We are faced with choices every day of our lives. And many choices, every hour of every day… We have choices about what we say, what we eat, what we think, whether or not to be kind, choices about what we’ll wear, how we’ll invest, what we’ll spend our time or money on and how we’ll respond in certain situations…
Do you try to be ‘mindful’ when making choices? Do you base your responses on your habits or a conditioned and well thought through response?
You’ve probably noticed that there’s a big difference between an enlightened choice and a reactive choice and we know how much better it feels when we make one over the other. And how we’re quick to judge or flare up when people respond to us with anger, sarcasm or from a place of fear.
At the risk of sounding a little (or a lot) woo-woo, an enlightened choice is based on being present and choosing something that feels in line with love and kindness, with being who we ultimately want to be. You know, that deep gut feeling you get when something is ‘just right.’ Although often applied to behavioural responses, it can also apply when starting a financial plan that is in line with our goals and works to achieve our outcomes over the long term.
A reactive choice is based on doing what we have always done, on wanting to stay consistent with how we have always been, even when we know that hasn’t served us in the past. Taking the hot tip from the taxi driver on the latest shares, or jumping into investing in gold because our mate just made a killing doing that, is ‘responsive investing’ and rarely in our best interest.
Today, be really mindful when choices come up for you. Ask yourself, am I making an enlightened choice here or a reactive choice? And take your time, it’s easy to stay in the habit of our knee-jerk responses and takes effort to learn to wait and think things through before we respond.
Where would you like to start practising mindfulness in your decisions? With family? Friends? At work? With our finances?