Choosing Decision Making

So What Would YOU Choose?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Which ice cream would you pick? Maybe you could eat all four. What if there were 8 or 16? Sometimes, we have to choose what to do because we can’t always have everything. If we have several options and they are all fairly alike, how to we decide which one to do and in which order? For some people there would be no choice. They may not like or be able to eat ice cream. But the same types of decisions are needed for almost anything.

Some possibilities are more highly regarded than others. In terms of ice cream, perhaps chocolate in any form is always preferred? Some courses of action are preferred over others. Perhaps walking away or maybe choosing one and saving the others in the freezer? There can be many choices: many courses of action. How do you pick a winner?

We all have to make decisions all the time. Some are trivial like which ice cream, though for some people that can be a life-changing decision if perhaps you are allergic or diabetic. There are also life-changing decisions like who to marry (or not), where to study or whether to start a business. Try watching the video and see whether you would survive – or not!

Decision-making is often an unconscious choice based on our values, beliefs and preferences. It can sometimes be life or death, such as if we are driving a car and have to choose the speed to approach a corner. These are the kinds of choices we have to make quickly and automatically, where we rely on mental shortcuts we learned from past situations or developed over the years.

Some times, choosing is a long agonizing process. Which ring (of several) should we choose, which bit of housework should we do first (they all need done).

Some of the things that make it harder to decide can include missing information, stress from urgent deadlines, and not enough resources. Stress can make it hard to make a decision. Our emotions and preferences can affect our decision making process. When we have to choose how to make a hard decision, we often are influenced by our prejudices (men don’t do housework), memories (my mother used to do this for me) and emotions (feeling sad, or the last time I did this, this particular thing happened).

Paralysis By Analysis

If you have to choose one of several possibilities, all of which are similar in terms of length of time to do, their importance or urgency, it can be difficult to choose which to do first and that can waste your time. Sometimes it is best just to make a decision – go for this one – work on it, complete it and then choose the next. If you only have two choices, flip a coin and go with the one that the coin indicated. If you find yourself dithering between which project of several similar ones to start first, a coin is not as easy, so then try this.

Serendipity

Lay out the projects in front of you, you could use sheets of paper with a title on each one, representing the project. Then use any of your old children’s choosing rhymes, you know, the ones where you chose a companion for your team. Ones like, “Eeny meeny miny mo”, or “Each peach, pear, plum, I choose Tom Thumb”. Point to each project in turn while reciting the rhyme and pick the one your finger lands on.

HERE’S THE IMPORTANT PART

If you pick a project and think, “Great, I’ll get stuck into this.”, then fine, get on with it and when it’s finished, choose another.

BUT, if at the point where your coin flip or counting rhyme indicates one project and you immediately have the feeling that you should flip the coin again, or do the counting rhyme again, then put that project to the side. With only two projects, then you start on the one that’s left. With several projects, do the counting rhyme of your choice again, leaving out the one that was chosen the previous time.

Unconscious

Often, our unconscious knows which one is most important or easiest to get stuck into or which one will give us the best “win”. You do not have to go with what the coin or rhyme picked out for you. It it feels wrong at this moment, then choose again.

What If There Are No Choices Left?

It is possible that you don’t want to do any of the projects. After all, if it’s a choice between doing the laundry or washing dishes, neither might be appealing. But they may HAVE to be done. In this case, use the coin or counting rhyme and don’t allow yourself any slack. Most of these kinds of tasks are done a lot more quickly than it takes to moan about them. Just get stuck in, you’ll be surprised how fast they can be done if you just do them. If you have several projects that all have to be done, then choose one and spend 15 minutes on it. Then stop that one and spend 15 minutes on the next. Keep doing this until you have completed some or all of your projects. If this is a long job, allow yourself a few minutes to rest each hour and make sure you drink water.

Motivation To Move A Mountain

Confucius said

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”

A person’s perspective on life determines what they are capable of. For example, if you don’t believe you can move a mountain by simply using a shovel, then you live in a reality where it’s not possible. But then why are there people who seem to have the motivation to move a mountain? Because their reality is different, and as far as they are concerned, you just need to approach the mountain with the right plan. In other words, they start moving it one shovelful at a time.

Assuming you can adopt the same perspective for a second and indulge what – at face value – seems completely impossible, where exactly do you get the motivation?

First off, motivation isn’t some kind of magic potion only some people are naturally gifted with. Motivation is created by you, and it can be sustained by you if you get your mind in the right place. Because everything is a matter of perspective, and if you build a support system for your goals, there will be no lack of motivation to move that mountain – across the ocean if necessary – using only one shovel.

