What It Really Means To Decide

“So often, we pretend we’ve made a decision, when what we’ve really done is signed up to try until it gets too uncomfortable.” -Jen Sincero

  Life is funny--sometimes the smallest decisions have the most incredible impacts on our lives.

Life is funny--sometimes the smallest decisions have the most incredible impacts on our lives.

The first step towards getting what you want is always deciding you want it. And we think we've obviously decided that every time we want something, but we haven't. We just pretend we have. 

“I want to make more money.”

“I want to lose 10 pounds.”

“I want to make some life changes.”

It feels like we’ve decided, but in invisible parentheses and hidden clauses behind each of these phrases is always a condition or pre-requisite:

“… but only if it’s enough.”

“… but only if I have time.”

“… but only if it’s easy.”

“… but after this holiday.”

“… but only until it gets too hard.”

We haven’t decided we want anything, we’ve merely expressed interest in something. Deciding looks like no parentheses, no clauses, no negotiations. It’s not up for discussion. I want, therefore I’ll get. 

It’s incredibly hard to decide, because it involves a twinge of commitment (does commitment even come in twinges?)

Deciding is different than wanting. It’s beyond wanting. It’s deeper and realer. 

It’s incredibly hard, but also incredibly liberating, because once you really decide, you are free from wondering if you should or could or will do it. You’re just doing it. 

When you decide you want something, you go from “I want to lose 10 pounds” to “I’m going to lose 10 pounds.” And the questions disappear, because you've decided. You’re going to do it. You’re not going to debate going for that walk or eating that cake. You’re just not going to. You eliminate the choices. You tell yourself, “nope” instead of “maybe.” 

Your mind is freer to wander and experience joy because it is no longer in that gray space of going back and forth between two things. You’ve decided. You’re free. You’re liberated from lingering in the in-between. 

It sounds so great, but many of us are hanging in the gray space all day, everyday. We want to have a good day at work… but we can’t because we have so much to do. We want to read before bed… but we can’t because we just don’t have time. We want to fold the laundry and get it put away… but we don’t because it’s no fun. But what if there were no options, no negotiations? What if you just decided to have a good day? What if you decided you were going to read? And decided to fold the laundry?

If you aren’t really doing what you say you want to do, do you really want it? Have you decided that you want it? Or have you merely pretended to decide? 

Try it out today. Just decide something. Get out of the gray space and decide. Liberate yourself. No more nagging choices, because there are none. You’ve decided.