Any attempt to change from your current state is dependent on the ‘decisions’ you make, and infact starts with a decision. That’s probably the reason why you are told, in order for you to change, you first need to ‘decide’ that you really need to change.
“You do not change your life in a minute, but the decisions you make can change your life in a second.”
I was discussing with Dr. Abraham Gerard Meyer about the MindfulChoice™ Model which he so advocates in making informed decisions and he explained this concept beautifully by correlating change and decision making with the act of driving a vehicle.
I realized that when we drive, we are always presented with choices aka decisions to make – whether to turn right or left, stop or proceed, swerve or bash-on regardless. He went on to tell me that if we carefully examine, all our decisions are binary and we need to become aware of that first before doing anything. He went on to add that we must move away from focusing on the ‘Why?’ and start looking at being in the present – the ‘What?’. There is no point in wallowing in the past, thought past experiences do influence our knowledge in making decisions, they do not help greatly. In fact if we keep focusing on the ‘why?’ of decisions, we become paralyzed for action.
Imagine, you are stuck in a traffic jam, and you are in the ‘Why?’ mode of thinking and feeling. ‘Why does it have to be today?’; ‘Why is it happening to me?’, ‘Why don’t the authorities do something about traffic conditions?’ – ‘Why?’ Why? Why?
Do you see, how it takes you into a negative spiral of thoughts and emotions? Does it in anyway change your condition? Probably yes! But for the worse, isn’t it?
Instead, if you move your attention towards the ‘what?’, it will help you remain in the present, analyze the situation you are in currently and make informed choices to either ease the pain or maneuver through the traffic. I personally have not seen people when faced with an emergency situation while driving, asking the question ‘why’? Instead they unconsciously are focusing on the ‘what’? and take a decision in the moment. It does not matter whether the decision worked out right or wrong eventually, however, it does move you forward to the next step. Either way you know whether it worked in your favor or not.
Let’s say you start asking – What’s happening now? What do I do now? What options do I have now? What?, What?, What?…. You will find that you will be able to act and change your direction effectively to reach your destination.
If we can start to bring the lessons from our driving experiences into our decision making process, it will go a long way in helping us change for the better – affirmative towards change.
It starts with you learning to make MindfulChoice™ – this Dr. Gerard says, is different from the Mindfulness talk we hear all around us. The MindfulChoice™ Model is all about being in the present, focusing on the ‘what?’ and on changing behavior.
Remember, it always is a ‘Decision’ which ‘Changes’ the course of your life!
Here is an interesting video on the ‘MindfulChoice Model’