The Default Theory and the Power of Decisions
Decisions, decisions, decisions, our lives are full of them. From the moment we awake in the morning until we go back to sleep our days are a continuous exercise in making decisions. What to have for breakfast? What to wear to work? Do I really want to go to work? What’s for lunch? Skip today’s workout for happy hour? Take the short or the long way home? These may be some of the bigger decisions made during a day, but between them there are probably thousands others.
Decisions are important. Decisions are all powerful. Deepak Chopra states, “When you make a decision you change the future.” This applies to EVERY decision that is made. Each choice made spins off a different outcome leading to other choices and an infinite number of other outcomes.
However this is something that we barely recognize that is within our own power. A long time ago I was complaining to someone about a particular situation that I was in and how many things I was dealing with as a result. His subtle and somewhat sly response was, “so you decided to handle that situation?”
“NO!” I fired back at him, “somebody has to be responsible!” My partner nearly smiled and said, “So you decided to be responsible?” Checkmate. I could not move. He had me nailed solid on that and I realized he was entirely accurate in his appraisal of the situation. I conceded, that yes, I did decide to deal with everything on my own.
In that situation I had made a decision based solely on practical matters and being responsible. Was it a conscious decision on my part? In reality no it was not. It was me reacting to the situation within the framework of being logical and not taking time to make a decision fully aware of what I was committing to. The decision was made based solely on what was needed to be done and no thought was given to what outcome I would have preferred to see. By doing that I denied myself precious personal power in that scenario and as a result I presumed to be completely powerless.
When I acknowledged that I had indeed made that decision at that moment I laughed out loud as I realized the situation did not wield any foreboding power over me. I had made that decision to be engaged in that matter as I was. By owning that, I realized I had the freedom to also decide to change it if I wanted. Power was restored.
A great side benefit of understanding the power and importance of decisions is that once we recognize the decisions other people make, we are less likely to assume responsibility for those people or for the decisions they make. However someone else decides to live, or to be, no matter what they do, it is important to accept, acknowledge and respect their decision to do so. One can only be responsible for one’s decisions, not the decisions of others. Conversely, nobody can be responsible for our decisions, only the decision maker bears the responsibility in either case.
One time many years ago I took a vacation to escape the winter. The resort that I visited had a nice pool and that is where I decided to spend the majority of my time. While I was playing in the water, and hanging on the edge, the manager of the resort came up and sat down on a chair across from me and we started talking.
This man completely opened up to me and told me how unhappy he was with his life and his circumstances. Of course from my point of view I did not see his situation as dire as he described. Nice place to live, a good job, interesting people not to mention that he was smoking what I recognized as a premium cigar. It couldn’t be all bad I thought. He was so focused on the negative aspects of where he was and nothing else. After he finished telling me everything I asked why he just didn’t leave as there didn’t appear to be anything firmly anchoring him there. No kids, no wife, no other responsibilities. He replied with many reasons, but the bottom line was that he just did not want to leave and he did not wish to make that choice.
I happened to go back there some years later, and guess what? Yes, he was still there with the same story. For a brief instance I felt sorry for him but then I realized that was not entirely appropriate. Ultimately I recognized that it was his decision and his decision alone to keep himself there whether he realized it or not.
Tremendous power is achieved by owning one’s decision in any given situation or set of circumstances. By realizing that it then gives us the opportunity and energy to change any situation as needed. It also allows us to fully own a situation and be empowered within it. We can then accept it because we are then aware that we “decided” to be there, that we are not there by some external design or influence. It allows us to take back our power and use it for change.
This raises questions of course. How much action do we take in our lives based on unconscious decisions that we just write off to current circumstances, etc? How many of our decisions are we truly aware of on a daily basis? How many decisions do we make unknowingly? Lastly, how does all of this affect the manner and means in which we create our lives?
Some decisions are bad, some decisions are good. Some decisions are just that, decisions, merely forks in the road that we choose to take based on whichever one appeals to us. Some decisions are made because one way may seem easier than the other. A lot of decisions in life are made without much thought or awareness as if we are on autopilot and just going through the motions.
Many decisions in life may not be bad, but they may certainly be weak in nature. Weak because we fail to be clear with ourselves as to what outcome we would ultimately like to see. In many cases we truly do not know what we want. If we do not know what we want, and we can not be clear and honest with ourselves about that, then how can we be expected to make a decision that will steer us in that direction? We may say over and over what we want, but more often than not, these are just empty statements and not firm declarations based on fully cognizant decisions. They are merely whims.
What this means it that for a lot people their lives lack conscious creation. Their lives have been created by default. Many times based on what they are led to believe they want in life, rather than looking inward and learning what it is that “they” truly want or need to be fulfilled.
Mass media has done a wonderful job of telling us what we want and need. Constantly we are under the barrage of messages telling what to eat, what to buy, what to drink, where to go, and where to live, and more often than not these messages are geared to make us believe that if we follow those courses, then we will have what we want and then of course, be happy. Everyday these things are blindly pursued and most often obtained but for what result? Many people awaken to find themselves with everything they thought they wanted, but realize they are completely lost and unfulfilled at the same time. This is the result of unconscious creation.
Unconscious creation leads to creation by default, or creation by the path of least resistance. Without the knowledge and understanding of the power of our own personal decisions, it is often easy to just resign ourselves to the status quo and then not initiate any action for change. If a decision is not made to change anything, then nothing will change.
Another form of creating by default is to never being clear on what we want but constantly being clear on what we do not want. Have you ever known anyone who constantly says what they do not want? Typically they can tell you 1000 things that they do not want but when it comes to verbalizing what they want, they can’t do it. Knowing and saying what you want is not the same as saying what you do not want.
Not knowing what you want in life is a very serious trap and an impediment to getting what you really want. At best it is an easy way to sidestep being honest with yourself about what you truly desire. Saying what you do not want is very much like saying “can’t.” Can’t only means that you do not want something bad enough, because the truth is that you can do anything if you really want to and you decide to do it. To say can’t is a decision to not want something and thus limiting oneself of many options and opportunities.
If you completely focus on what you do not want then the possibility is strong that you will draw that into your life experience. If you focus on what you do not want and fail to focus on what you truly desire, you may then unknowingly invite something completely unknown into your life and also discover that was something that you did not want either! By only saying what you do not want and not being clear on what you do want, you are likely to still be setting yourself up for something you do not want; you just didn’t know it yet.
Sometimes though knowing what you do not want can be a starting point to define and get clear on what you would like to have. For instance, if you don’t want to have chicken for dinner, then acknowledge that. It is merely a signpost pointing you into the direction of what you may really want. Use “not wanting” as a tool, utilizing the process of elimination to finally become clear on what it is you really want. The “not wants” are merely impurities in the spirit of life… by distilling the “not wants” out, then you are left with a pure solution of “wants.”
What prevents us from recognizing and acknowledging the things that we do truly want in life? Sometimes it may be an inaccurate sense or belief that we do not deserve more or better in our lives. The answer to that is whatever you want; you must believe you truly deserve it. Not in just an empty sense of entitlement but honestly and truly believing that you are worthy of more and better. Allow yourself to fully dream and create, as we dream so we create.
To have anything in abundance in our lives is a choice; it is a decision that is to be made. The only way to approach the abundance threshold is to have a clear understanding of what it is that we desire. Know what you want, not what you “think” you should want. Make the conscious decision to go after it and move in that direction. If you are not where you desire to be in life then decide to go elsewhere. It is that simple. Decide on that which you want, then make the decision to act and then get it.
Lastly, to quote the song by the band Rush from the song Freewill, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.”