Hey there friends. Welcome back to the show. You are listening to episode 44 of Live Free Creative: How To Be A Great Decision Maker.
This like many of my episodes is one that I think applies to so many people and circumstances, and it is also something that I need to listen back to. I’m going to take my own advice as I work through some of the tips that I’m going to share today. They are things that I know in my head and that I also need continual practice implementing in my own life. And so I’m excited to share some of those with you today.
Before I jump into how to be a great decision maker, I want to share a quick segment that I call odd jobs.
Segment: Odd Jobs
It has been a while since I shared an odd job, and I have a new one for you today. This one I remembered because next week we’ll be traveling. We’re headed to Austin, Texas, for my first of two book launch parties. We’re so excited it’s going to be next Thursday, June 27th at the Wayback in Austin. If you are local to Austin–or somewhere in Texas driving distance away–there are tickets available still so you can look that up at shop.livefreecreative.co. I would love to see you there, so check it out.
My family is going to be staying in an Airbnb in Austin for the week. We were not able to find one that was pet friendly this time. And so I’m leaving my dog with a dog sitter.
I love to use the Rover app for dog sitting and I will share my link where you can get a discount code if you’ve never used Rover. It’s great because you leave your dog with actual people instead of at a kennel. So dog sitters sign up and they will have their schedule on there and what kind of dogs they’ll take. And I have loved it. We’ve used it for a couple of years and I can find it all over the country. So we’re going to Austin, I found a rover pet sitter there. She’s going to take Quincy for the week while we’re hanging out and doing our book launch fiestas. And then we’ll pick her up as we continue on our road trip.
But this reminded me of a time when I was a professional dog sitter. Now it initially came about as a professional nanny job that I had that I will expound on a different time because that’s really fun too. The family I started with had young girls and then the girls grew up and then didn’t need to be babysat anymore.
But when the family went out of town, the dogs needed babysitting. So I initially had a family that had four dogs: a big black lab; two really chubby pugs; and a teeny tiny chihuahua. And I would watch all four dogs in their home. And house sit at the same time.
It was really wonderful timing. I was in college and I was able to stay in this big beautiful home, watch the dogs and take care of them in their own environment. And these dogs were particularly spoiled.
They all slept in the bed with me (except for the black lab who slept at the foot of the bed). But the other three dogs were used to sleeping in the bed. One of them slept right next to my face on the pillow. This was one of the pugs and this dog would snort all night long, just like right next to my face. The other pug would kind of nestle in between my knees, almost like a body pillow. Just like snuggle down in the comforter between my knees.
They were also all on a particular diet because of their weight issues. They had been recommended by the vet to eat some sort of lean dog food. But they didn’t really eat dog food; I was advised by the pet owners to order a chicken breast and steamed vegetables from the local country club and have them chopped up. And then that’s what I would feed them, and mix it with rice that was cooked and left in the fridge. So the dogs would eat chicken and veggies and rice twice a day. And it was all very delicious looking. I mean it was like human quality food for these awesome little dogs. And it was really fun.
I had a blast when Dave and I got married. It was kind of one of the side gigs that we had. We would go together and house sit, and it felt like kind of like playing house–to live for a week in this beautiful home with these dogs that we were in charge of and head down to the country club to pick up takeout. I mean it was really fun. It was really a great gig.
And the bonus came when the first family that I dog sit and had nannied for referred me to a friend. And so then we had two families and they both traveled fairly frequently. And so for a couple of years there, Dave and I were kind of switching off homes every few months to have a dog sitting gig. And the second family only had one dog that we are responsible for.
And I have just have one funny story about pet sitting.
So we not only took care of the dog at the second family’s home, but we also took care of the parakeet, which didn’t normally require very much care. But one day I was in their house and getting breakfast ready for myself. I was in my pajamas and I had bare feet. The parakeet door was always left open so that it could kind of hop in and out. And I could also change its water and food when I needed to without having to make a fuss.
But the parakeet was never out of the cage until this one day I was making breakfast and I heard this clicking sound on the tile behind me in the kitchen. I turned around and the parakeet was coming toward me clicking its little little claws on the tile and those little claws are sharp. And it had its little sharp beak. I started to move back and I think it saw as I was moving back, he wanted to come at me and so he lifted up his wings and started coming like a…well, it kind of reminds me of Jurassic Park when the dinosaurs lift up their wings, you know like the lizard dinosaurs, they come at you come kind of like that.