Set Goals For Moving The Mountain

There is nothing complicated about it. Setting goals means you are creating motivation to move a mountain. But it’s important that you don’t overwhelm yourself. Instead, think about your ultimate goal and break it down into smaller goals that are easy to manage and achieve.

Work Out Plans To Reach Those Goals

The next step is to work out plans for your goals. And once again, take it one step or shovelful at a time. What do you need to do right now in order to reach the bigger goal, which is getting that mountain to another destination? Yes, this is another form of motivation because you are getting things done. But you are still not where you need to be, which means moving forward to the next step.

Prioritize Your Goals And Execute

It’s time to get organized and make things happen. Keep a diary if you have to, but set aside time to do what needs to get done. For example, if you’ve found the most logical spot to start digging, stop putting out and start digging. Just make sure you have a durable shovel that can handle all the digging. Moving a mountain is not going to happen overnight, meaning that shovel is going to work for some time to come. If you have difficulty finding time, draw out a timetable for one week and block out everything you have to do, like sleeping or going to work. You can only put your shovelling into the blank areas and that may mean giving up your TV time for a while.

Maintain Focus

At some point, you may start losing the motivation to move a mountain. Maybe you just feel you are not developing quickly enough, and instead of digging, you keep looking at all the work that’s still ahead of you. Don’t fall into a negative perspective when you should only be focusing on the next shovel load you move to the next destination. That’s all that matters, the next shovelful.

Another good tip is to create a vision board. This will help to remind you of your goals, which is very effective for holding on to positive motivation. Just don’t spend too long looking at the pictures on the board when you should be moving that mountain.

Take A Moment To Look Back

Working all the time is not a healthy way to approach a big task like this. Pacing yourself is crucial if you want to sustain a healthy mindset, hence the reason for decompressing every once in a while. In fact, why not take a moment to reflect on what you have accomplished so far? Look back at what you have already achieved. Don’t be shy to feel proud of yourself, and if you really want to, a reward might just be in order.

Be Grateful For Every Inch Of Progress

The trick with maintaining motivation is to maintain perspective. As mentioned earlier, it is easy to get caught up in what still has to happen, along with all the effort that it requires. But it’s when you try to handle everything at once, that’s when you begin to feel overwhelmed and negative.

Keep thinking small steps and one quality shovelful at a time. Eventually, the mountain won’t be where you found it originally. It’s going to be where you moved it, using the right shovel and some motivation.

Can A School Newspaper Motivate Study Skills

A school newspaper is a great way to learn about what is going on in the organization. That is not the only benefit for those who are involved with this publication, though. There are many advantages of school newspapers and some of them will be shared in this article. Read on to learn how a school newspaper can motivate study skills and contribute to personal development as it does so much more.

1. Team Work. When creating a school newspaper it takes a lot of teamwork. While some students may choose to do the research and the writing on their own, they will need to collaborate with the other members of the school paper to help them decide what to write about, what angle to take, where to place the article in the paper, and more. Because of this, those who work on a school newspaper will learn important skills pertaining to team work. And when you are willing to learn how to work with others, this can help with your studies. Sometimes studying is an individual act, but many times it can be a group activity. With appropriate team work skills, the study sessions will be much more effective with a lot of learning taking place.

2. Research. Research is not only an important life skill, but it also helps with improving study skills. In order to write good articles, many times it takes a lot of research. Practising this skill while creating reputable pieces will help you with studying. By taking the time to read various pieces, talk with people, and dig through information, this helps to discern valid information from that which isn’t quite as credible. Learning how to critically examine information is part of education and studying as it allows you to determine what is most important in what you are learning about. Knowing how to focus on the main and valid information helps tremendously with school and life in general.

3. Time Management. Being a part of the school newspaper requires time management. When is the article due? When does the paper need to be complete? When does it need to go to the publisher? There are so many requirements that involve time management when dealing with a school newspaper. This means that anyone who has the opportunity to take part in this experience will definitely learn great time management skills. Not only is time management crucial in the newspaper world, but it is so very important in life and for studying. When you are trying to prepare for a test or have an assignment due, it is important to use time management. You will want to pace out your actions so you can obtain the knowledge necessary and complete the necessary actions to doing what is needed.

