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Decision Process Featured

The Decision Process

If you at a place in your life where you want to change something, whether it is to stop smoking or to choose a direction in life, you need to make a good, solid decision that sticks and that has the power to change your life.

At first, of course, you run through your options. You check what options are available to you, what they are about, and which one you most want based on your best sense of self. Then at some point, you need to take the step from prefering one option, to actually picking it and going with it. You have to choose the path you want to walk, and then you actually take that path. You put your feet on it and start walking.

Deciding is an active process.

There are no right or wrong decisions. This is your life, and you are living it. One decision takes you into one direction, and the other decision takes you somewhere else. Your decision should be based not on which one is the "right" one, or which one you are most comfortable with right now, but on where you want to end up. You pick a direction based on where it leads you, and if you want to go there.

When you are making a big decision, tell yourself that you are doing it for 30 days at first, rather than "two whole years" or "forever!". The concept of "forever" or even "years" is very difficult for the subconscious to understand, so it may get scared. It is much easier if you start with 30 days. This seems doable, and you can make it off on your calendar and give yourself a cookie when you made it. Then, you can re-make your decision for a longer time.


The Steps

Here are some steps to making and enforcing a solid decision:

  • Choose. Given your understanding of your options, consciously choose an option.

barImagine two people hitting on you in a bar. You can sit there all night, drinking, talking to them, having fun, and having both of them hit on you. You're getting a pretty clear idea of which of the two you like best, which is better looking, which is friendlier, which makes you laugh and seems like you'd have a really good time with them. You know which of them you would like to take take home. At that point you have to say "You! I pick you! Let's go to my place!" or you are going home alone.

  • Make it simple. Bring your decision down to one simple, short sentence that states what you choose, and what you are letting go. If you need to spend some time to really bring your options down to simple and short, something you can put in one sentence, do it. Remember: if it is not simple, you do not understand it yet. You can write down in a few sentences of really important details to go with your short sentence, if you like.

For example: "I choose to walk A2f, and I let go of the other LPAs." or "I choose to become someone loud and impressive, and I let go of being quiet and polite."

  • Say it out loud. Once you have it, say your decision out loud, with confidence and power. Be in your guts while you do it. If you cannot be in your guts and actively decide, then you need to go back to the last option of choosing, which is "having guts". By saying it out loud, you are telling yourself and your inner pieces that you really mean it, and that you are serious about this thing. If you have trouble saying it confidently, try just saying it a few times over, loudly. If it's scary, do it in the shower or in a park or home alone, but do it.
  • Tell someone else. This can be a teacher at Elfpath, a classmate, a lover, a friend... anyone in your life will do (pets excluded, that's a cop-out). Preferably someone who understands what you are talking about, of course. They can remind you and support you in your decision, and in telling them, you are telling yourself and your inner pieces once again that you really mean it.
  • Make it official. Write down your decision, in its simple form, in a fancy contract or certificate. Spend a little time making this, either on a computer with professional looking borders and big letters, or by sitting down and drawing a contract on a piece of paper. If you like, officially sign it. Definitely put a date on it. If you don't like the energy it has, or that you have while making it, do it over. You will be looking at this contract often. Put it some place where you have to see it every day, like on your fridge, next to your computer, on the wall, at the cover of your diary, on the mirror.. Preferably, find a place where you can see it first thing when you get out of bed, and last thing when you go to sleep.
  • Tell your inner people. If you are at least a Yellow Belt, you can use the Elfpath Castle metaphor and go inside, call all your inner people and advisors and special forces together, and inform them of your decision. Keep doing this for the full 30 days every time you do Castle-minutes, even if it is just 5 or 10 seconds of you telling your people, "BTW, this decision stands and you will follow it." Show the most important Team You people your contract, and have them sign it.  
  • Find simple exercises. Get one or two simple exercises that you can do in no more than 5-10 seconds, that actively support and enforce your decision. If your decision was to be loud rather than quiet, perhaps a step might be "Jump up and down and yell YAY!" It should be short, and easy, and fun, so that you can do it lots of times a day. When you just feel like it, when you remember you're in the process of making a decision stick, or when you find yourself slipping. If you need help finding some simple exercise, ask your teacher for help. One exercise is enough, no more than two.
  • Re-commit. Every morning when you get up and every night before you go to sleep, re-affirm your decision. Look at your contract, and say it out loud again. Keep doing this for the full 30 days. Remember this is only for the BIG decisions - you won't be making 20 of those in a month.

The purpose of these steps is to get your conscious mind and your subconscious both to really get on board with your decision. Eventually, if you do these steps seriously and consistently, everything inside will start to understand that you're serious about it, and will get on board with it. If you find yourself doing what you decided in your dreams, it's a sign that you are being successful. Watch for it, and celebrate it when it does. Write it down in your journal so you remember that your decision is becoming real to you.


The Long Haul

Good decisions have to be make over and over and over again. It is like quitting smoking: you have to keep decising not to smoke, every day, sometimes every hour. When you stop deciding for the option of your choice, your decision falls. Deciding is an active process. You do it over, and over, and over, and you keep making the same decision once you've made it. You keep making the small decisions that support your big decision. You keep putting one foot in front of the other on the path that you've taken, or you will not make progress on it.


Once you've made a decision and carried out these steps, also check out the Decision Timeline: the things that are almost certainly going to happen to you, too, after you make a big decision. Knowing what to expect lets you avoid the most common pitfalls.


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