The Continuous Improvement of My Life

The continuous improvement of choice-making could be my life purpose. Even if I think my life purpose is to help rescue-dogs find homes (it’s not, but if it was…) I would still be doing CI of CM amidst that.

“How could I have made a better choice?” I ask myself looking back at a poor choice I made a few days ago. And it can haunt me for days.

One of the great questions that serves me when I pull it out of the tool box and use it is:

“What do I need to let go of in this moment in order to be fully present to the task at hand?”

And I find that learning to use this great question is an art in itself.

Clearly I need to let go of all of the mental activity of judgment, how things might have gone differently, and anything that is causing me angst or tension. The feeling of discomfort does not serve me well.

Why choice makes people miserable (from Barry Schwartz’ TED Talk on the Paradox of Choice):

  1. Regret and anticipated regret
  2. Opportunity costs
  3. Escalation of expectations
  4. Self-blame

One of the implications of the paradox of choice is that if I create, for myself, less instances of the need to make a choice, then I can reduce my stress, be more comfortable more of the time, be in the flow of life more of the time, and (drum roll please) be happier more of the time.

And today my friends, you can see why my life purpose is now to apply the philosophy of LEAN CI to my life in a way that the choices I bring into my life are value added rather than a waste of my energy, and choices I don’t need to even know about don’t come anywhere near me.

Some statements from Barry Schwartz’s TED talk I am sitting with:
Material affluence creates choice. superLuxeryFeels true.

My personal life experience is more stressful because I am constantly making choices.
OptimisingSalesProcessFeels true.
Too many choices creates paralysis and decreases satisfaction. Feels true.

Now I need a way to understand what choices I want in my life and which ones I don’t. It’s time to get down to the specifics of clarity so that choices I don’t need to be making can easily fall away.two-choices-cartoon

I’d love to read your comments on this!

Three general tips for letting go:
• Meditate
• Gratitude
• Time in Nature

Best Tip of the day:  Join Eric and Elaine Hansen’s A Small Group in the Clouds.  It is once a month, call in and practice letting go and being present with other really great people (me included) practicing the art of leaning into great questions and practices for the improvement of our lives.

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