THE 24 HOUR RULE

Decisions, decisions.

Having a sharp brain is a blessing and a curse in today’s modern world.  I love to research and gather knowledge, and poll people.  I love taking classes, and reading, and thinking from other people’s point of view.

Life is a series of decisions.

And how I make decisions effects the outcome of my decision.

And my decisions have a direct effect on how I live.  This includes: How I spend my time,  who I spend it with, and what is most important to me.

Based on my experience, there are two basic ways to make decisions:

FIRST WAY:  Logical, rational, and thought out

SECOND WAY:  Emotional, intuitive, and feeling based

Reason is wonderful.  That is the miracle of the human brain.  It works.  It has gotten me very far in life.  But I have found that if I always choose to rely on reason, well…..I am e-screwed.  I can also guarantee that every time in my life that I totally rely on reason, my result is unnecessary pain.

Don’t get me wrong,  I love my God given brain.  I am beyond grateful for my mathmatecian mother and salesman father for my super-dooper extra strength grey matter (not that I got any of those math genes, but that is a different story for a different day).

But I have fallend deeply in love with my intuition.  It is my reliance on intuition that really sets me free.  Intuition is really my higher self.  Once I become aware that I have two streams of thought to consider, that’s when my intuition starts to strengthen.  Decisions based on intuition are always my best.

Some people may call intuition “emotional”…..to which it is surely linked.  But I think that the connotation of emotion has a bad rap.  They aren’t a “bad’ thing.  They are just a manifestation of intuition.  “OMG.  She’s so emotional!” has such a negative connotation.   The truth in my experience, is that emotions are just intuition.  Call it what you want.  Intuition cannot be proven.  To me, intuition is a gut feeling.  Intuition is listening to my heart and my body.  Because i cannot explain it, sometimes I say “Well, it just feels right.”

Sometimes I can’t tell the difference between my mind & intuition, because my mind is so strong, and it often muddies the water.  But that’s okay.  The truth will always reveal itself, even if I do need to go through a bit of unnecessary pain to get there.  And I am okay with that.  I have accepted that this is part of learning & evolving.

However, I have noticed a pattern in my thinking:  I have burned myself too many times by acting too quickly.  The “waiting” to make a decision can feel too unbearable.  I become willing to make a decision, just so I can move on with my life, even if it doesn’t totally feel right.  And what I have come to understand, is that nothing in this world is *so* urgent that it can’t wait 24 hours.  Seriously.  This over developed sense of “urgency” that we’ve succumbed to in our lifetime can be lethal.  However I will humbly tell you, that even though I know this about me, I fall for it all the time.  Crazy, huh?

So here is the really good news:  My mind vs. intuitive power has become more balanced over time because of some simple changes I made in my decision making process.

So, here is what I did:

A few years back, I instituted “The 24 Hour” rule.  This rule meant that before I made any major decisions, even if I was *sure* that I knew the answer, that I would wait 24 hours before I pulled the trigger.  I have personally used this rule for before:

  • Accepting a job offer
  • Agreeing to a second date / splitting up
  • Signing contracts
  • Making home decisions that effect the family
  • Housing decisions
  • Hiring / Firing employees or contractors
  • Hitting send on life changing emails / phone calls
  • Accepting invitations from family / friends
  • Making large purchases

In this 24 hour period, I make sure that I do three things:

1.  Spend time taking care of myself

— Meditate, write, eat  nourishing food, get some exercise, go to bed at a decent hour instead of stewing all night about it.

2.  Talk out my truth as I know it with another trusted person

— Connect with someone (one, not many!) who will call me out on my BS if necessary, not co-sign it. (I clearly know who those people are in my life!)

3.  Be of service

— Do something for someone else (i.e. it can be as simple as picking up a renegade orange off the floor in the grocery store)

The 24 hour rule works.  It always does.  Even when I think “oh, this time it won’t work” or “this decision is too important, I need to make this decision NOW.”  It works.  When  I choose to take these simple three actions in this 24 hour period, I have a much better chance at making a more intuitive decision.  When I make decisions based on intuition, even if it turns out to be “the wrong” answer, my life always goes much more smoothly.

Now I’d like to hear from you:

How do you make important decisions?  When have you trusted your intuition instead of reason and what was the outcome? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa May 22, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Hello..
This topic is of great importance to me. I have always seem myself as indecisive. I sweat every time I have to make a big decission.
I am now, learning more to use my heart instead of my brain. It is still very new for me. It has changed how I see everythings, and there is nothing more delicious than hearing your own voice, listening and feeling what your heart wants..
However, I still find myself saturated over all the decisions we adults have to make !!!

I am learning to see : ONE day at a time.. and focus on the things of the day!

Thanks for the advices.. I am loving it..

Aimee May 25, 2012 at 9:01 am

Hello, Melissa — yes, this way of making decisions for us busy people is a VERY DIFFERENT + NEW way to look at things, so it can be very confronting and challenging. So, take it easy on yourself. You are right where you’re supposed to be! Awesome & congrats. Baby steps!

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