Sunday, July 21, 2013

Right Brain Tips: 3 Rules for Creative Decision-Making to Change Life & Career

July 21, 2013

Sandra H. Rodman
CEO, Right Brain Aerobics

Public Talks & Classes: RBA Academy
National Innovation Learning Portal Classes: Right Brain Aerobics

"It does not take much strength to do things, 
but it requires a great deal of strength to decide what to do."

-- Elbert Green Hubbard

It is with the mind that we choose, and our daily choices create the life and career that we subliminally desire as well as the planet's physical and mental environments. Can we change this with deeper creative deliberations for really tough decisions? Ones where you need to "play Solomon," so daunting are the choices? Three things to consider that might increase our creative awareness of the impact on others of every personal decision, how life and career might shift as we become more expansive, look for new viewpoints in the decision-making process:

1. Golden Rule. Take a problem, any problem.  Solve it by applying the Golden Rule.  "Do unto others that which you would have them do unto you." (I also start with Right Brain Start Up exercise, which puts me more in a "Golden Rule" frame of mind.)

a. First: Affirm. List/write down (pen and paper NOT electronics) as many affirmative things as you can think of about a) you, b) the person(s) who'll be affected. The challenger or the situation.  Find "the gift" of potential lessons as you face the situation.  Next:

b. Second, Use Empathetic Imagination. 

Imagine if you were the person or group on the "receiving end" of your decision. How would you like to be treated? Would you like it? Would you think it was fair? What would you feel toward you? What would YOU think would be the best decision? Imagining/seeing both sides, affirming both can greatly expand # of options, viewpoints, ideas for more choices, compromises, synergy, confidence, common ground, even wisdom. Leadership skills.

c. Third: Do What You Know Is the Right Thing and You Can "Take It With You."  

Imagine a solution you could create with empathy, with identification with the recipient or person(s) affected. What if this was family? What would make them feel they were honored and treated fairly, with wisdom? (Think "Yoda.") What solution would others think is a fair, "break-through, quantum leap" solution? A decision that seems to reflect good, empathetic, ethical, even inspiring deliberation?  If you've done your best to arrive at a decision in this way, it's a life choice you can take with you. 

Go another step: Think if this a good choice for sustainable planet? Your own and others' health? Long-term larger positive relationship networks?

d. Fourth: Check Your Gut Instincts. How do you know it's a good decision?  You'll know a "good thing" by noticing emotional and physical responses when you've hit it. Your stress will go down; your mood will perk up; you might feel enthused about moving on the choice whereas before you were dreading it; you might feel surprisingly "wiser"--like Yoda; you might even go "aha!" The more it involves affirmation of others and "catching people doing something right," it is likely the better and happier you'll feel. Self-doubt about choosing will be lessened, and confidence that you've used your best ability to choose will be increased.


2. Always Complete a "3-Day Giving to Others Plan" Before Feeling Entitled to Be Depressed about a Decision. 

When feeling down: Do a Right Brain Start Up exercise and focus on a creating a 3-Day Plan to complete 3 acts of unexpected Personal Service or Kindness--giving to others that increases a close personal act--not distance or digital giving. 2 a day is even better! And cheaper and healthier than antidepressants. 

Rule: Focusing on others and giving with a plan--automatically removes a key component of depression and procrastination on tough decisions: Ruthless self-focus. No getting down & dirty with "feeling down" and no eating ice cream or watching movies alone until you complete all 3 acts of giving to others over 3 days. After you complete all 3, then you can go back to eating ice cream alone and feeling down. If you want to. Next Step: Repeat first step for another 3 days. Personal service to others cannot help but expand viewpoints in the "decision-making" landscape.


3. Prepare a Learning Evaluation List to choose between 2 or 3+ tough choices.

a. Do a Right Brain Start Up exercise and imagine that you are your own Mentor or Teacher. Again -- "Yoda."

b. List the several most likely choices among which you must "decide."

c. Under each, honestly describe the best learning and growth for you that is likely to come from each choice. (Include "learn patience by doing nothing" or "wait a week.") For energetic overworkers with a need to control every situation, the hardest stay-up-all-night grueling effort is not always the best learning. You already know how to do that and that it doesn't always turn out best for you, your health, or others.  Patience, relaxing and being cool, learning self-control over health/mind-stressing overwork can also be great "lessons learned" when deciding a choice.

d. Choose one on THAT basis--as if you were Mentoring or Teaching someone who had these choices--"Yoda." Write down your choice and explain it to yourself in writing.  Concentrated self-dialogue with pen and paper is a remarkable skill to "tap inner creative genius." Explain how it may also be the best for all others involved -- balance your choice between what you learn and what benefits you, and what might benefit others at the same time.  (Once again: Apply The Golden Rule." Expands thinking/analysis, self-awareness, awareness of others, better judgment and evaluation skills. Journal insights. Review your "lessons learned" in your journal periodically.

Congratulate Yourself!

If you do even one of these when confronting a tough choice or decision, you will have initiated a) new thinking, b) brain exercises by trying out new scenarios, b) lowering stress about the situation with a plan and guidelines, c) habituating using new tools and putting some time to "think" through tough decisions on the Calendar.

Use these 3 rules as a kind of expansive "mental context" for problem-solving and you can subtly increase personal achievement, confidence, better relationships, greater sense of well-being--even your attitude about learning from having to make tough decisions, decisions that require courage.

Courage Is a Calendar Activity. 

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