4. Quality Work. Performing the tasks for creating a school newspaper requires quality work. To ensure the layout of the paper is appealing: to sharing interesting and relevant articles: to readable fonts, there are many factors to consider when creating a quality publication. It can take practice, perseverance, knowledge, and more to do this. By spending time working with a school newspaper, you can learn the skills to create quality pieces. This transfers over into studying as it is important that the time spent studying and working on school activities is quality time. Plus, making sure that the effort of your actions are quality is important, too. For instance, if you have an assignment that involves writing a paper, you will want to make sure that you have followed the rubric shared and turn in a piece that reflects your best efforts.

5. Perseverance. Working on a school newspaper takes a lot of perseverance. There are times when the work is not ideal, but necessary. There are times when the work may be difficult. However, when you are willing to push through to the end, it is quite a rewarding experience. This type of perseverance is quite helpful in the learning environment, too. Studying may not be particularly exciting, but when you have the perseverance to do what it takes, the end result is very rewarding.

6. Social Skills. Interviewing people is a good way of learning and improving the social skills you need for improving study skills and for life after study. Asking questions, listening to the answers, critically examining the information you have been given and keeping the other person on course to provide the information you need for a good story are all great social and study skills.

In conclusion, a school newspaper is a great way to learn, use, practice, and refine many important life skills. Through being a part of the publication, you learn how to be a good team player and learn the important skills of research, time management, quality work, and perseverance all of which can help improve your study skills.

Walk On The Other Side

Insanity has been defined as “Doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results”. There is disagreement on who coined the phrase. There is even disagreement on whether the saying is useful at all.

But I was reminded of it this morning on a rural walk. I take the same walk most mornings in the week. It’s over 3 miles and includes a fairly steep climb. That makes it a useful exercise.

I also like to take photographs of what I see on the walk. On a country road with no footpath, it is safer to walk on the same side as traffic coming towards you. That means I mostly see things on one side of the road. That’s also the sunny side of the road, so the light is often better for photographs. Walking the same walk every day can become part of your comfort zone.

Today, I changed sides and walked on the other side. It was shadier. I also had to keep an ear out for any cars coming up behind me. BUT, I saw a lot of things I did not see on the sunny side. It’s now autumn, so there were many different kinds of fungus, even one unusual rare one that was not present on the sunny side. The blackberries were slightly behind those on the sunny side, extending the season for foraging.

So what does this say about life in general? Walking on the same side every day is pleasant but you can miss a lot.

If you change your way of doing things, even by as little as walking on the opposite side of the road, you can get results you never expected because it takes you out of your comfort zone and lets you see things differently. You may notice something you never realised was there before. That also goes for walking the circuit in the opposite direction. The hill is steeper that way, giving a tougher exercise.

What different small change could YOU make to something you do often? What results do you think you might get? Try it and see. You might be pleasantly surprised by the results from a walk on the other side.

Art Needs Craft

I heard an unusual quote the other day. It was just a throw away saying on a radio program.

A music professor said, “Craft doesn’t need art.” “But art needs craft.”

That took a bit of thinking about.

But he had a point. In fact, a very good point.

It takes practice to make something beautiful. Whether that is a musical composition, a poem, a website, a wooden ornament or a tasty dinner.

The word “Craft” usually means “skill in making things by hand”. We talk about a craftsman or craftswoman, producing furniture, garments or jewelry. They will have practised for many hours to make their beautiful items.

We also talk about artists, yet without the skill and hours of practice at the craft, their art often does not come to fruition. Artists of any kind practise and practise.

Is this where perfectionism comes in? An artist of some kind wants to produce something beautiful without the many hours of practice required for that craft?

I am also reminded of the story of a sculpting class in university, where students were instructed to create a model of some kind, using as a base, chicken wire fastened to a metal structure.

Making the chicken wire and metal construction took time and some students were too impatient to bother with this mundane crafting step. Their clay models collapsed because they had no foundation.

Art needs craft.

What craft work do you need to do in order to provide good support to your art, whatever your art may be?

Bramble Purpose In Life

Bramble Patch Purpose

Is time management important to you? You may not have even thought about it until someone asked you to add one more to a long list of tasks or you got sent on a time management training course. Maybe you have just found that it’s impossible to do everything you might WANT to do? And you also realised that typical time management doesn’t mean anything to you. Have you ever thought of looking about you into nature for inspiration?

You CAN get everything done that you NEED to do if you take some tips from the bramble patch.

You may have brambles in your garden. Perhaps you planted them for their fruit or they may have just grown there and you would love to get rid of them! If you don’t have any brambles in your yard, there may be some in a rural location you visit to collect berries in the autumn.