I mean, this bird is six inches tall and it is clicking and flapping across the kitchen floor to me and I am terrified. So I hop up barefoot. All I can think is that those little claws are going to get into my bare feet. And so I hopped up on the counter, pulled my feet up, and I sat on the corner of the counter probably for 10 or 15 minutes until Dave came in. He came in just laughing, crying laughing, because I’m sitting there with this little parakeet on the floor beneath me so I will not hop down.
So luckily Dave saved the day. He was able to corral the parakeet back over into the living room while I hopped down and got dressed and decided that I was not going to go barefoot in the parakeet house anymore.
But the whole job was really fun on all accounts and I loved it. It was really great opportunity to feel grown up in our young marriage, to feel like we had some responsibility and make a little extra money and sort of play house as we stepped into these wonderful peoples lives and homes and took care of their pets. So that was a really fun kind of random odd job.
Main Topic: How To Be A Great Decision Maker
If you’re keeping count, which you probably aren’t, that was my eighth odd job that I have shared on the podcast in the 43 episodes I’ve recorded, and I just looked at my list and I have at least five more guys. I don’t know if that’s normal. I think lots of people have lots of jobs. But goodness, I sure ran the gamut and had such a blast.
What cool experiences I’ve had. Part of which probably has to do with what I’m going to talk about today, which is being a great decision maker. I think one reason that I have had so many different jobs is that I decided that I wanted to do so many different things and I did them and I didn’t feel like every job that I had had to be the job that I was going to have for my whole life.
I didn’t feel like it had to contribute even significantly to the overall value of my career. Just that it would be fun, that it felt fun and that it made some money and that it served a purpose for a time. And so that ability to make a decision and know that it isn’t the only decision or the last decision that you’re ever going to make is really, really important when it comes to being a great decision maker. So I want to share a few different ideas about decision making in general and then also for specific tips for how to become a great decision maker. First I want to just just talk about decisions and how we are surrounded by all the time. We wake up in the morning and we begin making decisions and then we make decisions all day long and then we go to sleep and then we start over the next day.
And some of the decisions that we make are very time specific. For right now, what am I going to eat for breakfast right now today? What am I going to wear? And some are longer lasting. Like what type of car am I going to buy? Should I buy a house or not? Are we done having children? Should we start having children? So there’s a lot of decisions and it really like life is made up of decisions and of the consequences of those decisions themselves and in a lot of ways that is like the beauty of life. One of my favorite sort of treasures that I’ve discovered in the last several years of my own life is that I get to choose like the freedom of the idea that my life is made up of decisions and that I’m in the driver’s seat of that is really, really wonderful and really freeing.
Have you considered that idea, that perspective that your life is made up of decisions that you get to make and what an opportunity that is to create the life that you love. That is how it happens. Creating the life that you love starts with making decisions that will build those things to surround you. When you look up the definition of decision, one of the main definitions is determination after consideration and I think that’s cool. I hadn’t ever like looked it up necessarily. So the idea that decision, a decision is a determination made after consideration. Those two things go into decision making. First is consideration and that looks like knowing the options and weighing the pros and cons, the consideration of what this, what goes into this decision and what might the outcomes be, and then the determination of what is the one that you want, which of the options that are available is the best option for you at this time.
And notice that I’m not saying which decision is the right decision or which decision is the correct decision. That idea of the right decision or the correct decision is paralyzing. Can’t you just feel a little bit like what if I make the wrong decision? Believing that there is a definitive right decision and a definitive wrong decision for you in your life can be paralyzing. And I’m not talking about morality here because based on your own morality and your ethics, there can be of course like right and wrong in terms of moral right and wrong. I’m gonna Venture that are not faced with deeply moral decisions in terms of right and wrong, as often as we are faced with decisions that may have a right and a wrong for us right now.
Or that may have lots of rights and we just get to choose which of the rights we prefer. This may be a new idea for you, the idea that there are lots of correct decisions for your life, that you get to choose the one that you want or the one that you prefer. You don’t have to always be seeking out the one that is the only correct path for you. I come from a deeply religious background and I believe in petitioning a higher power and getting in touch with my divinity and seeking for answers, uh, and as to, you know, the pathway that I should take. But I don’t believe that there is always just one pathway. That’s correct. I believe that you can make decisions that feel right for you. And even if you had chosen a different one, that your life could still be good and wonderful. And even if you had chosen a different step here or there that you could have even come to the same result. So the very first tip that I have for how to be a great decision maker is to consider the idea that there are lots of right decisions and you get to choose the one that you like the most.
