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Six Mindful Questions for Effective Decision Making

Dear Integral Meditators,

Decisions, choices, options. The article below invites you to start making these parts of your life a mindfulness practice. Last call for this Sundays Mind of Ease Workshop, details on the whats on section.

Yours in the spirit of mindful decision making,


Upcoming Courses at Integral Meditation Asia in October:

Sunday October 19th – Mindfulness and Meditation For Creating a Mind of Ease, Relaxed Concentration and Positive Intention

 Launches 24th October – The Meditation for Creating a Mind of Ease Online Course

Sunday November 2nd, 9.30am-12.30pm – Meditation and Mindfulness for Self-Healing and Creating High Levels of Energy  – a three hour workshop

Six Mindful Questions for Effective Decision Making

We have never had so many choices as we have in today’s society.
We have never had the freedoms that we enjoy, or the opportunities.
Perhaps human have never been as busy as we are today, and so each day we have to make more decisions than ever before.
Our freedom to choose is a wonderful thing and a fantastic opportunity, but the fact is that for many of us it is a cause of anxiety.
What is the right choice here?
What if I decide on the wrong thing?
What if I get blamed for my decision (I don’t want responsibility)?

Here are the six questions I ask myself whenever I’m faced with a choice that is of any consequence (and sometimes even small ones are).

  1. What is my personal perspective and experience of this situation?
  2. What does this situation look like if I consider it objectively and impartially?
  3. What is the perspective and experience of others involved in this situation?
  4. What core values am I trying to express and embody in this decision?
  5. What will the short term consequences of this decision be?
  6. What with the long term consequences of this choice be?

If you pop these six questions to yourself and think about them mindfully, I have found they act very well as a revealer of what really needs to be done, of what short cuts should not be taken, of what means the most to you, and what (where possible) will create a win-win situation for all concerned.
It also gives you a confidence and (relative) certainty in the validity of your choice that counters the anxiety and fear that so many of us experience in the face of the many choices we make each day. You may not be ‘right’ all the time, but at least you are making your choices on the basis of meaningful and mindful criteria.
This last few days I have been bothered by whether or not I should continue taking my daughter to squash lessons on Saturday mornings. The location has changed, the commute has become 3 times as long, I have ‘many important demands’ upon my time, it would have been very easy just to ‘let it slip’, I could have found plenty of excuses. I asked myself these six questions and the answer came back very clearly to persist. There is effort involved, but by the mindful insight provided by the six questions, my direction and decision is clear. It is a small daily example, but all decisions are important in that they ask us core questions about how we wish to engage in our life, and engage the freedom, power and privilege that comes with having a choice.

© Toby Ouvry 2014, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website