Decision Making Takes Heart, Attention, and Non-judgement
I've realized over the past year that my usual quick decision making (which entrepreneurs NEED) has often been replaced by, “hmmmm, we'll see.” Why is that? Because, the older and wiser we get, the more we come to understand that there's usually no hard-and-fast answer to life's questions.
This morning, for me, it goes like this:
- Will I feel glad or sad if the family looking at our home today decides to buy it? Hmmm, we'll see….
- Will I have a big “aha” moment of clarity this coming weekend, studying with my friend and Zen meditation master Phillip Moffitt in Colorado? Hmmm, we'll see
- Will my joint venture with Ellen and Connie go well (it starts tomorrow) and will we have a big enough audience to make it worth while? Hmmm, we'll see
This feels different to me, because I'm a very decisive, yes or no type of person. But what I'm discovering is that decisions about “things” is different from thinking we “know” how things should be, or how other people should be, or how the world should be, or what an end result will be. In fact, I say ALL THE TIME that “business is an experiment.” We can't make a decision about whether something we do in business is good or bad right from the start. We'll see…as time goes on.
I ran across this amazing quote from the astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson the other day that vividly pointed out how sometimes we THINK WE KNOW but in the end, in fact, what we see isn't at all what “is.” Here's the quote:
Before you judge others or claim any absolute truth, consider that….you can see less than 1% of the electromagnetic spectrum and hear less than 1% of the acoustic spectrum. As you read this, you are traveling at 220 kilometers per second across the galaxy. Ninety percent of the cells in your body carry their own microbial DNA and are not “you.” The atoms in your body at 99.99% empty space and none of them are the ones you were born with, but they all originated in the belly of a star. Human beings have forty-six chromosomes, two less than the common potato. The existence of the rainbow depends on the conical photoreceptors in your eyes; to animals without cones, the rainbow does not exist. So you don’t just look at a rainbow, you create it. This is pretty amazing, especially considering that all the beautiful colors you see represent less than one percent of the electromagnetic spectrum.
So here we are in this wild and crazy life – we THINK we absolutely know the answer to things like:
- We should sell our house.
- We should always get a big “aha” from a weekend away.
- We should always have a business venture be top-of-the-line successful.
We think we should be able to decide everything right away. Truth is, we DON'T know. And more and more, I find myself saying to a client, or to Bill, “You know, we'll see.” Meaning – put it out there, give it your love and your attention and your best effort, and then be open to what transpires and don't judge it as bad or good. WE DON'T KNOW. I love Tyson's quote because he so adeptly points out how we are, physically and energetically, not who we think we are AT ALL – and neither is anyone else!
Decision making is critical for entrepreneurs. But so is the wisdom to be open, non-judgmental, and evaluative over the long term. Take a breath before your next “yes” or “no” and maybe you'll find yourself saying, “We'll see.”
Love your comment below about this line of thought. What influences your decision making?