Life is like a box of chocolates.
If you are a movie fan, you most likely know this famous quote from the movie Forrest Gump. As a matter of fact, even if you aren’t, you would have had to be living under a rock not to know this quote. Forrest Gump’s take is that you never know what happens in life.
However, these days life is more like a chocolate bar: there is so much choice it is overwhelming. I remember, many years ago, maybe even the years before the mobile phone, I used to love M&M’s. There were two choices: Peanut or no peanut; A yellow bag or a brown bag. Another one of my favourites was Kit Kat. A simple bar for sharing, that you could break into pieces. Than the revolution came: Kit Kat released a chunky bar. Same flavour, no more sharing.
Use intuitive decision making to make decisions easier
These days, choosing a chocolate bar is stressful. Ranker.com lists 25 different flavours of M&M’s. Nestle on their website lists 13 flavours of Kitkat, and that excludes the 3 flavours that I have seen advertised and displayed in stores.
It used to be so easy to find your favourite. You only had to try one other flavour and you knew. Now you would have to go through 13 types of KitKat before you can decide on your favourite.
What if you are really impartial and you like all flavours? How do you narrow it down? How do you make that decision? What if you choose one flavour and decide it is not really what you wanted? How many flavours are you willing to try before giving up? Choosing a chocolate bar has become complicated.
The joy of a simple chocolate bar is no more.
I guess, I am showing my age when I say I am longing for the days when life was simple. Because not only is there more choice in chocolate bars, there is more choice everywhere.
You don’t automatically follow in the footsteps of your parents when choosing your career. You are likely to change your career at least twice in your life compared to having one job for your entire life. When you search for ‘how many mobile phone plans are there in Australia”, it lists 300+ plans from 30+ providers.
Life is just not that simple anymore.
Off course, I am not talking about chocolate bars and mobile phone plans. I am talking about making choices in life that give you great experiences that create excitement in life. It is also about finding the path in life that makes you stay true to who you really are.
How do we make the right choice in this overwhelming labyrinth of options?
One of the biggest challenges that we face is that we have been taught to think with our brain. For example purchasing houses, cars and other goods is often an emotional decision. I don’t know how many houses I walked out of because “It just doesn’t feel right”. Yet many think it is a rational purchase: the right area, the right budget etc. I once read the statement “The biggest purchase you will ever make in your life (your house) is also the most irrational”.
Mind Thinking vs intuitive decision making
You are so trained to think with your brain that you often forget to trust your intuition and rely on “intuitive decision making”, or “heart thinking”.
Ultimately, ”heart thinking” is having faith in yourself and using your feelings and intuition to make your decisions. This may sound “illogic”, but heart thinking is a skill you can learn. Imagine yourself in a dark room with only your hands to find the door. You know when you have found the way out, when your hands touch the door handle. Using your feelings follows the same principle. You consider the options and when an option feels good, you settle on it.
Heart thinking follows the same principles. After analysing all the facts you also look for how it feels. When it feels good you move forward.
There are four key benefits to include heart thinking in your decision making process:
- Reduce stress
- Increased emotional intelligence
- Increased confidence in all areas of your life
- Less trial and error to achieve better results.
Trusting your intuition is a skill that you can learn. It is listening to that little voice of wisdom that comes up inside. Most of us already use intuition when judging others: It is about the feeling you get when you first meet somebody.
The next issue to consider is this: How do you respond when your choice doesn’t work out as planned? First of all, you have shown yourself that you trust yourself. Therefore it is still a win. Secondly, remind yourself that everything is in alignment. Consequently you can acknowledge to yourself that you have made the right decision. Finally, it is important to recognise that the step you have taken is opening up a whole new world of possibilities that will bring success into your life.
Heart thinking and intuitive decision making
Take the opportunity to start trusting yourself more and start to rely more on your intuition to make decisions.
Follow these 3 steps to be more successful with intuitive decision making:
- Create awareness of your beliefs, thoughts and self talk. These often stop you from listening to your intuition. Learn techniques to get rid of them.
- Start to apply “intuitive thinking” to make small decisions first. What is for dinner tonight? What book to read next? Start to trust your feelings. Haven’t spoken to a friend in a while and their name pops in your head? Give them a call.
- Accept that whatever choice you make is the right choice regardless of the choice. After all you can trust yourself 100%.
Start small to master this process. In other words, next time you want to buy a chocolate bar (or a magazine) use your intuition to make the right choose.
To learn more about how you can use intuitive decision making to be more successful, register for your Free Leadership Assessment