I’ve recently been thinking a lot about decision making, and the part our conditioning can play in some of the biggest decisions we make in our lives. Big choices can often be influenced by what we’ve taken to be true without really spending much time thinking about how that decision could affect our lives. Without realising, we can make choices about life-changing events like relationships, marriage, kids and our careers without consciously deciding what we actually want those areas of our lives to look like. Sometimes the answers to questions of what kind of job you want, whether you want to get married, have kids, and if yes when, are so ingrained through learned conditioning, that our responses can be automatic without ever really questioning if they are true for us.
In cases like this, we often aren’t seeing beyond the immediate decision and what it will bring in the short term. Not seeing past the wedding and honeymoon, or not looking at the realities of raising a child, for example, can be disastrous. With every big decision it is imperative to think deeply about whether we are making a decision with conscious awareness, or if we are making it because we can, should or because we have reached a certain age or stage in life (or because all your friends are doing it).
In knowing ourselves well, and what we want our lives to be, we reach a level of self-awareness from which we can make conscious decisions. By asking ourselves, “Is this what I really want?” in the face of big, potentially life-altering choices, and in tuning in and listening to the answer, we get on a path that will lead us to whatever is right for us.
Operating through awareness and making conscious decisions will ensure you lead a life that is authentic, where you are being true to yourself and making choices that are right for you. This in turn will not only make the decisions you make much more fulfilling, and bring you a sense of freedom in controlling the shape of your own life, but you’ll actually be able to show up in the choice you made. If you decide to get married or have children, for example, you’ll show up as a better, more present partner or parent.
Thinking about what truly makes you happy will allow you to follow a path that will bring you joy and satisfaction on a day to day level, and that, I think, is worth thinking about.