Whether you have a bramble you love or not, almost everyone knows about the briar patch, the prickles and the juicy fruit but did you know you can also learn about time management from the bramble? Brambles are prickly shrubs with long looping thorny shoots – only the blackberry in the UK – but also including the raspberry in the US. There are thought to be 1,000 different varieties of bramble worldwide! So it is a widespread and successful plant. But how does it demonstrate time management?

Time Management starts with a Purpose.

(If you want to find out about your own purpose, scroll straight down to the bottom of this article now.)
The bramble has one purpose, to spread as far and wide as it can and to hold onto any territory it has gained. Any gardener knows that unwanted brambles are VERY difficult to remove and the longer you put it off, the harder it gets and the bigger the patch grows. In order to achieve its purpose, the bramble needs to hold onto the ground it has, spread into new areas and protect its core, in case of damage. These are its main goals.

Needs To Keep Ground Already Won

Protection

The bramble doesn’t want to get eaten by animals as a source of food, so its shoots have strong thorns that provide good protection from grazing animals. These thorns are also backward facing and can help shoots move rapidly through the undergrowth as they grow. The shoots grow in a tangle because their ends root into the ground, forming loops that rapidly create an impenetrable tangle.

Needs to Spread

Long arching shoots

In order to gain new ground, the bramble has to spread. It does that by getting resources (water, sunshine) and using these to send long shoots arching quickly into the air (to gain distance) and which then bend down to the ground. If the tip touches the ground, it sends out roots and a new plant becomes established.

Flowers and fruit

It also spreads by means of its fruit which is sweet and juicy and very attractive to many animals, including humans. The fruit includes seeds that are highly resistant to digestive system acids. They can also survive for 100 years! Animals eat the fruit and the seeds get scattered in their dung, so they have their own source of fertiliser ready made. The seeds create new bramble patches at a distance from the parent plant if they reach somewhere suitable.

Need To Protect Its Core

Brambles have a perennial underground rootstock. It is hidden below the earth, making it resistant to damage and possibly keeping it safe from fire.

So what is Your Purpose?

The bramble’s purpose is to spread as far and wide as it can. (OK, I know that a bramble doesn’t have a brain, nor does it appear to make conscious choices, however, its ACTIONS appear to be as good a way as any of determining what its purpose might be if it were a sentient being.)

What is your purpose? Why are you here, what is it you want to achieve?

Do you want just to survive and keep your head down, making as few waves as possible, just to get by?

Is your purpose to bring up your children as best you can?

Maybe it’s to be a success in your chosen employment or to win a race or achieve a difficult goal?

What Do You Need To Do To Achieve That Purpose?

The bramble needs to spread, to gain ground, (using looping shoots and seeds), it needs protection (thorns) and it needs to keep its core safe (perennial underground roots).

Brambles are highly successful plants, spreading aggressively, protecting themselves and keeping their core safe. They demonstrate time management through their actions in achieving their PURPOSE and in using their GOALS (spread, protect, hidden core) to achieve their purpose.

How can YOU copy the bramble and achieve YOUR purpose?

If you want to find your life purpose, watch this video:

https://youtu.be/js_Q27lMs_8

You can get the book at

http://www.motivation4success.net/when-the-fish-are-running/

When The Fish Are Running

This is a guest post from Stig.

 

http://www.motivation4success.net/when-the-fish-are-running/
When The Fish Are Running

Fish Are Running

When I was about 9 yrs old my father took me to one of his favorite fishing spots.  It was a dam on a river feeding into Lake Michigan.  Steelhead (Rainbow Trout) were running in mass and pooling at the base of the dam trying to work their way up the ladder.  Not that I knew what Steelhead were at the time.

When we arrived, there were many fisherman already there.  I watched in amazement as they pulled fish out, one after another, almost as fast as they could get their lines back in the water.

What Bait?

So I asked a kindly old looking fellow “Hey, what are you using for bait”.

To which he replied “Bait?  Kid you don’t need bait, just throw your hook in the water and they’ll bite!”

Don’t Need Bait

I doubt he gave much thought to that advice, but I’ve carried it with me always.  When the fish are running, you don’t need bait.  You just need to put your hook in the water.

Pretty much the same as Shakespeare said in his play “Julius Caesar” (only a lot shorter and more easily remembered): “There is a tide in the affairs of men, Which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

So where are the fish running for you now? Have you got your hook ready to throw in the water? Don’t hesitate, for who knows how long they will run.

Hey Stig: Your bio has a space ready here for you!