One way to help you make decisions + Free Workbook
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We often take our lives for granted when we are healthy and think we have many years to live ahead of us to take on new opportunities.
This can lead us to a point where we feel stuck in rut, living a life that we are not really satisfied with and making decisions based on superficial reasons that have little to do with what we really value.
Most of the time, breakthroughs come alongside significant life changes that make us realise how blind we have been in regard to how we spend our time. Perhaps a loved one leaves, an eye-opening accident happens, or we hear a story which really impact us.
In my case, I was feeling burnt out from dedicating my life only to one area, my career. Nothing else seemed to exist to me. All my time, effort, energy was put into studying and working hard. Until I realised life was more than one area. Life was my health and well-being, so I could dedicate time to my family and friends and my adventurous dreams, as well as, my professional development.
Why don’t we take advantage and stop waiting for something big to happen and change our perspective?
Instead, could we be contributing to having small breakthroughs now and then, by reflecting on how are we living our lives?
We can accelerate our development process by taking time to stop and check in with ourselves. Realising this way, what could be stopping us from living a fulfilling life, what fears are there and what are our real desires and needs.
One way, this test.
Let’s start thinking about what is important to us with a simple activity. Then, you can reflect on what you can start doing in order to live a life that excites you, a life that you enjoy.
The Rocking Chair Test
Imagine you are 80 or 90 years old, a much older version of yourself, near the end of your life.
You are sitting on a sunny porch in a rocking chair reflecting back on your life.
As you look back, you start answering the following questions:
How do I feel about my choices and the life that I lived?
What are my regrets?
What do I wish I made time for?
What do I wish I had tried?
What would I like to have done differently?
Remember you are in the twilight of your life, your time has passed, it’s gone.
Now, you can answer all the questions or choose the ones that you have resonated the most with.
Take your time to think about these questions. Go to a place where you will not be disturbed and note down your thoughts.
This activity will help you gain perspective and think about how you are living your life at this point. It taps into the questions of your future happiness and makes you consider whether the choices you are making today are the ones that you won’t regret.
Would your future you be happy with how you are living your life?
What would your future you tell you to change?
Note: This future you is not judgemental and only wants what is best for you, so when you respond to these questions you cannot be harsh on yourself or critical. Instead, try to be compassionate and kind while reflecting. If you have taken a tough self-critical role to respond, please go back, change your approach and respond to the questions again.
The Rocking Chair Test as a tool when making decisions
The Rocking Chair Test could help you in making decisions in a more thoughtful way. Helping you to stop and think before you go ahead.
When making a decision, you could ask yourself:
Will I regret not having done “y” because of “x”?
If you think you would, then why not try it out ?
Top five regrets at the end of people's lives
I wanted to finish with a last consideration.
According to Bronnie Ware, who spent years taking care of elderly people in palliative care, the top five regrets that seemed to be more common were:
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.
Are any of your regrets related to those?
What simple steps could you take today to live a Regret Free life?
You can get to know more about Bronnie Ware and how to look at regret with compassion watching this TED talk.
It is important to remember that even if you regret something, it is OK. Don't be harsh on yourself. The amazing thing is that you aware that you could have done something differently and that now you have the chance to choose.
Let’s not wait for something to happen that opens our eyes to the realisation that we might need to seek change in our lives.
Let’s allow ourselves to spend some time, here and there, reflecting on where we are currently at and where we want to be. This will help us to make sure we are aware of what are our desires, our aspirations and our dreams. And ultimately, we will be clear on what opportunities to take and what options to let go off.
Lydia García Martín
Confidence & Well-being Coach
>>Download your workbook for free so you can write down your responses and have it for future times when you decide to check-in with yourself again.<<