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Decision making, Fear, Confidence, wisdom

Four Factors Affecting Our Decision !!!! Nice or wise??

we die being afraid of death, we live being afraid of struggle of living, we love being afraid of losing our loved ones, we plan future while captured in fears of our past….we live our life with uncertainty and want stability, failure and uncertainty haunt us to “fear more and more”…

  • When I was young I would follow my heart while deciding on anything. If not ordered “specifically” I would do whatever I wanted to…….rather liked to. Liking and disliking were based more on my comfort zone, which is not essential to be ‘right’. One day I heard this dialogue “wahi karo jo sach hai aur sahi hai” (Do whatever that is true and righteous), in a movie called “Ittefaq” ( as I am a big cinemachi) when a male lead character asks the female lead “what he should do“. This dialogue banged in my teenager mind every time there is a dilemma. I started putting these two questions on all my decisions, where I failed few times and passed many times!!!! The ratio of decisions passing and failing, based one the criteria of ‘truth’ and ‘righteousness’ started decreasing…..Why? Because as I said most of the times I would listen to my ❣ heart, that led to really impulsive decisions, having long repercussions, sometimes. Most of these decisions were taken in most crucial period of my life while deciding “friends”, “carrier” etc. My decisions made a particular image of me in front of others and in my own view. I also use to observe what other people are deciding, chiding, doing, saying. There were lot of contradictory actions or/and paradoxical statements. Most of these people were either true or they were right in their stand. As in our society being true is complemented by being harsh, rude, unpopular and self-appraising to an extent. We say this quite often “truth is bitter” (sach kadwa hota hai). Being right was too conditional and perspective too. Sometimes ignorance was right while it was almost disastrous at other times… To better understand, I use to talk to people and found that they were different in person and public. I also noticed lot of discussions, lot of disagreements and tons of logical reasoning goes unattended during my journey of growing up…from a girl towards becoming a woman (rather open – straight forward girl). All these made me determined not to chew my words, I would be suffocated if it was mandatory (family gathering – events). I am sure many of us have faced all these when there logics and curiosity is just dumped because……1. It’s out of regular routine box of thoughts (comfort zone), 2. What others will say 3. Why you don’t follow the tradition 4. Fear of GOD (is God something to be afraid off) 5. What if this/we/you fail (again the cycle of what others will say) 6. what about Money mattes…..
  • Elders have several explanations ‘why not to chose‘ they would say several things revolving around these points….. while seldom discussed ‘why to chose‘….. The issue of “truth and righteousness together” was always in backdrop but never came up logically. People were happy to talk about the decision and decision-maker but did not allowed to dissect “how they decided”…..”what made them choose one thing and not other”. Such attitude and weakness of the elderly people on this important aspect of life….made me more arrogant and a kind of atheist (not completely because of fear of GOD was like a permanent fear, tough to overcome). Anyways this story is not about my thoughts or society or traditions or blaming others for what I could not figure out. It’s about how a decision can be “righteous” and have “truth” in its abstract! It’s about how decision making can be understood completely and how one can improve this ability (so it is not a God’s gift available to few only, it is a kind of skill/art that we have to master).
  • Fortunately I came across this understanding of decision making process explained by A. Nagraj ji; Thanks to his really beautiful thoughts where wisdom and philosophy enlightened my path to be a righteous human……. I was almost 30 at this time and have made several choices that would decide course of my life….fortunately again, the major choice were “right” and “element of truth” was something that I was supposed to figure out in these choices (?)…..weird….? In practical, I started learning about thought process l, about how my conscious works when I think and most importantly how to visualise my own thoughts….in order to develop clarity. I started learning….although slowly……but things started changing subtlety…….for good. I realised that “truth” is not harsh it is beautiful, indeed it is the essence of life….and I can have the control over my decisions, provided I am ready to be accountable and responsible.
  • I am sharing here what I learned during my this journey of thoughtfulness, journey of discovering my own happiness and journey of becoming a “complete human”….(I am still on my way….but am sure I will reach at destination one day….). Let’s see…if it is useful to you too….in understanding the thoughts behind decision making process;
  • Decisions…..choices…….selections……rejections……..preferences……….agreements……….disagreements…..likings or disliking….….. whatever one may call “them” or “that process”….. is the conscious action when we weigh options/objects/persons/situations in our mind. We Analyse the pros and cons and then reach to a point where we have some clarity, mostly. Many a times we can’t analyse properly and it takes someone/something extra to reach to point of clarity, the point at which we say “I have made my mind”
  • We may take decisions in different circumstances but all our decisions are affected by only four things…. You don’t believe it? Try this exercise….

