By Lily Friedman
What can be said about decision-making other than it is an always unsettling and sometimes complicated process? We may come to find ourselves stuck in a job we aren’t happy in, not spending enough time with our family, or maybe not even knowing when to say ‘no’ and turn down another responsibility. This week’s Wellness Roundup is all about making (and not making) authentic choices in order to live our best lives. We’ll also be exploring the ways you can grow from the present moment so you can stop running from where you’re at now.
Scouring the internet each week as the social media marketer here at The Sanity Snack, I’m on a mission to deliver some of the best wellness and self-improvement advice on the web to our followers.
From making decisions that propel your life forward to doing the things that feel right in the moment, these sanity tidbits are here to help you find growth in various ways, shapes and forms.
Taking Your Life Back
Many of us spend more time a week on social media than we do with the people we love most. A UCLA research study discovered dual-income couples with young children only spend an average of thirty five minutes a week together in conversation. 35 minutes a week.
Learning this fact enlightened husband and father, Dave Burg to a life beyond a nine to five daily job. Burg shares his experience from quitting his job to becoming a better family man in the article ‘I Quit My Job To Get My Life Back’ with The Gottman Institute. “I spent my energy worrying about what would happen if I failed at my job, rather than focusing on what would happen if I got even better at being the best father and husband I could be,” he writes.
Sometimes it’s all about taking that giant scary leap in order to do the things you know are best for yourself, and Burg admits to his inability to see the bigger picture while at work. “I needed to get out of my head, but I couldn’t. There’s a simple translation for this kind of insanity: ‘You suffer more in your imagination, than in your reality’,” he quotes. Since Burg was stuck in the defense, always justifying the reasons why he lacked at other things, he finally decided to play offense against the limitations he put on himself through quitting his job.
If Burg’s story isn’t enough inspiration for you to take life back into your own hands, try following some of his tips for weaning yourself off bad habits and steering yourself towards progression.
Growth Via The Present Moment
With so many myths surrounding humanity how do we know which path will connect us to what matters most in life? And how exactly can we live our best life possible? Brandy Lust, founder of Learning Lab Consulting and author of The Myths of Being Human: Four Paths to Connect with What Matters, speaks out on the role emotion plays in decision-making, the myths around suffering, reframing your choice, and ultimately, how to grow.
Lust is featured in ‘Brandi Lust on Growth Via The Present Moment’ on The One You Feed’s podcast channel, produced and hosted by Eric Zimmer. The conversation begins by debunking the myth that humans are rational creatures. Lust explains that humans are primarily emotional beings and that our emotions play a larger role in our decision-making process than we think it does. “Inside of our actual bodies and not our minds, we do have this quiet place we can move from. And if we are only focusing on the thoughts we are having, then we are not even able to connect with that… When we’re only paying attention to this one part of our experience, we’re only connecting to this one part that is happening,” she says. In order to take control of your emotions and make the best decisions, it’s important to pay attention to the bigger picture and the present moment.
In the podcast Zimmer and Lust also discuss the idea of ‘reframing your choice’ to be present in the moment, which in turn creates a new and proper point of desire. “We have a choice for how to engage the world in a way that’s very different than other creatures have. And with that decision, you can almost have a conversation with the moment you are in. If you are completely able to feel into that present moment and act from it, that’s very different from desiring something from the future. If you able to fully be present in the moment that you’re in right now and get a sense of ‘rightness’ for what is called for in that moment, that becomes the point of desire,” Lust explains. “Of course, you can be on or off target or fall in and out of that understanding, but it creates a completely different outlook than the frame of success, prestige, ego or any of those things.”
What appears should be your drive for everything you do is living in the moment rather than living for ‘what you are going to get’ out of an experience. “Even in the midst of success I can have these incredible internal tumultuous storms that will just come up and then I have to process through that and it doesn’t feel calm at all. I think part of it is not being in that calm space but sometimes engaging with the storm that arrives,” she says.
Saying ‘No’ Because It’s a Good Thing
‘If you say yes to something you should have said no to, everyone loses.’ Not only does this quote feel true, but it also supports why saying ‘no’ can actually be a good thing for everybody involved. For many of us who find ourselves overwhelmingly busy or stuck in a position we’re unable to move forward from, we just keep working harder. Whether it’s to distract ourselves from unhappiness, diminish boredom or cover up other issues, adding more work onto your plate isn’t going to help you thrive- it’s going to bog you down. Sometimes you just have to know when and how to say ‘no’.
Author, speaker and business coach Alli Worthington shares some advice about deciding when to ‘say no’ in her article ‘Saying No Is a Good Thing’ on Thrive Global. Her first tip: if you’re having trouble saying no, try making the right kind of list- the ‘Stop Doing List’– where you identify what you needs to stop doing by asking yourself certain questions. Her next pro tip? Make the best decisions for your future through following Suzy Welch’s 10-10-10 Analysis. “It teaches that the way to make decisions is to ask yourself how you will feel about the decision after 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. When you can imagine how you’ll feel about any decision in the future, it helps give you the strength and the confidence to make a wise choice in the moment.”
Small daily decisions such as the ones above can help you break out from patterns of busyness, overcome anxiety and worry by teaching you to live a happy life. “Happiness comes in small moments of life, and sometimes the smallest changes in the way we think or the things we do result in the most powerful results,” Worthington says.