Should you go out and get a job outside the home. If you are right now a stay at home mom, maybe you should, what does that look like? Play it out a little bit. What does that look like? How does it feel? Try It on and maybe you should stay at home. If you have a job outside of the home and you’re a mom, maybe you should take a look at it. What does that look like? How does it feel? There is not a right and wrong in this situation of should I go to work as a, you know, be a working mom or should I stay home with my kids? There are just two different decisions. And the beauty of freedom of choice is that you get to decide which one you like. Now one of the important things that you’re going to want to remember is the consideration piece, the consideration before determination.
That makes up a decision first. When I’m making a decision, especially a big decision, I like to get into a positive space. So before making a major, major decision, make sure that you feel mentally stable, that you have, you know maybe taking a shower that you eaten something that you are in a good state. Decisions made from a good emotional state are more likely to be good decisions. Decisions made in a terrible state, in an emotional state of fear or anxiety or frustration or depression or anger, those decisions are less likely to be good decisions. So maybe when you are faced with the decision, one of the first things you need to do is check in with yourself and decide if now is a good time to decide and if now is not a good time to decide, then decide not to decide until you are in a more positive space.
And that right there is a, is a decision. Deciding not to decide is a fantastic decision and a fantastic way to take away some of the decision debt or the sort of emotional weight of the decisions that you need to make by making the decision that you’re not deciding right now. So if you imagine that each of the decisions that you have to make upcoming decisions where to go to school, what to major in, whether or not you should marry your boyfriend, whether or not you should have another child, um, if you should change jobs, you need to buy a new car, what kind of car do you want? All of these upcoming decisions, whether they’re supposed to happen, you know, this week or this month or like in the next couple of years, our brains tend to like to survive by planning ahead. And so we’ll think about all of the decisions we need to make right now and over the next couple of years.
And we feel the emotional weight of all of those decisions at the same time, even though many of them don’t need to be made right now or even can’t be made right now. Some decisions that I think about, even if I wanted to make the decision today, I couldn’t because everything else isn’t in place for me to make it. So there’s no reason for me to feel the emotional weight of decisions that are not prepared to be made right now either because the decision itself is future or because I am not in the right state to make it. So one of my very favorite decision making strategies is this idea of deciding to not decide until the time is right. And that way I’m not deciding something over like a two week or two year period. I have decided that I’m going to decide in January, I’m deciding right now that I’m not going to even think about whatever the next decision is until later.
And in a personal example of this was right after my son Elliot was born. His pregnancy was really, really hard on me and his, the labor and delivery was also really kind of traumatic and he was a wonderful baby. But I, unlike with Milo where I had had him in the hospital and then I looked at Dave and said, okay, when should we have another one with Elliot? I looked at Dave and said, we are not even going to talk about having another child until this baby is 18 months old, which may be for some of you, feels like, well that’s not very long, but it felt like an extremely long time because I had gotten pregnant when Milo was 10 months old. So this felt like a big thing for me to say. I am not going to even consider the idea of deciding whether or not we’re going to have another child until this one is 18 months old.
At that point we’ll start to consider the idea, but for these first 18 months it is not even on the table. The beauty of deciding to not decide right now was that I didn’t carry any of the emotional weight of whether or not we should have another baby for the entire 18 months. I just put it off and felt the lightness of not having to make that decision rather than agonizing over it. And it was a really, really positive. And then when the time rolled around, if you’ve listened to the episode, Dave and I recorded about determining our family size and how to choose whether or not to have more children. When that 18 months hit, it was almost like a ton of bricks, like within a week of him of Elliot turning 18 months old, I decided I indeed one at another child and they wanted one soon and so it was, but none of that.
I didn’t have to worry about any of that for that whole time. So it’s just an incredible strategy that I’d like to share with you. The idea of deciding to not decide. So my first tip is that there is no definitive right and wrong for your life. You get to choose you in combination with your family. With your husband, with divinity, you get to choose, but the choices are all laid out for you. That idea of like you can be whatever you want to be his true that’s real. The consequences are you know, tied to the choices that you make. But the idea that you know you could only do one thing and be happy is incorrect. I believe I mentioned it’s a good idea to get into a good positive state and sometimes that requires deciding to not decide for a little while and determining when you’re going to make that decision and then moving forward.