    Write whatever you decided/chose in last 24 hours ….and then recall what thoughts came into your mind when we you were doing so….

    • Did you compared options? If yes what was the basis of comparison?
  • *profit *loss *fear *faith *trust *liking *diskiking *others are doing it
    • Does your mind agree to logical choice or you went with “liking” (liking means choosing without logic?)
      Did you know what is right in this situation? Still did you went for likings or are your liking righteous?
      Do you remember exactly what happened when you took harsh decision? Can you recall the emotions exactly……many of us don’t remember the drama more than the situation.

    We make decisions in each and every passing moment like right now ‘to read this blog to full or not..’ immediately a second thought popped “all these are redundant talks!!!”….or it may be that “it’s little interesting’….I mean anything may come to us and can keep us engaged for few seconds or minutes or days….but we have a little idea about what this process is…

    Common things that accompany our decisions –

    • Blaming others or not taking responsibility of our own decision – “If it is right choice it’s mine of it is wrong it’s on all”. India is not growing because of people of India while India achieved something because of “A” leader…… like many others I too thought that my decisions are not mine….that circumstances play a major role in them and…….so on. I believed that everyone doesn’t have an opportunity to choose….I considered it a luxury if someone was given a chance to choose…. to decide” So ?? So this attitude actually gave Me a luxury to blame others for my deeds…..to held anyone and everyone else responsible for my worries and failures...at the end I would come out as an innocent lamb (at least in my view). But did this helped? Does blaming others ended my problems?
    • Decision is once for all Ek baar jo Maine commitment kar di to main apni bhi nahi sunta” (thanks to Salman). Many of us think that right or wrong or in between right and wrong; a choice once made is made. It’s troublesome to revisit a decision and more troublesome to withdraw. Even if our choice is “NOT Suitable” we don’t accept!!! I made a wrong choice….that’s it…but do we?. Rather we linger on withdrawals and then “choose not to change”. Is it sufficient to be not guilty but remain unhappy? Is it going to improve the situation…..No!No!No!!!!! the situation will always remain the same…then?
    • I was not informed (unaware of situation) – most common mistake or explanation but to be honest nobody buys that. It’s completely your problem if you weren’t informed or aware to collect information before choosing… Its acceptable only once or twice that “I am an Idiot, but why to declare this many times, by my choices, that I am an idiot” saying I don’t know every-time is kind of saying “I don’t want to know” the facts.
    • It’s my choice if everything goes well – but what if not? We like to take the credit of good choices (that’s good). Many a time we fail to recognise what helped us, what lead us to that good choice. We usually forget to acknowledge the participants in the food decisions and either knowingly or unknowingly…but it finally leave a big dent in our relationships… Recognition of the right things – people along with acknowledging the people and objects behind it is not only courteous but also give us a chance to figure out what we can do alone and where we need cooperation (team). If we do so we can do the correct SWOT analysis….we will get a complete idea of the situation and hence will reach to the right choice many more times….I mean this exercise increases the probability of being right.
  • It is of utmost significance to classify what is “true” what is ‘illusion’. So to start with “All our decisions are influenced by four factors – Fear, Greed, Beliefs (illusions) and Wisdom (truth)”
    1. Fear – Do you remember as a kid or do you see kids…when they don’t eat and we don’t have a logic to make them eat…then scare them with fear of “unknown” One day the child understands that there is no body or nothing behind the doors, in the dark and from that day on he or she is “self governed”. So this fear doesn’t work well for long time. This happens with us too… we can’t be scared for long but we get habituate to being “scaredy-cat”….anyone can take a loose string to pull us and we get carried…. Fear has become like a daily dose of “addiction” to us. We decide, rather reject, something out of fear…. it could be fear of future!!, fear of losing a person, a thing, money, losing respect, losing a relation or gaining of someone else due to our decision. The biggest fear of all is “fear of unknown”. Our proverb also says that ‘a known enemy is better than an unknown friend’. Just try for a day, not to scare anyone and still get your work done… not scaring anyone means neither directly (by power/money/things) nor indirectly (by virtue of position, relation or examination)…. People around us are also habituated to this way of living. Ask your self “will you do what you are doing if there is no fear of …..(anything/future)” Then think again do you wish to continue what you are doing? If there would be no fear… “we die being afraid of death, we live being afraid of struggle of living, we love being afraid of losing our loved ones, we plan future being captured in fears of our past….we live our life with uncertainty and this uncertainty haunt us to “fear more and more”…
  • Who wants to be afraid for whole life – No one! Then why are we following this path of fear and suffering….There is a need to become a confident kitty from a scaredy-cat.
  • How?
    • By understanding power of our self…
      Checking our ability to understand – decide,
      Trusting our competence to improve – learn
      Enhancing our capacity to cope up what may come as a result of our own decisions.
      Trying new way without a prejudice but with a background of wisdom.

