For the purpose of creating memes, I’ve been asked by my publicist to pull 3 “quotable quotes” from each of the seven selves that are detailed in my soon-to-be published book, Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth.
The three I pulled from the second self, self-gratification, are:
- “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
- “Individual choices have universal consequences.”
- “Life is an expression of the choices we make.”
Who to call? What to wear? When to speak up? Where to go? Choices and decisions—some crucial, some seemingly insignificant—each of us makes them every single day.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
Good question: I follow my heart, but check with my brain.
Fatima — Smart cookie, you! 🙂
Great question indeed. Sometimes I get the feeling that it’s not as important what decision you take (especially for certain non-essential things) as the fact that you take a decision, because as you say, not deciding is a decision in itself. I’m sympathetic to the way of thinking of some people who try and stream line the non-important decisions (dressing in a similar way, following a planned diet) to focus on the more important things. On the other hand, living life to the full is also about enjoying all moments.
Olga — I love your bottom line on top: “…living life to the full is also about enjoying all moments.” 🙂
Great quotes you chose Laurie! When I don’t know what to do I start with two activities. First, I go for a long walk in nature. Somehow the rhythm of the walk seems to sort things out without me having to think to hard about the issue. If this doesn’t work, I sleep on it and let my subconscious take the lead. Then, should these two activities fail to come up with a definitive answer, I check to make sure I have enough information to make the decision and I will sometimes ask for help or ask an expert to make sure I haven’t got tangled up in my own thinking. If the answer still isn’t clear after all of this, I usually wait. Time will make the decision for me and if I couldn’t decide in the first place then that has to be the right decision 😉
Terrill — I LOVE your recipe: (1) a long walk in nature. (2) sleep on it. (3) check to see if you need more info/data, while being open to asking for help. (4) the passage of time.
Yep — I’ve always known you to be an excellent cook! 🙂
It depends on the situation–deciding on what to make for dinner or deciding to take a job? But then, I guess indecisive is different from not knowing what to do. If we have a choice between two shows to watch on TV, and I tell my husband I don’t care which one we watch, then I truly don’t. If I’m trying to decide about something more important, taking on a project, for example, then I often discuss it with him, daughters, or other people, but think about it a lot on my own.
I love the photos! From your recent trip?
Merrill — I love the inclusiveness of family you incorporate when making certain decisions.
Yes, indeed. Two of the doors are from Venice, Italy and the blue one that I’m standing in front of is in Santorini, Greece.
I’m wringing as much mileage of my European adventure as possible 🙂
As well you should, Laurie! 🙂
Too often the urgent, rather than the important – working on that 😉
Ted — I love your response (so much so that I shared it with Len) 🙂
Sylvia — yes, Yes, YES indeed! 🙂
I lean towards “life is an expression of the choices we make”. When I don’t know which choice to make I ask myself. Will this bring expansion or contraction? Am I coming from love or fear? I can feel it in my body … 💛
Val — I absolutely love the filters you use to sift the question through for your answer. Brilliant! 🙂
Faced with too many decisions I sometimes become paralyzed and end up doing nothing. Not always the best response, I know. I’m reminded of something I heard many years ago: not making a choice is making a choice. Still, sometimes in the face of feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of choosing from an array of seemingly endless options, the best response for me is sometimes to step away until I feel a definite pull in one direction or another.
Linda — In your case it sounds like you’re giving a nod to TIME. Sometimes all one needs is a bit of time to pass in order to arrive at the perspective needed for a wise choice. I like it. I like it a lot! 🙂
If I’m stuck while writing, I take a walk, cook, or clean until my sub-conscious feeds me the next line.
This post and all the comments contain a wealth of wisdom. (Yes, I too would pray.)
By the way, I have an outfit with denim jacket almost identical to yours, Laurie. Thank you for opening many doors for us here.
Marian — I agree with everything you do except for the cleaning part. Not gonna happen here…
[Clearly our brilliant fashion-minds think alike] 🙂
I too can become paralyzed when there are too many choices to make or I’m in a time crunch. But I intuitively know in which direction to go most of the time. I often like to “sleep on it,” giving the choice extra time to percolate before I move ahead.
Joan — I love your choice of descriptors: “Percolate.” That’s precisely what happens when we gift ourselves with the opportunity to “sleep on it.” 🙂
Love all your quotes, especially “Individual choices have universal consequences.” I do hold the belief that our choices can have ripple effects in our own life and beyond us.