And then number two I want to talk about, my second tip for becoming a great decision maker is that just like everything becoming a great decision maker requires practice. So you need to make a lot of decisions. Some of this happens naturally in life that we have to make a lot of decisions. What I’m talking about right here though with the practice of making decisions can also look a lot like experimenting, not with decisions that you have to make because your life brings them to your doorstep, but deciding things that you get to decide out of your own free will. I hear a lot of times from people, I really want to do something. I want to have a hobby. I want to have a business or I want to have a side hustle, but I don’t know what I want to do. I really feel like I should do something, but I don’t know what well that my friends is an example of a place where you can start to practice your decision making by just choosing something.
Remember, tip number one, it doesn’t have to be the right thing, the only right thing. Just choose something, something that you’re curious about, something that calls to you and understand that you’re choosing it so that you can make a decision and move forward. A decision is action. A decision isn’t just thinking about something. It’s actually moving forward and you have that Pinterest page with like 700 lights that you’ve decided that you like for your dining room. You have not made a decision until you order one. The decision is the action. It’s not just choosing it and like putting a star by it. It’s actually moving forward because you don’t know the effect of your decision until after the action has happened. You have to step into the decision with action in order to determine how it actually goes, what the consequences. So if you’re one of those people who thinks, gosh, I really would like to do more things, I just don’t know what I want to do, or I’d like to go on more adventures with my kids, but I don’t know where to take them.
Or I want to read more books, but I don’t know which books to read. Remember, tip number one, there is not a number one, right? There’s lots of rights. So just choose something and get started. And the faster you make decisions, the sooner you know whether or not that is right fit for you because you can tell by how you feel if you like it or not. Start reading a book and if you don’t like it, you don’t enjoy it. Okay, move on. Choose the next one and then choose the next one and then choose the next one. That is what it looks like to practice making decisions, the things that are not predetermined for you, not life bringing to your door, but just making decisions for the sake of trying new things and exploring and experimenting. That is such a fun practice and it’s right there at the edge of what you already know, that those decisions start to make an impact for growth and progress.
Everything that you already know is part of your current sort of pattern and schedule. You don’t grow or progress or discover anything new about your potential until you start to make decisions that you’ve never made before. Now I want to give you an example. Back in November, I shared an episode and I’ll link it in the show notes about planning your year. And I think you know, we’re halfway through the year now is a great time to go back and listen to that episode again and check in with your plan. And I’ve actually gone back and added a digital download, just a free year planner that has all of the months laid out so you can check in with the last six months and also look forward to the final six months of 2019 and just see how it’s and how you wanted to go. And if you did that activity with me, maybe you’ll remember or you have your plan up somewhere.
And it’s interesting now to take a look at it and to see of those things that you decided that you wanted to do, what have you actually done? What did you follow through with and what have you had to change or wanted to change or needed to change? And I want to share a couple examples. I was at an event here in town in Richmond with rebel community, which is amazing. If you’re local, you should check it out. And a girl came up to me at the end of the event and she said, Hey, I listened to your episode about planning my year and I wanted to tell you that I have traveled more in the last six months than ever before, simply because my ha my boyfriend and I did what you said. We, we got out a piece of paper, we wrote down the month and we decided what we wanted to do.
And so we booked hotels and we booked flights and we booked bus tickets and all of the things that we needed to do. We made those decisions and then we started doing them. And it’s been so much fun. She said, I always have wanted to be a person who traveled and I never really did it. And so just having the motivation to make those decisions and then to start moving forward with them has created such fun in her, in my life. And she just was like glowing with this excitement of having decided and moved forward with action on some of the decisions that she had made with the motivation to just plan a little bit ahead, to make some decisions. These were decisions that she had never made before. Like I was just talking about, kind of pushing the boundary of what you have done before in your life.
Make new decisions outside of what you’ve done before and that’s where you start to grow. That’s where your life starts to become different, uh, in positive ways than it has been before. That’s when you start to realize some of those dreams that you have for yourself. Another example is one from our own life with that same exercise, we created this plan in November for our whole year and I shared on the podcast about how we were going to go to Germany and how I was going on a girl’s trip with my sister to Spain and Portugal and how my family was going to spend one month of the summer in Costa Rica studying Spanish. And then I went on, you know, we’re going to spend Christmas in Mexico City and, and all of these other things that I had planned for the year. Well you know that shortly after we recorded that episode, my whole house flooded and I’m not going to beat the dead horse cause I’ve talked about it a lot.
And you all know, if you’ve listened to the show for very long that you know, we are now on the seventh month of continuous renovation to restore our house from this lead. Well, when I was in Spain with my sister’s traveling, that was in March, the eye, the thought hit me, I do not want to move back into my house in June and then move to Costa Rica in July. And it was the first time that I had had the thought that I didn’t want to do that. I’ve wanted to do a month with my family in Costa Rica for a couple of years now. And this year felt like good timing because of my kids’ ages. So this was the year we decided to kind of move forward with that. And what I didn’t anticipate was that anything out of the ordinary would happen with my home life. And instead everything out of the ordinary happened with my home life.
