Leading Yourself 5 – Decisions

I have been pondering lately hard and soft decisions. We have to know the difference and have the ability to lead ourselves in the area of decision making.

Hard decisions are those we will hold too no matter what. They are the decisions we make that are set in stone.

Soft decisions are those that are more fluid and we will mostly likely uphold them but our commitment level is much lower.

Hard decisions are predetermined and they guide our lives.

Soft decisions should be the ones that are the optional extras.

So often we make the things that should be hard decisions soft,  and the things that should be soft decisions hard.

Hey before you click back onto FaceBook let me explain from an example in my life.

For a long time exercise was a set decision for me – I knew it was important and notionally I decided I needed to do it, however the decision was soft. It depended on what finances I had available, weather, energy levels and some days whether the planets were all a lined correctly. I went in spurts.

However now I have made it a hard decision in my life. I have determined that I am going to be 80 and still swimming laps. I may slow down and have to helped out of the pool but I will still be swimming. . Currently I am committed to swimming 30-40  laps 3 times a week. It has become a hard decision.

I now budget time and money towards it and as it is a hard decision, this guides me to do it. On my swim days I don’t wake up in the morning and decide whether to swim . I just wake up , walk the dog and pray , eat breakfast and go for a swim.

The same goes for a bunch of decisions in my life. I don’t wake up and wonder if I should go to work during the week or church on a Sunday – it is a hard decision I go.

Conversely there are some decisions that I have determined are soft. How I spend leisure time is a soft decision, I have found when I create a hard decision in this area I box myself in and that doesn’t work for my personality. I know people who always go out on a Friday night, or always rent a movie on a Sunday night. I have tried to be like that but it doesn’t work for me.

When I make the decisions that should soft into hard decisions, it feels like bondage.

When I make the decision that should hard into soft decisions my life goes off track and get a little aimless.

Lets lead ourselves by making the right decisions hard and the right decisions soft.  Apart from anything else it’s exhausting to keep remaking decisions that need to be hard decisions that are  made once !

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Three things I Know about Transitions

In the survey I took of you, I was asked to write about dealing with transitions . Coincidentally I have recently had some changes in my own world and watched some people very close to me walk through some major transitions.

We would like to think that transitions are like the photo above took of  Narabeen Lake at dawn. Just darkness receding and the sky moving through beautiful colours to bring a new a new day.

The reality is quite different here is what I have learned as I have stumbled through many  transitions

  1. Transitions are awkward

They are in between phases and so by nature they are awkward. You are not yet gone from one place, and not yet in the next. Instead of a beautiful sunrise – it is more  like having one foot on a slow moving train, one foot still on the platform – it involves lots of awkward hopping around, and hoping you won’t fall into the gap!

There are awkward situations and awkward conversations in transitions.

2. Transitions need lots of communication

In order for transitions to be smooth they require lots of communication to make sure everyone is on the same page and to give everyone a road map to navigate the transition. So much better to over communicate in this process. This is the most obvious time where in an absence of communication people assume the worst. Expectations in these phase can be so difficult to manage and the only way is through open and honest communication.

Transitions require conversations that can be tough.It will help to try to keep even serious things light and not too intense if you can do it. I would say I have a 50/50 success rate on this – I am hoping to get better at it.

3. Transitions are an emotional roller coaster

For the people making the change there is a mix of excitement for the new thing, doubts about the decision, fear and sadness of what is being left behind etc, etc, etc For the people effected there can be there can be a whole range of emotions from peace to anger and everything in between.

It is an emotionally charged time, lots of grace is required, and some good self care. Many times in the last few weeks I have told myself “you are not that upset/angry/ worried about this – you are just emotional stretched because of  the changes in your world”.

Knowing you are on a roller coaster doesn’t make it any less freaky, but it does mean you can prepare and be aware of what is happening.

( Really hoping this helps tomorrow night as I watch my little nephews walk through immigration to go to the African Mercy for a year- must remember the tissues)

These are the things that I know about transitions – they are tricky – but a normal part of our lives. Hopefully understanding them a bit better can help us hop through them with as much grace and dignity as possible.

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