When faced with a big decision, for example sometime ago deciding what coaching school to enroll in, I did some research on my own to find programs that resonated with my values, had depth, and would challenge/expand me in some way narrowing to 2; I then interviewed a few coaches I respected from each for their perspective; and finally it came down to which program brought me a sense of energy and passion.
My choice and coaching certainly has had consequences of learning, growth, and expansion for myself as well as for my clients and ripples flow from all of us! Thanks for the question!
Audrey — (1) I love the detailed way you broke your decision-making process down here.
2) I’m glad you resonate with that specific quote. More so, I’m tickled pink that a quote of YOURS will appear as a sidebar on page 106 of Note to Self 🙂
3) Ripple effect, indeed. Though I’m not one of your clients, as a friend in your sphere of influence I’ve been on the receiving end of your wisdom. And for that I thank you from the depths of my heart.
I too have been so blessed to be in your circle since my cousin first referred me to you at Holessence! I’m so excited to me connected to you book Note to Self and can’t wait to read my pre-ordered copy in November. Namaste wisdom sister.
If the situation permits, I think about it, roll it around in my mind, weigh the consequences of my choices. If their is no time, I pick a direction and go forth, ready to accept what might follow.
Carol — I love that given time you “weigh the consequences of your choices.” If a larger portion of the global population used your method, we’d enjoy a heckofa lot more kindness and peace.
Ask, and then listen. One won’t work without the other.
Lisa — It’s so good to hear from YOU! Love your response, thank you for sharing it here 🙂
What do you do when you don’t know what to do? I try not to give time to make a decision, sometimes I consult with other people…
Amy — Good to see you here today. THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts 🙂
The FIRST thing I do when I don’t know what to do is pray. That is all. The next thing I do is the SECOND thing. – Dennis
Dennis — From a man who delivered a DYNAMITE sermon this past Sunday, this does not surprise me! (Yes, I heard about it not only from Sandi, but read about it from people in the congregation on Facebook) 🙂
I try to get quiet. That can be a form of prayer. I also remember that very few choices are irrevocable or irreversible. I love the endings to the movies Babette’s Feast and Places in the Heart. They help me relax into my own body and into the arms of God.
That’s on a good day. Sometimes I just panic. 🙂
Shirley — Oh my gosh, here I am reading your comment, nodding in solemn agreement with your thoughts on quietude and prayer. And then you deliver your last sentence and I bust out laughing! 🙂
Ah yes, Laura I call it the “paralysis of analysis” and it can happen from the simplest to the most complex decisions. But by the time I make my decision–whatever the scale–, I usually feel right about it.Love your quotes and photos. Very intriguing.
Kathy — Ohhhhhhh, I love your term “paralysis of analysis.” And you know what? It can happen to ANYone at ANY given time.
So glad that quotes and photos resonated with you, thank you for letting me know 🙂
I think your Green Brain Choices were precise and evoke curiosity from readers. The comments from other reader are grand confirmation of your selection. I make personally and professionally make decisions depending on each of my 4 Brain Colors, the circumstanced that require the decision, and the consequences of my decision.
Sheila — You are, without a doubt, the most COLORFUL friend I have. I simply love how you filter your decisions through the lens of brain color. Absolutely love it! 🙂
Thank you, Laurie. So glad you “Love” my Brain Color Approach! The Brain Color Theory helps to clarify so much in my life, especially healthy decision making and creative problem solving. The Brain Color Theory also helps me see other individuals’ POV about the decisions they make and how my decision will effect them. Hugs from your Color-filled Friend, Sheila
Sheila — Smiling at your thought-filled response. You’re always a tipping point for joy 🙂
I write about it.
Thank you for the lovely photos–especially the middle one, it tells a story.
Leanne — Like you, I find writing to be a grand prescription. And I always benefit from yours.
I’ve already been over to your blog today and I never leave without a nugget of wisdom. Thank you!
“Whatever you are not choosing you are changing”. . . one of my most FAVORITE quotes from you, Laurie. . . and something that sticks with me daily. And as for the pictures. . . top drawer!
Alison — thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU! 🙂
Oh what a great question, Laurie! Not sure if it’s possible to put the answer in words. So many times in recent years I’ve relaxed and allowed Life to move through and make the decision. To begin to trust that Life and me are one…to wait until it’s time. To simply watch as the thoughts put forth all their reasoning, their discernment, their hopes, their fears. A decision has needed an answer for weeks now and today Life and I finally started moving toward the phone. It’s been a long process learning to let go into this and sometimes the thoughts attempt to lead, but by golly, when Life leads–I feel such indescribable peace and joy.