And so we, from November until March had been living in airbnbs and living in hotels and we weren’t home and we felt so displaced and so uncomfortable. And the idea that I would move back into my home and then voluntarily leave again for a month just didn’t sit right part of me, my ego wanted to just suck it up and do what I had decided to do because I had decided it. And the other part of me, when I checked in with my gut and I thought about how I felt when I considered the idea of changing our plans of deciding again, something different, I felt relief rather than feeling regret or sadness or loss for this plan that we had made that I was, you know, thinking about changing when I considered not moving forward instead canceling the trip that we had planned, I was overcome with relief.
And so that was my cue, my physical mental cue that what was right for us right now had changed that in November. What was right for us this coming summer was to spend that time together as a family studying Spanish and learning to surf and all of those things, and in March, because of the changed circumstances of my life, what was right for us right now had also changed and it was okay to make a new decision without shame, without guilt, without regret, without sadness, for the loss, just moving forward with a new decision that swapped out something that we had thought was right that now ends up wasn’t right for now. I think sometimes we make decisions ahead of time, which is great. The planning is great and you really have to trust your gut on this one because sometimes if something feels a little bit uncomfortable, it can just be because you’re feeling a little afraid and that’s a good thing, like courage is moving forward through the fear to the thing that you really want to do.
In this case, it wasn’t really discomfort like doing it anyway, was going to be a net positive, but that choosing to not do it actually was going to be the progress that our family needed to stay in our home to settle. And then as it turns out, these last few months have unfolded with my book launch being right around the time that we would have been gone anyway with some unforeseen circumstances. And so it ended up being the best decision for us in all regards. But I think sometimes it’s difficult for us to trust ourselves enough to first of all, make the decision and then second of all to know when it’s okay to make a new decision without guilt and without shame. Another quick thought regarding deciding again or changing your mind is the idea of moving beyond a decision that you made in order to cut your losses.
When I was at a conference a couple years ago, I heard Susan Peterson, who’s the CEO of freshly picked, you know those darling leather moccasins and now bags and everything else. She’s like taking over the world, but she was talking about running a business that required a lot of decision making and one of the things she said was that she had to trust herself to know when something was no longer working. Something that was working when it stopped working was the right time to choose something new. An example that she gave, that’s just a great example and really easy to understand was with photo shoots. She said that they could spend, you know, a whole day doing a ton of photo shoots. They have the photographer, they have the stylist there, they’re spending all of this money and doing all of this work to take pictures that they’re going to use for the next three weeks.
That’s the idea. And she said sometimes by week two or even at the end of week one, they’re not getting the response that they need or it feels like the photos are kind of played out like their mood. They need to move on to something new. But they have, you know, 50 pictures that they never used from that photo shoot. And she said, what you want to do is keep using them because you have them and what you need to do is cut your losses and move forward into the fresh thing. And I think this is something that plagues people, just humans in general, that we invest ourselves into a decision and then because we’ve invested ourselves into it, we feel like we have to stay there. And this happens a lot with our stuff, right? I’ve talked about the emotional investment that we create with our belongings and how, because we bought that bed even, you know, in a few years when we don’t like it anymore, we don’t really want it anymore, but we feel like we can’t get rid of it and move on because we’ve invested into it or all of those clothes you have hanging in your closet that you don’t where they don’t fit you.
You don’t really like them. You wouldn’t buy them again today, but because you invested in them, you made that decision one time. You feel like you have to carry it with you like for the rest of your life. That’s not true. You can decide again. So you bought that sweatshirt, you wore it for a couple of years, you really liked it. Then you don’t like it. Now decide again. I don’t want it anymore. And you can donate it. Decide again with your job. Decide again with the trip you have planned. Decide again, you can check in with yourself and this is just the hallmark of an intentional life that you are not always just doing the things that you always have done, that, that you’re occasionally checking in and asking yourself, why am I doing this thing? Do I still like this hobby or do I want a fresh hobby?
Do I want to try something different? Is this habit still serving me in my life? And if not, I’m going to choose a different one. I’m going to choose again, I’m going to change my mind and we build our identities a lot of times around these things. And so it can be really tricky to untangle who we are underneath all this stuff and all the decisions and all the belongings and all of the labels that we identify with. And let me just tell you now that you’re listening to this show that you are none of those things. You are not what you wear, what you drive, where you live, how many children you have. You are not your career. You’re not your scores on a test. You’re not your social media following or numbers. You’re not your hobbies, your not your skill level. You’re not your perceived creativity or potential.
