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Could making strategic decisions be the key to having a productive personal and professional life?


“Pssst, I have a shocking secret to tell you. So ‘shocking’ might be a bit dramatic. This is not something that most of you do not already know about. It is one of those things that’s so obvious that people are not immediately aware of it…like looking all over for the keys that are still in the door. Like the book you bought on Amazon and forgot to read. The holiday sweater you bought and never wore. Losing your favorite lunch leftovers in the fridge at work to the office clean-up crew. Or worse, the moment you realize you are holding in your hand the very phone that you were deliriously looking for moments ago.

The secret you ask, is that you are already a completely whole, perfectly imperfect person. You are not ruined, damaged nor incomplete. There are no flaws within you, maybe some unfinished projects, but no flaws. If you were a diamond, you would be a brilliant cut with the clarity of the sun. Shining! As a therapist, I like to remind my clients that they already have within them everything they need to survive and thrive in this beautiful world. Resiliency, strength, promise, wisdom, awareness, potential and the ability to release anything that does not serve you.

You have it all. If you do not agree with what I am saying, it may be that yours is hiding, stuffed in some secret place(s), maybe even forgotten about. But it is there. It just needs to be re-unified within your spirit.

And guess who’s in charge of that? You guessed it….YOU! I do not know about you but if I have access to a high quality, high clarity diamond, I want to know where it is so that I can I can see it for myself. Show me! I can show you proof. By helping you tap into the best possible you that can exist. Your past (touchstone memories), your future (the one you envisioned when you thought you knew what you were doing), your present (are you doing what you are most curious about?), are all extensions of you and need to be tapped into on a regular and consistent basis.

To determine if you are tapping into proper decision-making capabilities, ask yourself some questions to determine if you are focused on what is most important. This is only to help you navigate those parts of you that are already seeking answers. I like to ask myself these questions when I am struggling with my next personal or professional decision because I have found this to be a productive way to keep me focused on what really matters:

  1. Am I doing what I want to do or what I have to do? I can help you make both of those options make sense. You can even learn to love what you do!

  2. Am I creating long term pain in return for short term gain? The only pain I like is… I actually do not like pain very much. We can just breathe through this. Deep breath in…slow breath out.

  3. Do my decisions align with my values? I would not want you to ever feel like you must compromise your own integrity to be an effective leader. Let’s figure out how you can align those values within the context of your existing role.

  4. Do my decisions create good habits (strength) or bad habits (weakness)? Yesterday I decided to eat the cookie AFTER I ran on the trails. That could be considered a good decision, right?

  5. Will my decision get me closer to my goals? Or further away…some people prefer to walk backwards :/ I can teach you how to think progressively and move in the right direction toward your goals. Using the forward moving method of course.

  6. How is this decision affecting my professional and personal life? I am sure your colleagues and partner are waiting for you to make up your mind already.

  7. Is this the most important decision I could make in this moment? Unless you have flexible deadlines and unlimited time, you will need a strategy that works for your supervisor’s demands.

  8. Will I care about this issue in 5 hours, 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 years? I cannot even tell you how often I must ask myself this question in order for my decisions to make sense to me.

  9. When I’m sitting in my wheelchair (at age 110 😉), will I be glad I spent life’s precious minutes doing what I’m doing right now? I want to chuckle at the memories that I made throughout my life…the good, the bad, the ugly.

  10. Did my decision help me get ahead at work? Let’s talk about the action steps you can take to move into your purpose or strengthen your work performance.

  11. Did this decision make me feel happy? I want you to get that jittery, excited feeling when you are preparing to make a decision. Think high caffeine coffee jitters…but in a good way.

  12. Am I having fun after having made this decision? Believe it or not, you can actually enjoy (have fun) at work. I will have to tell you about how I would meditate through long meetings. My productivity was ridiculous!

I would add another question to this list as I am typing this…Have my previous decisions resulted in positive outcomes? Oh, and another one…What have I learned from my previous decisions? Ok, enough with the questions. You will find that I am an existential thinker so I ask for your patience while I question myself into productivity.

I hope you find this helpful as a start. I will spend more time writing about how your emotional wellbeing will be improved when you do appropriate self-care and proper decision dissemination. Also, how listening to your body is essential to your emotional and physical health. Also, the signs and symptoms related to common mental health disorders. Also, the multiple areas in your life that can be impacted by unhealthy emotional habits. I do make some valid points, right?! I simply want you to be effective and efficient at work, at home, at play, at rest.

- Shiny Shani 😊

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