Don’t choose to fail. It’s such a funny thing to say. Why would anyone choose to fail? We’ve probably all heard the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This has the ring of a true statement, because failing to plan may leave you to the mercy of circumstances, conditions, other people’s desires, and the unexpected influences of each moment. When you plan you consider the obstacles that might, and do, occur on the road to choosing what you say you want. You plan what’s important to you.

I do understand that we’re not going to plan every minute of our lives. I love spontaneous meetings, dinners, chats, do nothing time, and opportunities. These are fun and not in opposition to following a plan for your highest good.

The idea is to notice the difference between spontaneity that contributes to your fulfillment, and impulsive choices that don’t. You’ll know the difference because the after effects weigh on you. Instead, pause and ask yourself if the choice you are about to make is consistent with your plan. Then instead of wondering, “Why did I” after the fact, you come to the powerful conclusion that you are free to choose in the moment.

So here’s the practice to switch on your conscious choice maker.

1. Inquire into what you want.
2. Ask how it is for the highest good.
3. Write down a plan to make what you want happen.
4. Read your plan in the morning and at night before you go to sleep.
5. Take continuous action on your plan.
6. Notice what happens to your confidence and fulfillment.

This process will help you plan and visualize what you want to happen. See yourself making fulfilling choices. I believe that whatever you are committed to, you can achieve. Your commitment shows up in the choices you make. Don’t let diversions and obstacles stop you. Negotiate any obstacles, as if you placed them on your path to test your strength, flexibility, and skills. Obstacles are challenges. They challenge your commitment, not your ability. They are part of the process of getting things done, and build your knowledge and expertise.

Now is the time to make the choices you’ve been postponing. Remember if it were easy, you would have already done it. So what if it’s hard. Hard is defined as requiring endurance. It’s the “hard” in your choices that makes them great. Choose something each day that moves you forward in the direction of what you want for the highest good.

Don’t wait. Start now.

My love goes with you as you work with this uplifting moment.

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