We desire to create deliberately. We desire to be the master of our fate. We desire to set an intention in motion and have it arrive at a chosen destination. Intuitively we realize that to deliberately create an outcome, we must–first–decide upon what we desire. And there’s the rub. The weight of decision can feel so heavy; the number of choices so great. Do I want this…or that? Should I go here…or there? Would this career be best…or another? Do it now…or wait? And so, we wait, deciding not to decide.
In many cases, there is one lone factor that prevents us from making a decision: Fear, although we may not recognize it as such. Fear–the trickster–would try to convince us that the world hinges on just one wrong decision. Fear–masquerading as logic–would have us believe we shouldn’t take a step unless we can foretell every consequence in advance. Fear–the thief of dreams–would have us focus on potential losses instead of potential gains. Fear–masked as common sense–would have us reason we should wait another day, or another year. And so, we wait, deciding not to decide.
A mind that has been conditioned to delay making decisions is often haunted by a What If mindset and subject to a negative theme of thinking: What if this happens? What if that happens? What if my family or friends or neighbours think I’m a fool? What if people laugh or talk behind my back? What if everything doesn’t go as planned? What if I invest all this time and energy and money and I don’t reach my goal? The scariest, and most powerful, mind speak, however, is this: What if I fail?
What is the real risk of deciding not to decide? Time. Life waits for no man or woman. The days have a habit of turning into weeks; the weeks to months; the months to years. We need not jump to a decision, however, just to have a decision made. In truth, neither the fulfillment nor the frustration of our goals actually matters. The heart of what matters is the journey–how we grow, how we reach, how we evolve; the heart of what matters is our inner transformation; the heart of what matters is what we learn. The good news? That all experiences–not only those labelled right –offer lessons in life.
With a clearer perspective, we can let go our fear and learn to make decisions more easily. Through practice, this new way of being can, in fact, become a habit. We may begin with little decisions that hold little or no consequence. As is said, we need not sweat the small stuff; and in the end it’s all small stuff. Does it truly matter whether we order the pasta or the fish? Does it truly matter whether we see an Action movie or a Comedy? Does it truly matter where we vacation or what type of car we buy? The larger, more important, issues of life may be decided as we grow in our perspective and our ability to prioritize. A quote from Amelia Earhart offers great inspiration: The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process, is its own reward. Is it not true that the most difficult step to take is often the first?
In the matter of decision, a riddle may offer a dose of wisdom: Five seagulls are sitting on a dock. One decides to fly off. How many are left? Do most of us answer “four?” If so, we might think again; for deciding to fly and actually doing it are very different indeed. Once we decide upon a desire, it’s imperative to take action. Even little steps are better than no steps at all. Until we act, we are–as in the case of that fifth seagull–still sitting on the dock. Regarding all of our concerns and worries about making a wrong decision, please consider this: In the end, is it not that we flew–not where or how–that matters most? Is that not our sweet glory?
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