My first point is to highlight the fact that making decisions uses energy. The brain consumes about 20% of the energy produced by the body, and doing critical thinking (like making decisions) by firing up the prefrontal cortex of the brain is one of the major energy users in the brain.
If we want more energy and vitality each and every day, we need to be extra conscious about have we use and consume our energy. Make sense?
The second point I would like to make is that during times of uncertainty, especially where there are a lot of things happening in your environment that are beyond your control, the brain is likely to be in an elevated state of alertness (to keep you ‘safe’), which is also a major energy consumer.
Decisions and energy
Let me just come straight out with my strategy and then explain it more in depth, so if you are short of time, you can do a grab and dash (though do check out Decision Making Mastery for a lot more awesome strategies ;-)).
The strategy is…
IF you are feeling a little flat, or low on energy, THEN choose to do activities where you have a higher level of known certainty.
This is actually a strategy within a strategy. Firstly I use an IF-THEN statement. IF this happens, THEN do that. It primes the brain in advance, so the brain consumes less energy, because the ‘decision’ on what to do is already made.
However the primary impact from this strategy is making a conscious choice not to make life (or your day) harder than it needs to be.
For instance, there are days where I am triggered (more than other days) by stupid decisions made by people politicking or are abusing their power. On those days I might feel a little bit ‘flatter’. On those days it is not in my best interest to go to a new, unknown, restaurant (for example), which I have never been to before. The experience might be great, but it also might be totally average or suck extirely.
On a day where I am a little flat, I choose to go to restaurants where I know they provide great service, where I know and love the staff, where the food is great and where I have a high level of CERTAINTY about what the experience will be like.
There are times to step into the UNKNOWN, but the best time is not when you are feeling flat or fragile.
Here is another very simple example.
My girlfriend decided she needed a haircut the other day. On this day she was a little flat because we were having water supply issues and she was up in the middle of the night filling up water buckets – so a disrupted sleep left her with less energy in the morning. Her regular hair dresser was not available at the time she wanted, so she went to a new salon. At the salon the hairdresser did a good job, but was so full of fear around the covid thing, she dumped all her imagined fears and worries on my partner (Ferry). So Ferry left the haircut drained even more.
I know these are really simple and basic examples. But most of life, and our navigation through each day, is about how we handle the ‘simple’ stuff – which is about 80% plus of our life experience.
Do we make choices that add to our energy, that are neutral, or that reduce our energy?
Where is your Self Awareness at?
I make this point often.
I believe we need to do regular practices (e.g. meditation) that allow us to maintain a high level of self-awareness, so we can make decisions based on what the current reality is – internally and externally.
Self-Awareness allows you to know where you are at – physically, mentally, emotionally and spirituality – so you can make the best choices.
And by having a number of different STRATEGIES at your disposal, you have the opportunity to use the right tool for the right job.
Self-Awareness + the ‘right’ Strategy = a more empowered Outcome
IF you are feeling flat, easily triggered, or somewhat fragile, THEN choose people, places and activities, where you have a high level of CERTAINTY as to how the experience is likely to feel and unfold.
This is not about being soft or not being courageous, it is about KNOWING THYSELF and playing the long-term game of life, rather than just ‘hoping’ that things work out. Sometimes we need to step back and re-energize before we step into the bigger game.
Having said that, when you are pumped up with energy, feeling like you could take on any challenge, then that is the PERFECT time to step into the unknown or maybe go check out that new fancy-looking cafe that has been getting pretty mixed reviews. 😉
Life can be a challenge at times (as we are all VERY aware of), but we don’t have to make it any harder than it needs to be.
My Final Words
The decisions you make, or don’t make, have a huge impact on your destiny. I believe we are all co-creators in that destiny and the higher the quality of our tools, strategies and level of self-awareness, the better choices we can make. Moment-by-moment and day-by-day.
This is what I want my gift to humanity to be. To help people make better decisions in their life and co-create a destiny of their choosing. All my writing is for that purpose. I encourage you to check out my latest book – Decision Making Mastery – and see where you can upgrade your own decision-making skills.
Plus if you ever need a hand making a major decision in your life, don’t hesitate to get in touch (I have the bumps and bruises literally and figuratively for when I didn’t ask for help or chose to listen to the wrong person with their own agenda).
And that is all, for now.
Have a fabulous day.
Take care and much love,
PS: Decision Making Mastery is available on Kindle for 2 more weeks at only $0.99 (regular price $8.99) or full price for the paperback version.