    2. Greed – the second most important factor affecting our decision or choice is “greed”. Greed to have all that is available. Greed to have the best and greed to have at first. This forms the basis of competition: competition that we feel is outside only. Remember the story of Cinderella and her sisters, the story was more about competition within family to get a “trophy” prince and pride. Most of our stories are like this where the competition is not for improvement of any situation or finding a solution to a problem, the competition is to get an award or reward (lady, love, state, fame or money) or prove that “I am the Best”. What if “Mahabharata” was written that the best “fighter” will be the one who can improve the situation of “law and order”… or the best MAN will be the one who will teach other Men to be humble, to be respectful to ladies or best woman will not be defined by beauty or grace but she will be the one who is generous, logical and best at raising kids. Probably our benchmarks would have been “character” and “not figure or family”, may be the competition then would have been for improving self rather than showing self.

    We start competing at an early stage of life….. that we refer to “healthy competition” which is with our classmates or close kins for position and respect….. this competition extend up to competition between status, positions and relationships !!!!!, Under the impulse of “me first – my first” the tone of “competition for improvement” is slowly set to “competition for dominance”. We must think first “why to compete” then get into it. The picture of why we are competing show us what our real thinking is…Why to compete clearly show path for Us, in our perspective and doesn’t involve perspective of “other”.

    3 Belief – Again a story, I was about 19 years old …when we went to a village for a camp with 12 other girls and 8 boys from college. One of the elderly woman in the village told us not to roam in village with loose hair, particularly after evening. I asked why? (usual me), she said bad spirits get instigated by this… although we were not use to such things but most of us took it as such. Even few of the boys made it a laughing quote that “Dayan” (witch) aa jayegi” whenever a girl would go out alone. One girl who was very quite usually in college was too excited in the trip. She was feeling like a free bird, as she belonged to a conservative family, she used to be in too many rules and followed standard code of conduct. This girl was going to almost every house of the village, as a part of the “cleanliness and health awareness campaign”. We advised her not to go alone (safety reasons) in too much of enthusiasm and so she accompanied any one (among us 18 students) whoever was available. She won’t care what she is doing, her hair is tighten (as the old lady said) or not and whether she is safe or not. All of us happily returned from the camp, after a lot of social work, much more of masti fun and so much to talk about. Suddenly I heard the news that this girl is in a very bad health, almost collapsed. I don’t know about others but first thing came in my mind was that old lady and her warning, that voice repeatedly came to me “don’t roam here and there with hair left lose as you all are young beautiful girls and witches are in search of innocent young girls like you” my heart shrivelled with fear. This was the first time I believed that some supernatural ‘thing’ existed. This one belief made ways for many more then onwards like those related to buying iron-oil etc on Saturday, looking at my Palm as soon as I get up in morning, not touching pickles etc during my periods, not washing hair on Thursday or cutting nails on Tuesdays and Saturdays to name only a few. These beliefs took over my logical thinking to an extent that I started going to various astrologists and palmists. Again the logic behind none of them were explained or discussed in our family or social gatherings, in fact talking about these taboos was taken as a rebellious attitude towards culture.