You’re not your beauty, your not your thighs or your abs. You are inherently worthy of living the life that you desire beyond anything that you’ve sort of identified with or patted yourself with. And so you get to choose again just because you can because you’re an adult and this is your life. You get to choose again because you have the potential and the worth to live the way you want to live. And maybe it’s different this year than it was five years ago. Maybe instead of buying more, you want to buy less. Maybe instead of buying bigger, you want to downsize. Maybe instead of choosing stuff, you want to choose more adventures. That sound familiar? This idea leads me to my third tip, which is to choose the future, not the past. Our nature would be to choose the thing that we’ve already seen chosen by everyone else so we know how it’s going to play out to choose something that feels familiar.
This is why history repeats itself because we like things that we know even if we don’t like them that much. We like the familiar more than the unfamiliar. We like knowing more than we like not knowing and so this tip number three to choose the future, not the past is an invitation to try something that you don’t know how it’s going to work out. Some examples in my own life are things like deciding to paint my cabinets bright green instead of white or gray because it sounded fun and I thought it would be be fun and happy in different and just going with it, choose the future. Another example that I’m right in the middle of is deciding to write a book and not just say that I wanted to write a book, but deciding to write a book and to sit down day after day and write it.
And then after I had it written to send it to a designer and to an editor and to a proofreader and then descend it to Beta readers and then to send it off to a printer and then to start talking about it and then to market it. And then to throw these big launch parties, one happening next week, the other one happening on July 6th in Oram. And to plan all of the details and really to go to bed every night, having zero idea how this is all gonna work out. It’s a huge investment of time and of money and have emotional energy and have courage and have a little bit of anxiety and excitement and just like all of the things, because I’ve never done it before. I had no idea how it’s gonna work out, but I decided that I wanted to know, I wanted to know what happened.
And so the only way to find out is to make the decision and to move forward. What do you want your future to look like? What does choosing the future look like for you in your life? What does that dream or that idea or that spark that you just kind of keep coming back to but that you haven’t moved on because you just don’t know how it’s gonna work out and if you feel like there’s something, but I just don’t know what, how are you going to just take the first step in some direction, any direction? Choose something. You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to create a list, probably not for this week, but maybe for next week I’m going to create a list of like 101 hobbies or ideas or things to do if you just don’t know what you want to do because the truth is there are a billion just to something that sounds interesting that kind of piques your curiosity and start doing it and just start trying it out and consider it an investment in your development.
Whether or not it turns out to be the next big thing doesn’t matter because what you gain is the learning and the experience as you go. Now I want to share my fourth tip, which is to choose to feel the positive when you can’t control the circumstance. There are a lot of circumstances in our lives that are just beyond our control. Things that happen to us rather than things that we choose to happen. Our flood is an example of one that we would not have chosen, so when it happened and we could not control the circumstance, what we can do is choose how we feel about it. I know it sounds really simple and it isn’t simple all of the time because we’re not robots. But the idea that I want to share is that you can choose how you feel and the more aware of that truth you become, the more easily you’re able to recognize that power and claim it and start to decide that you want to feel differently than you actually do and change your thoughts surrounding whatever the circumstance is so that you do start to feel the way that you want to feel.
Which you know, sometimes it’s going to be more positive than negative. So I want to give you a quick example, a quick story. I was at a party thing last year with some women from the church that I attend and one of them was talking about how her daughter has started to make some decisions that, that she didn’t like, that the mom felt were, were not correct, and she was really struggling with the idea. Not only that, you know, she wanted her daughter to be making good choices for a happy life, but also because within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints, of which I’m a member, there is a lot of weight put on the idea of family throughout the eternities. Like after this life, we believe that we get to live with our families forever. But that’s conditional upon worthiness and upon obedience and covenants and you know, a lot of doctrines surrounding that.
And so this mother was in some senses morning not knowing because of some of her daughter’s decisions and how they did not align with the commandments that she felt like she didn’t know whether her daughter would be able to be with her throughout the eternities, which is, I know that’s really a heavy right. Um, and that’s like deep and there’s so many different things we could talk about there. But as I was listening to r two or talk about this idea, the idea struck me that we don’t know, like there’s no formal doctrine within the church that I’m aware of that delineate specifically, you know, what all of those requirements are. And I think that more than the idea that sort of general Christianity of like coming to the judgment bar and you know, our decisions and the people that we are and like who we have become here on earth being weighed.
