There is no easy way to navigate hard decisions. But there are attitudes and commitments that make it more likely that I will find my way to a better choice:

4. Be honest.

I make better decisions when I am honest. I need to have the courage to be honest with myself and as honest as I can with those who are most likely to be most deeply affected by my choices.

I seek to be deeply and profoundly honest with myself.  To be honest with myself I must determined to be self-aware. I need to be willing to face hard questions. What are the forces urging me in one direction rather than another? How much is the loudest voice in my head driven by self-interest, fear, a desire for self-protection, or a long-ago adopted agenda that I have not acknowledge in the present?

I will be more self-aware and more honest with myself when I am honest with the other people in my life. This means listening to them. It means being open to the possibility that they may be right; they may have seen something I have not seen. They may understand a dimension of this situation I have not understood. I always make better decisions from an open generous listening stance.

5. See clearly.

#5 is only possible to the degree that I am totally committed to #4.

The more honest I am, the more clearly I will see. The more clearly I see, the better decisions I will make.

There are few things in life that are all good or all bad. A more expansive vision provides information that will help me make better decisions.

There are no situations without their challenges; there are few situations that do not contain some good. No matter how difficult or uncomfortable my circumstances may be, if I look carefully, it is almost always possible to find truth and beauty in any reality I face. I need to take a larger perspective and try to see my situation from broader place with less judgment and more acceptance of what is.

6. Take responsibility.

Good decisions do not arise out of blame, projection or denial. When I hear myself saying, “If only you…” or “You make me feel…”, or “You must….” or “You should…”, I am treading in dangerous terrain. This is the land of illusion. It is the place where I project my pain onto you, or onto the government, or the curse of my generation, my genetic make-up, or the inadequate parenting I received, even God, whatever is my faourite scapegoat for the realities I choose not to take responsibility for in my own life.

Adult decision-making takes responsibility for the reality of my own inner condition and acts from that place where I see that my choices shape many of my life conditions and shape my ability to choose well.

7. Good decisions are never made in the abstract.

Good decisions are made in light of the reality of circumstances as they are in the present moment, not as they were in the past or as they might be in the future. I make better decisions when I pay attention to what is in this moment.

The best decisions are not made on the basis of vague principles, past precedent, or possible future eventualities. The best decisions are made right here, right now, in the face of the realities of my life just as they are.

8. Good decisions always lead to love.

Human beings exist to grow in love. We fulfill our destiny, not by getting right answers or making right decisions, but by opening more deeply and authentically to life. Our best decisions will always be those that are most genuinely guided by love.

When we are honest, we recognize which of various imperfect choices are most likely to cause a deepening of our ability to live in love. Love is my true nature. When I live in response to the prompting of love, my life conforms more fully to my true nature; love grows in a heart that is open.

Whatever my decision may be, when I seek to live in tune with the voice of love, I always end up in a better place and bring more truth, beauty and light into the world. There are no bad decisions when I choose from love in a way that seeks to move towards love.

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