    We see, observe the customs and traditions that we believe not, they become belief. These beliefs are affecting our lives knowingly – unknowingly. We do several things and don’t chose to do several things in accordance to the popular social customs and beliefs. This is so deep in our thought process, in our ritual and customs that we are afraid of breaking them or even deviating. We rather start believing that if we deviate from these beliefs something harmful will surely happen!!! Again a new belief?

    It takes lot of understanding, wisdom and courage to challenge the traditional beliefs and rituals. It also take immense of patience and self confidence to choose a path which is uncommon to many, many a times we have to make a new one. Patience, Confidence, Courage come from “wisdom” and not from High IQ or Money Power or flexing muscle. How wisdom is related to our decisions….I am sure all of us have some idea about this. But we feel that wisdom comes with age and we have already made several wrong choices before “achieving wisdom”!!!! We have kept wisdom at a level where one can reach only with grey hairs and worn out knees.

    Wisdom – How many times it happened with you that you opted for something because you had no information about others….I bet it happens several times…for example trying a new dish in restaurant where we are not use to the name of recipes….we try to find the names that are known to us. Or when we are buying a book we rarely switch writers or genre. So the fact is we literally chose anything that is on board….when we don’t have an answer to what is this? How it works/looks/tastes? Why it is required? If at all it is necessary how much? How much time will it take? How much money? so the questions for which we don’t have answers haunt us to a “substandard choice” if not bad or wrong. Then comes another factor called “gut feeling” or “luck” where by chance we make a choice which is suitable!!!!! which is right!!!!! This luck factor doesn’t work always. Therefore life becomes a roller coaster ride (kabhi khushi kabhi gam, kahin jyada kahin kam). We have been asking questions since childhood (you can see children are so curious about everything) but slowly our asking appetite decreases and change to “I know” attitude, when we feel that we have read science, maths m, economics, management, sociology or psychology etc. We feel that now we are know all about life and world!!! But then we start failing miserably just after “successful completion” of our degree programs. We start failing in our relationships, in keeping ourselves focus on our goals, in keeping our own self and loved ones happy. At this moment we realise that there are many…many…many more questions left to answer. About which we had little idea! So we start asking these questions to priests, to palmists, to astrologers, to tarot cards, to numerologist or to people who claim to read (our own) mind with supernatural powers. Is this wisdom? No no.

    Wisdom means having the logical answer to “what, why, how and how much” of everything that we come across. The fourth and most important factor that governs our decisions, our way of living, our self. We talk about wisdom as “lot of experience”, who have seen life….the state of mind that comes with exposure to the harsh practicality of life or wisdom is something that is given to “some special persons” as a god – gift. So in any of these cases “wisdom” becomes something that is not in reach of poor or rich, not accessible to children and youngsters or is not available without harsh struggles in life. Wisdom is not that is “deep voice, echo effects of thoughts or capability to earn lot of money and fame together” Then what is wisdom????

    Are we true in our actions…even a child can judge, then whom we are trying to fool????We usually present ourselves in front of others in the way we are expected to, and not in the way we actually are. This brings conflicts of thoughts and behaviour too. The conflict goes up to choosing the Nice over Wise. Wisdom is the transparency of thoughts…., in a way that even if someone can see through you he or she is happy with you”.

    At last I would say it is wise to decide about some thing with knowledge about what, why, how and how much of the thing…..rather than under impression of fear, greed, traditional beliefs or customs. It nice to be wise….

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