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Making Decisions One Week at a Time

Making decisions is a potent tool to unburden your mind and relieve the weight on your shoulders. It is also a profound signal to both others and the universe that you are prepared to embrace everything that follows.

The suffix '-cide,' present in words like 'pesticide,' 'homicide,' and even 'DECIDE,' originates from the Latin word '-cida,' meaning "killer," or 'caedere,' meaning "to kill." I like to interpret 'decide' as "to eliminate other options." Killing, the act of taking a life, is one of the most powerful actions one can undertake in the world. When you decide, the universe takes notice; it's a bold proclamation.

No wonder making decisions often feels so daunting. We fear making the wrong choice, eliminating a worthwhile option. Even when our gut and heart strongly indicate the right path, we often get entangled in our minds. We procrastinate, keeping the decision tucked away in our thoughts. Sometimes, it's a decision that gnaws at us.

However, over the years, I've come to realize that the feeling in my stomach and chest is my intuition, and it is infallibly wise.

Here's a quote from "The Alchemist" that resonates with me:

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say. That way, you’ll never have to fear an unanticipated blow.”

The Alchemist goes on to say:

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.”

It's time to make a decision. The suffering caused by worrying about making the wrong choice is far worse than any actual outcome. Embrace it and live the life your heart desires, the life that brings you the most joy.

If you're still not convinced and find yourself hesitant about making a decision, I have a framework that might ease your concerns. I call it "making decisions, one week at a time." When faced with a decision, listen to your heart and choose what feels right—for just one week. Test-drive the decision, and if it doesn't feel right, you can reverse it. It's like having a free return policy.

Costco offers a robust return policy, advertised as a "Risk-Free 100% Satisfaction Guarantee." Some even say "unlimited returns, no questions asked." This policy not only attracts customers but also eliminates the fear of making impulse purchases. Shoppers no longer worry about making the wrong choice because they can easily return the item, no questions asked.

When we detach finality from a decision, it helps ease our minds.

I learned this lesson from a personal experience. I met my wife, Kim, just a few months before the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020. As lockdowns loomed, we were becoming close but were unsure about living together. So, I suggested we rent an Airbnb for a week, with separate beds but under the same roof. She loved the idea. We traveled from San

Diego to St. George, Utah, to stay in a ranch house for a week. We made the decision based on our intuition and what our hearts desired most. The week was filled with ups and downs but also memorable moments, like midday waffle parties and long canal walks. Toward the end of the week, we asked each other if we wanted to continue, and we both said yes. This pattern continued, evolving from one week to two, then a six-month plan, and eventually, a trans-Pacific move leading to a lifelong commitment. I was certain she was the one I wanted to spend more time with, but I wasn't sure about living together. Taking it one week at a time allowed us to say 'yes' at each step of our relationship.

Finding a way to make decisions for a week isn't always obvious. Many decisions come with finality, but creativity can come to the rescue.

One of my clients is currently deciding where to live. He owns houses in three different cities, each with its own benefits. However, he's ready to establish roots and become a part of a community. During our conversation, it became apparent that he was spending most of his time in one of the houses, while the other two felt like a thing of the past. He also seemed more enthusiastic when talking about the one house. I suggested that he decide to call that place "home" for a week. He was to embrace it, observe how his heart and body responded to this decision, and see if it felt right. After a week, when we reconvened, he could choose to stick with it or make adjustments.

He seemed relieved by the idea, grateful for the ability to make a decision without the weight of finality hanging over him.

Life is filled with complex choices and uncertainty. The power of decision-making stands as a beacon of clarity and growth. By embracing the concept of making decisions one week at a time, we free ourselves from the shackles of fear and hesitation. Just like Costco's no-questions-asked return policy, this approach allows us to test-drive our choices, knowing that we can pivot if needed. Ultimately, it's not about making the perfect decision every time; it's about taking bold steps, listening to our hearts, and living life in alignment with our deepest desires.

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