And then of course the role of Jesus Christ. If you’re Christian in that process of sort of mediating for our sins and us being able to then uh, you know, enter into the presence of God and live forever in heaven. You know, this is all um, doctrinal, but, but the point that I, that occurred to me that I wanted to make to her and that, you know, also for my own benefit was that we don’t really know what happens. And so there’s a lot of times in your life where you can think to yourself like, I don’t really know what is going to happen, but my instinct is to feel badly about it because I don’t know, I’m going to feel badly. And so here was an example of this mom saying, I don’t know what’s going happen with, with my, you know, eternal relationship with my daughter, but because I don’t know, my instinct is to feel badly and to be worried and to be fearful.
And I offered the idea because you don’t know, maybe you could consider feeling positive that you don’t know. And so assume that it’s going to be wonderful. Assume that she will be with you and that all of her decisions, you know, bad or good will be made up. And that that sort of piece of worry for her could be absorbed in just joy and peace and understanding that it’s all gonna work out. And, I mean, maybe I’ve gone off the rails here, but in that moment it made so much sense to me that in situations where we don’t know how to feel, why don’t we choose good, why don’t we choose positive? I want to give you another very less deep example. So a couple of weeks ago, about a month ago now, my book more than enough, went up for presale on Amazon and it went up for presale. I noticed it.
I had to kind of submitted everything that I needed to submit a on Thursday or Thursday I think. And then Friday looked and they said it would take a week or so and Friday looked and it was that plague, it was available. And so I texted it to my mom and my sisters and I said, look, my book’s available. And so I threw together like I’m going to announce it like it’s available now. So I might as well tell people for preorder. So I announced that it was available for preorder and selling through Amazon advantage. And I’ll talk a lot more about the book, um, later in a different episode. But you get, I receive an order from, from Amazon every Monday. And so on Friday the book went up for sale, presale, I announced it, I talked about it through the weekend and on Monday I got my first order and in my first order I had an order for 160 bucks, 160 books between Friday and Monday. Now if you are like me and you don’t know anything about publishing or about sales, you’re probably feeling right now the way that I was feeling, which is, is that good? I don’t know.
I really like it opened up the email and I was like 160 great. I think, I don’t know. I remember I called Dave at the office and said, Hey, I just got my Amazon order and it looks like I sold 160 bucks over the weekend. So I think I’m excited, but I don’t know if I should be, I don’t know if I should be disappointed. And he said, why would you be disappointed if you don’t know how to feel? Just be excited. Like that’s awesome. It’s so awesome. I’m so proud of you. And I was like, yes, this is exactly what I was trying to tell. That woman from church, when you don’t know how to feel, why would you choose to feel badly if you don’t know how to feel, why don’t you just choose to feel excited and to create your own benchmark for what success is rather than trying to seek some outside idea as to how you should feel or why you should feel that way.
Now, a funny thing happened the following week, so remember I told you Amazon submits orders to the distributors every Monday. So Friday the book went on Presale, I announced it Monday. I had an order from an, from Amazon for 160 copies of the book. Now this is all presale and I hadn’t even gotten them from the printer yet, so I couldn’t like pack and ship anything yet. At this point I’m just like, I’m accepting the orders and waiting for the next week and then doing that until the books are ready to send. So the next Monday rolls around and I’ve talked about the book a few times and I haven’t really, I don’t, I didn’t really have any expectations and that’s kind of part of the beauty of uh, this is part of the beauty of not, of being clueless I guess. I got my order the second Monday and I had sold over 2000 copies to Amazon and I called Dave and I said, honey, my order, I just opened my orders and I have over 2000 orders and I feel like really excited.
And I also feel like maybe there’s a problem, like maybe something went wrong and this is a glitch and like I shouldn’t actually have sold that many cause it feels like maybe that is kind of a lot. And he just started laughing and I was just saying, isn’t this funny that when I sell 160 I don’t know if I should be happy or disappointed. And when I sell 2000 I don’t know whether I should be happy or feel like something was wrong and that I should actually just like feel anxious and like maybe nervous about it. When you get to choose how you feel, which ps is all of the time, why not choose positive, why not choose enthusiastic, why not choose instead of disappointment or worry or dread? Why not be hopeful and optimistic and delighted. That’s something that now that I’m so aware of it, I’m just, it’s been brought to the front of my mind a lot recently how really in the driver’s seat I am not of every single decision of what happens to me but definitely of how I feel and what I choose to do about things and so hopefully that is a positive reminder for you as well.
