To DO or NOT to DO

The biggest challenge each one of us faces everyday is decision-making. It gets complicated as soon as we become conscious of our lives. Forget the times when you are asleep and your life is on auto pilot, guided by a higher power. During the last few minutes of your sleep, you start regaining full control of choice faculties. You are immediately challenged by one of the most difficult choices – to continue sleeping or wake up and start your day. Unreported studies have hilariously concluded that gravity is strongest at our beds during waking-up time. They have gone as far as suggesting that sleep is `sweetest` at that point after your first press of the snooze button. What we realize at that point is that we are faced with our biggest challenge there and then, and deciding to throw away the blanket is very deterministic of what follows the rest of your day. Am no expert of sleep behaviour, so I shall limit the context of this write-up to choice-making. Once we have won the morning battle, what follows is another set of choices similar to those that we do every other single day. Choosing to do these tasks is no simple work; it too requires effort and sacrifice. For example, if you are reading this, you probably chose long ago to invest several hours every day to going to school and learn how to read and write. Those every-day-efforts you invested have today given you the ability to read and understand this, and probably write something similar. Someone who chose differently, surely has a different outcome from what you have today. And that is the power of choosing to do or not to do! Now that we know the result of what we chose to do in the past, let`s look at how what we choose to do today will affect the future we envisage. We purposely chose to go to school with the promise of a brighter future. Our school mottos always re-echoed these future prospects, and so did our school anthems. We are now in the future; the school mottos have seized to be our mottos. We need to derive our personal mottos, the thing we believe in – in our present self! We need to create our rules and regulations, to guide us along this new life where the lessons come after the tests. It is no longer about a teacher coming to the board and introducing a lesson followed by several examples, then homework, and an exam later. It is now you being awoken suddenly and a test is right in front of you.

The choices you make in attempting these everyday life trials/scenarios (call them whatever) will be of great contribution if you are to escape your current level, to a better one. So, when you choose to get up every day and go to work, and at the end of the month when you choose to save a portion of your salary, no doubt that these actions will yield tremendous rewards in the long run. Remember also, that it is not only what we choose to do, but what we actually say, what we eat, and how we react to situations that determines the next chain of actions that follow. Some of the unsaid words at certain moments may turn out to be our best decisions ever; choosing to have a positive attitude towards everything, seeing the good even in the bad, is probably one choice nobody ever regrets. Even choosing to believe in yourself, in your abilities, in your continuous efforts is far more beneficial than choosing to do none of that. Remember the choice is always whether to do or not to do; not doing shall always be the easier option in most cases, as it tends to provide immediate benefits. The creative nature of our minds comes to greater use when we have to come up with excuses of not doing the things we desire to do. A more interesting scenario is that of the `alarm clock paradox`. Just before you go to bed, you carefully set your alarm with great desire to wake up at a certain time in the morning and engage in any planned activities thereafter. Once your alarm goes off, the brain is in a dilemma; it `wants` more sleep and quickly starts to become creative immediately, and that’s when the snooze button gets a pounding to secure a few extra minutes. Sometimes the brain will even create a dream in which you are doing the thing you were supposed to do had you woken up! This fascinating scenario of choosing to wake up or not, at the first sound of your alarm clock will determine whether you win your day or not.

Interestingly, the same way disease-causing agents become resistant to drugs; your brain too can become negligent or unresponsive to such attempts in ways that may be detrimental to your well-being. But of course there is hope even when in such a situation since our brains can be re-wired to do the things we desire most. The best idea is to choose to always do the things that currently seem very difficult, but if done will be most useful in future.

Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

More at Resilience Beyond

Share this