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From Nudge To Nirvana
Should I or should I not? May I or may I not? Did I or did I not? Can I or can I not? Will I or will I not? Do I or do I not? These questions, perhaps, succinctly summarize dilemma of life's choices that confront us almost every day. A strong case could be made of inscribing these questions on our tombstones, encapsulating, in a nutshell, the story of our lives. How much time do all of us spend trying to decide, doubt and dissipate our energies! However, there is a good reason why we spend so much of our time deciding - because invariably decisions (good or bad) often have a big impact on our lives. How does one make "good" decisions? That's a question worthy of further exploration. Let us take a crack at it!
The other day I was reading the book, "On Personal Power," by Carl Rogers, one of the most distinguished psychotherapists that lived on American soil. He writes in the introduction to the book*: Some months ago a strange thing happened to me. I think it was the nearest I have ever come to having psychic experience. I was intent on some work I was doing at my desk, when suddenly there flashed into my mind a complete sentence: "I walk softly through life." I was puzzled by the intrusion, but since it had nothing to do with the work at hand I shrugged it off. A bit later the peculiar nature of this "flash" struck me, and I began to speculate about it. All sorts of associations crowded in. As a boy I'd read hundreds of books about frontiersmen and Indians, men who could glide noiselessly through the forest without stepping on a dead twig or disturbing the foliage. No one knew their whereabouts until they had reached their destination and accomplished their purpose, whether they were on an errand of mercy or a warlike mission. I realized my professional life had had that same quality. I haven't made a fuss about where I am going until I have arrived. Rogers then later on goes on summarize this approach as: It is not that this approach gives power to a person; it never takes it away.
And this is the essence of my personal realization too on how one can lead a life of peace and calmness even in the face of big decisions. Being in tune with nature is the easiest and only way of ensuring a life of contentment and happiness. But how does one go about implementing this "right" method of living in our decision-making? Below I describe a procedure that I have been experimenting with for sometime and find it quite useful. Maybe some of you will benefit from it too. So here it goes** '
The wonder of wonders is not that there is a "magical" decision guide inside of us that is ever accessible to lead us, but that most of us are looking for that guidance outside. We forget that outside is we, ourselves, inside out. The more we tune inwards the more outside tunes in to us. Then there is no choice, no decision and no decision-maker either. Only the maker!
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