Okay. To finish up the episode, I just want to do a quick recap because I think it’s helpful. We’ve meandered, I’ve talked about a lot of different things regarding how to be a master decision maker and so I want to bring it back and just give you the brief summary so that you can remember first remember that a decision is a determination after consideration. So you think and then you act and the decision is the action, not the thinking. The decision is the moment that you step forward that you press the button, that you place the order. That is what the actual decision is, the action and you want to try to make as many of those decisions, those actions from a state that is positive and from a good emotional place than from a negative one. So you can, if you need to decide to not decide until later, decide to decide in the future, then you don’t carry around the weight of all of those unmade decisions with you everywhere you go.
So let me jump into my four tips. The quick review of my four tips. Number one, there is not necessarily a right and wrong. There is lots of rights and you get to choose which one you like the best number to practice your decision making by choosing things that you don’t necessarily have to choose, not choices that are placed before you. But by choosing things outside of your normal schedule, choose to do something new. Choose to eat something new, choose to go on a walk, choose to start a new hobby. Make lots and lots and lots of choices and explore lots and lots of things so that then you learn how to make decisions, how it feels to move forward with action. And then you can also have more information that then will help you make better decisions later. Number three, choose the future, not the past.
You may not know the outcome of your decision and that’s okay. That’s totally normal. You should choose sometimes the things that you hope for rather than the things that you know and that is choosing for the future, creating the life that you want. And the fourth and final tip that I want to leave you with today is to choose to feel positively when you have the choice of how to feel. Don’t feel disappointed or negative or frustrated or sad when you can’t control the circumstance, but you can choose to look at it a new way and to decide that the thing that’s happening actually can be wonderful, that that a 160 copies can be absolutely phenomenal and you can have blown yourself away because of how excellent you did. So exercise those four tips and you will become a great decision maker. Trust yourself. Know that you know that you can trust your gut, that you can feel what feels right and that it’s okay if you’re the only one that you know making that decision.
It’s okay if you’re the only one that you know that chooses not to shop for an entire year. If you’re the only one that you know that decides to go back to school and get a master’s degree in ceramics, if you’re the only one that you know that keeps your kids home from public school because you feel like homeschooling is the right choice for your family, you get to choose and trust yourself because what you want in your life is going to be different than what other people want, and it’s the specific combination that you choose that creates the unique and incredible life that you get to live.
Thank you so much for being here. If you so choose and you haven’t yet, I want to invite you to do three things. One is to check out my book. It’s available on Amazon right now. It’s called more than enough. How one family cultivated a more abundant life through a year of practical minimalism. If you haven’t yet preordered your copy of the book, head to Amazon and look it up and just see if it might be right for you. Right now it’s on sale. It’s less than $15 and it’s stuffed full of information of stories and a really wonderful practical exercises that help you make some decisions to move forward with the life that you love. Also, if you are nearby Austin, Texas, or Orem, Utah, go to shop.live free creative.co to find out more information about the book launch parties. One of them happening next week in Austin on June 27th it’s at six 30 at a really cool venue called the way back and on July 6th in Orem, email@example.com free.creative.co is where you can find all of the information for those.
The ticket includes dinner activities, a personalized gift, a signed copy of the book, the author talk with a live Q and a and we also made available a plus one ticket. So if you want to go for a date night, which will be so fun, you can basically get two tickets for the price of one and a half tickets. So check it firstname.lastname@example.org the second invitation that I have for you is to leave a rating or a review for this podcast if you haven’t yet done that. It makes a huge impact on who finds the show in the algorithm with iTunes is they rate all the different podcasts. They will make mine more readily available when it has more ratings and positive reviews. And so just take couple minutes if you haven’t done that. If you’ve been enjoying the show and the topics I share to head in, you can leave a one liner, just a good one liner.
I appreciate every single one of those reviews and know that I read them all and they are really wonderful. So I appreciate that. And number three requests for the end of this show is recommend the show to a friend if you haven’t, talk about it with a friend, with your sister, with your mom. Throw a post up on social media and let people know that you’re listening to live free creative and that you’re enjoying it that way more people can listen in and enjoy and improve their lives as well. So make sure you tune in. Next week, I’m going to be sharing another chapter of the audio version of more than enough, and so you’ll get another sneak peek, I guess it’s a sneak listen, and I am super excited to share more with those with you over the next several months. So tune in. Same time, same place. I will catch you there.