We can all benefit from making better choices….
“I believe that we are solely responsible for our choices, and we have to accept the consequences of every deed, word, and thought throughout our lifetime.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross.
It therefore makes sense to learn how to make better choices, right?
We make hundreds, maybe even thousands, of choices every day. Our everyday choices affect our accomplishments, our relationships, and our general prosperity. Given their recurrence and significance, how can we make better choices all the more frequently? One response to that question is to consistently ask questions that lead to better choices, let me demonstrate….
1. Would this choice improve the lives of others?
Overlooking the effect of our choices on others is counterproductive. Why? Since mutual relationships and concern are a key part of accomplishment and prosperity. In light of that, a choice to help other people, to offer thanks, or to cultivate social association, is usually a decent one. Likewise, we benefit from thinking about the effect that our choices will have upon others in a range of ways.
2. Is this choice lined up with my long-term objectives?
What’s most important to you? What is going to be most instrumental to your success? If you haven’t done so already, consider recording your answer to that question and referring to it regularly. Relentless effort over time toward particular objectives is basic to accomplishing anything of significance. When making a choice of any kind, consider if it is serving your main objectives and goals in some effective way.
3. How might I advance toward the correct choices?
It’s January (for example) and you’ve chosen that for the rest of the year you will eat healthier. Think of it as done! …right??? Alright, perhaps not exactly yet. To nudge your impulsive self to act consistently with that ideal outcome, appropriate cues can help. For example, placing healthy foods within easy view and easy reach, while doing the opposite for unhealthy foods, may help you to make progress toward your goal. What can you do to help yourself make healthier choices. I find that good choices enjoy one another’s company – whenever I start the day off with exercise and healthy choices, they become easier to maintain for that day. Therefore, I make it a main objective to be sure to get out in the morning. Know yourself and cultivate an environment that fosters better choices.
4. Would it be a good idea for me to think from an alternate point of view before choosing?
Once in a while our cognitive biases or predispositions or slanted beliefs may prevent us from seeing an honest picture of our selves or our lives. Approaching others for guidance is one way to compensate for our blind spots. Another way is to utilise objective algorithms, which are sometimes more effective than human instinct at making complex judgments. A shortcut that approximates third-party advice: what advice would I give to a friend? Another trick to spark a new perspective: what would I do if I couldn’t implement the options I’ve already considered? Let go of yourself, truly step into the shoes ( or rather, the mindset) of another person and take on a new perspective regarding the choice.
5. Would it be a good idea for me to replenish my energy before settling on a choice?
I spoke about this and the science behind it in my previous article on my blog. Have you at any point settled on an awful choice when you were worn out, hungry, or encountering compelling feelings? We all have! Next time you end up settling on a potentially consequential decision in similar conditions, consider whether you could first take a replenishment break. Evidence suggests that a short walk outside may boost your energy and mood, and make sure you have good blood sugar levels – these things are proven to enhance your decision making and making better choices.
6. Might I be able to put off this choice a few days without negative effect?
Prior to imparting anything, consider the guidance of comic Craig Ferguson: “Does this need to be said? By me? Now?” In addition to checking your motivations, postponing action may give you time to gather new information, and in some cases, an issue may even resolve itself without your intervention. Postponing action may also give necessary space to others. Pause to consider whether no action or deferred action, might be your best choice.
7. How can I practice or test this potential decision before finalising it?
To avoid regretting a major choice, consider whether you could preview the choice in a low-risk way. For example, before buying a house in a city that’s new to you, could you rent for several months to become familiar with the neighbourhoods? Before investing your entire life’s savings using a new strategy, could you back test the new approach to see how it performed historically? Before leaving an established career to earn a degree in a new field, could you provide free support to someone working in that field to confirm that you love the work? Often, we can reduce our risk and improve the quality of our choices by testing the waters before jumping in with both feet. Although there is no doubt that social pressure can adversely affect our judgement, there are occasions when it can be harnessed as a force for good. In a recent experiment researchers led by Robert Cialdini of Arizona State University in Tempe looked at ways to promote environmentally friendly choices. They placed cards in hotel rooms encouraging guests to reuse their towels either out of respect for the environment, for the sake of future generations, or because the majority of guests did so. Peer pressure turned out to be 30 per cent more effective than the other motivators. If you did not want to engage fully in a test run as suggested here, you could imagine the outcomes playing out. I do this and teach my clients to do this using self-hypnosis and imagining being in a range of outcomes and compare them to inform my choices and subsequent decision making. Read these articles for more on how to do this:
8. How can I combine the best of all options?
We often think of our decisions as choices between two options. But why not combine the best among all options? For example, when considering whether to stay with the company you love or to go to your dream job at another company, consider this: can you do both, by working with your current employer to craft your dream job at the company you already love?
If you’ve tried all the questions above and things still aren’t going according to plan, don’t forget this final question….
9. What can I learn from this experience?
Have you reflected objectively on the choices you’ve made in the past? Life’s challenges are a tremendous source of learning, though sometimes the lessons we learn are painful. Sometimes our pain is self-inflicted through our own mistakes. Other times, an outcome is not what we desire despite reasonably good choices and actions on our part. If we learn from each experience, even setbacks can enrich our lives and help us to make better future choices.
“The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.” — Neal Boortz.
Although no one makes perfect choices all of the time, asking ourselves the right questions can help us to make better choices more frequently. Better choices will lead to greater achievements, stronger relationships, and increased well-being. If you persist resiliently toward purposeful goals with people you care about and who care about you, you’re already successful in important and meaningful ways that should give you confidence for continued growth!
Have some of themes here resonated with you? Then have a read of these pages:
1. Do you need help or support in a particular area of your life?
Coaching with Adam Eason Or Hypnotherapy with Adam Eason
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Adam Eason’s Anglo European training college.
3. Are you a hypnotherapist looking to fulfil your ambitions or advance your career?
Hypnotherapist Mentoring with Adam Eason.
Likewise, if you’d like to learn more about self-hypnosis, understand the evidence based principles of it from a scientific perspective and learn how to apply it to many areas of your life while having fun and in a safe environment and have the opportunity to test everything you learn, then come and join me for my one day seminar which does all that and more, have a read here: The Science of Self-Hypnosis Seminar. Alternatively, go grab a copy of my Science of self-hypnosis book.