Why do most of us make the same decisions in the same ways over and over again in our adult lives, sometimes despite being given new ideas or approaches.
For example, many people don’t even know more than one or two ways to get to work, never having ventured the consideration. They just always travel the way they know. If that one way is blocked? Does that mean we just stay home? Or?……
Here are some observations.
1 – EARLY CHILDHOOD TRAINING
People refer to this part of our lives in different ways, often as “programming”. The reality is, whoever we are as little people trying to grow up, we are subject to learning about this world mostly from others.
We are taught by our experiences with parents, brothers and sisters, playmates and various early teachers.
Parents and teachers usually figure quite largely in the learning picture as our authority figures. They tell us what to do and what not to do regarding just about everything. And this is not all bad, because we need to learn how to function in a generally ordered, and organized society. If we are lucky various teachers show us how we can excel in this society.
Generally, it is felt that in this early period of exposure to others and to what they model and teach, we begin to form our habits which may or may not reflect who we really are. They may merely be a reflection of how we have learned to adapt to the expectations around us.
These days there is a lot of information published about how to broaden this experience for children, so they can continue to develop who they are in addition to being shown what to do to participate in living with others in the grownup world.
Who we are as individuals responds to these teachings for the most part. For many of us, these habits of thinking and behavior we develop and grow into, part characteristics we may have been born with and part what it is we learn, doesn’t change all that much over the course of our lives – it seems to stick.
2 – FORGETTING WHO WE ARE
In having to accommodate all this new learning the ways of the world, we start to “pay attention”, “sit up straight”, “stop day-dreaming”. During that early time in our development, we often lose a lot of our creativity, our intuition, our native perception and knowing…Even some of our curiosity can disappear. There is no room for it. We are too busy. Busy, perhaps being present in the here and now, but also in a very limited space of awareness and thinking based on what we have learned is to be accepted and expected.
3 – WE LEARN THAT KNOWLEDGE AND MOST GOOD IDEAS COME FROM OUTSIDE OF US
Part of this issue of why we are so often caught in the same loop with our choices and the decisions we make may have to do with how much we are used to, and reliant upon, listening to others tell us what to do.
We become very habituated to external authority for the answers to our questions.
It is amazing how often someone asks me where I learned the approach I use in my Decision Strategy work. And when I tell them that this is something which I have developed over the course of years of watching, observing and seeing what has worked for me and others around me, then they say, “Yes, but where did you learn the approach?”. It becomes incomprehensible to some people that things can just be figured out through observation, discover and experimentation. Why is this?
To develop our own independent thinking as adults we look to outside information to help us make “informed choices”. This information acquisition may be very necessary. It can span finding resources such as peer reviewed articles, or the perusal of others’ subjective experience on the Internet, as on Facebook.
What is often ignored, or at least not consciously brought into play, is the process of gaining knowledge and insight from our internal subjective awareness. That vast landscape of personal perception and creativity is a very strong resource that is always available to support us. When we were kids it was likely up front and center as far as accessibility, at least until we were taught to dismiss it and leave it behind.
Without doubt the mind is a powerful tool and our brains, despite this era of advancement and technology, still seem to be greatly under utilized. By not having the conscious use of all our resources and capabilities encouraged and fostered our resources become under capitalized.
Am I suggesting that if we work strictly intuitively we will always make the best choices in our decision-making? Perhaps not, but if we turn to the awareness and knowledge we already have inside, then blend-in our rational understanding with perhaps some creative strategic thinking thrown in, we may give ourselves a better chance of covering all the bases and be better prepared. Better prepared equals better potential for success.
If we use more of our subjective awareness, creative intelligence and insight, will all our choices then result in successful outcomes? Perhaps not all. But they will lead to a fuller understanding and appreciation for our possibilities as well as our challenges. Leading to more confidence, courage and resilience in facing those tough choices and decision making.
Now let me see,…. If the road is blocked here…….