Is it a heck yeah?
On Tuesday I went to a Live Your Legend Local event with Caroline Southwell: ‘Unconventional Decision Making; the trick that changed my life and business forever.’ Caroline ran us through a process she uses to make decisions as well as explore blocks in decision making. She made the point that if we are making decisions that aren’t 10/10 right for us that means we are choosing to live a less than 10/10 life.
I liked her emphasis on knowing yourself (as many will have heard, a fundamental first step for living a life with purpose) to get to understand what constitutes a HECK YEAH option versus a NO.
For her, if something doesn’t feel like a 10/10 heck yeah option, she says no. If something is lurking in the 9ish area she might explore what the issue is, what value is being challenged, and see if there’s an easy fix to make it a full 10 and if not, she says no. According to Caroline, this has made a huge difference. It helps to cut through some of the continual looping and agonising and basically the ‘I’m stuck’ feeling a lot of us feel. I know what she means about this!!
I really enjoyed the session but I did choose to describe it at the end of the night as ‘confronting’. I realised through the workshopping around exploring one of my decisions I’m struggling with, that fear sometimes holds me back from going for something. I know I’m getting better as I’ve been working on identifying fear and exploring but I still have a way to go.
Fear of being judged, of feeling like an idiot, of not being able to get out of my head what I want to say to avoid the former two things… Anyway, I know these fears are not uncommon. This has also got me thinking a bit deeper about big decisions I’ve made and what I’ve struggled with.
As someone with a science background and who actually worked on decision support systems for policy, it felt quite ironic to be exploring this. But it’s very different of course! Having a good solid decision making process, tied to policy or legislative applications, with suitable data that leads to a calculation of the right option, it’s a far cry from making intuition-based decisions for oneself! And shedloads of decisions in life can’t be made with just data or just intuitions. Although some people happily use no data or info at all to inform any decisions where it could be helpful – I see this as a big risk!
So, the session got me thinking about some of the major decisions I’ve made and how, for me, thinking about the category of the decision facing me helps me frame my approach. It’s kind of like realising that I am going to eat an icecream but it could be one of a few different flavours.
Ok, I’m going to play here:
- Vanilla: is a straight-forward what’s the cheapest/easiest/tastiest option here that fits with what I know I’m aiming for
- Hokey pokey (vanilla with honeycomb toffee pieces): what data and info (perhaps expert opinion) do I need to crunch to get to a way forward
- Strawberry: easy, from the heart, decisions where it’s really clearly based on a strong value or belief
- Dark chocolate with chocolate sauce swirl: a decision that cannot be analysed, have data added to it or be based on what others think or have done. It’s a from the heart or soul type decision… These can be the hardest… Is this the case for you?
I think these chocolate ones are sometimes tricky for me because they just seem so intangible! For example, saying yes or no to a job offer that is better than what you have currently or keeping a friend in your life who might have wronged you but you have a long history…
What do I do? Big fat vanilla one coming at me? Time to do a bit of online searching then just go with what sounds good. That dark, dark chocolate one? Sit back, relax and consider what life is about, and what really is the worst that could happen. Could I cope and get through it? Well the world (and me) will go on so let’s just embrace the opportunity.
Would the heck yeah vs no have helped me in the past? Umm yes, I think so!
An example of a hokey pokey for me, which definitely had some dark chocolate in there: When I bought a house (to live in and turn into an investment if I moved). I researched the property market extensively. I searched historical data, compared suburbs and past sales online, spoke to agents and read books and magazines. I visited maybe 100 properties over 2 years, a lot to get a feel for the market, and then in the end to start buying. Some of these were clearly not what I wanted so that helped me narrow down to what I did want. But gosh it took too long! Never again.
When I got very close to finalising my budget and costs, I felt I needed to talk through it with an expert, so I saw my accountant. After running through my thinking and numbers he said it all seemed fine to him and ultimately, if the interest rates skyrocket and I can’t afford it or the property doesn’t suit me in a few years I can always sell it. At that point I realised, yep, whatever happens I’ll be able to pick myself up and deal with it. Get a flatmate into the big room and I’d have the small room, whatever, I would work it out.
You might be interested in knowing how I feel about the property now, more than 3 years on? Well I had a ball living there for a year and then fell in love and moved interstate so it became a rental. I now really hardly notice I own it – the mortgage payments just come out of my bank account and I am able to live a great life – I didn’t overstretch myself. The market has dropped so it’s not gaining in value at the moment, but it suits me now and doesn’t cause me stress, so that’s good.
So, I find it useful to have some awareness of what type of decision I’m facing as it helps me frame my thinking. But will I be using this heck yeah vs no decision making process more? Yes. So simple but great.
And another thing really resonated with me. Caroline said that becoming more aware of your body is a great way to know whether something is the right decision. She can feel her body telling her whether an option is a yes or a no. Breathing, energy levels, posture. Worth learning to pay attention to.
During the session, Caroline set me some homework, and I will report on that another time! Caroline also recommended Steve Pavlina as a leader in personal development. She also mentioned to me that I should find out more about lack thinking versus abundant thinking as fear holds us in lack. Will do! (Here’s a post by Steve Pavlina on Ignoring Lack to Create Abundance.)