Kathy — “Relax.” “Allow.” “Trust.” “Watch.” — and then you moved. But not until you’d allowed the fullness of the first ingredients. And then you experienced peace and joy. I love it! 🙂
Glad you were able to understand!
Laurie, basically I scratch my head, and pray. I know it seems like passing the buck, but the Universe has already got the answer, I just have to ask for it.
Sandi — I like the way you think. Brilliant! 🙂
I just took a wee quiz on FB and it said I am very intuitive and follow my gut? My GI track is not doing so well right now so I think with a decision right now, I would write in my journal and be thankful and grateful for other decisions I have made and celebrate the good ones…then I will know what to decide….sometimes sleeping on it is the best thing of all.
Patricia — I’m attached to you at the hip with the “sleeping on it” method 🙂
I can go into melt down ,with so many decisions , but then I collect myself and remember my breath because it is always there for you …thanks yoga .
I am so looking forward to having your book in my mits .I just know it’s going to be informative and loads of fun .
Cherry — Breathwork and Yoga. YES! And I’m so glad you’re looking forward to “Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth.”
My sister just did a first-time-ever read of it for the purpose of catching any unseen errors. Here’s the text she sent me on June 6th:
“Dear Laurie, I wish I was the wordsmith you are right now because I could then give you all of the words of praise Note to Self truly deserves. It is obvious that it is such an intense labor of your love in every beautiful and uplifting word of it. I feel so filled with positivity and at the same time lightened by its words of encouragement and hope. I can feel a healthy change in myself. And I will be using it as a reference for joyful living for the rest of my life. It is a life changing gift, my favorite book of all. Thank you! Thank you!”
That is the best review you could ever have . I feel it right from the heart of your sister ❤️
So many things behind a choice… those doors are great as they seem to point in that direction, meaning, freedom and choices… sending best wishes. Aquileana
Aqujleana — Many of the doors that we saw in Italy, Greece, and Turkey are filled with character and like works of art. I love that you see they point to FREEDOM and CHOICES. Thank you for sharing your healthy perspective here 🙂
Hm. The bigger decisions wait until the following morning. By that time I usually know what to do. With everything else I rely on my intuition or ask my daughter. 🙂
Inese — I love your decision-making method! 🙂
When I truly don’t know which of two choices to make I envision myself, five years hence, regretting my decision. Which choice would I regret more? It’s usually easy after that little exercise. But those are rare decision points. More often I just need to get quiet and listen.
Thanks for the reminder.
Janet — Get QUIET and LISTEN. But if that doesn’t work, envision myself five years down the road and ask “which choice would I regret more?” Now THAT’S cool! 🙂
Choices – as you say, so many of them. Even scarier if we think that even the smallest choice can create a large consequence. Me? I try to ‘sleep on it,’ as the expression goes. Often we are given the answer of the ‘right choice’ in our dreams….
Pam — I’ve experienced it myself… receiving the ‘right choice’ in my sleep. I was just over at your blog — happy 5-year anniversary!
Thanks! I think we know the right choice in our ‘gut’ (in our insides), and in sleep, we let go of the ‘outside’ of ourselves, so we can hear the inside.
All three choices you have made are fabulous Laurie! Whenever I am unsure or stumped I invariably ask for the opinion or advice from my better half. 🙂
Sam — You can’t go wrong when seeking Lucille’s opinion 🙂
I usually just move forward when I’m not sure what to do, and over time it becomes clearer if a change of course is needed.
Sheryl — It sounds like a good plan! 🙂
Go! Go! Walk through the door! Doors have thresholds that can be crossed in both directions. 🙂
FlahertyLandscape — “…in BOTH directions.” I like the way you think 🙂
I stop, look, listen, think, regroup, retreat if necessary. I can’t help overanalyzing at times, especially when information overload happens.
Chris — When it comes to “overanalyzing at times,” I think perhaps you and my husband may have been separated at birth. Glad to see you here 🙂
There is a lot of power in your quotes for sure!!!! I reference “whatever you are not changing you, you are choosing” quite often.
Tina — Your comment just triggered a great big fat smile on my face. Thank you! 🙂