It’s a bitter winter morning. The sun is nowhere to be seen. And here I am in my blanket contemplating whether I should go to work or take an off to go window-shopping with my girlfriend. Well, to be honest, I don’t wish to do either. My boss is such a douche and my girlfriend, as all girlfriends are, is always complaining about how we never do this or that. Maybe I should open a pack of nut-crackers1)I love nut-crackers. and write down a blog on “How to make better choices”.

Yeah, blog it is. Here we go!

Have you ever desired to be someone who knows which is the right choice in every situation, always? If yes, then you must know that making better choices is an art, and it can be learned. There is a precise science behind it. However, first, we must understand how we have been making our choices so far.

If, at any point, you ask yourself – why I am doing, what I am doing? At the most fundamental level, the answer would be your desire for emotional intensity. Whether your goal is to have a million-dollar business, make awesome friends, or to explore life at a depth – all you crave is intensity. Higher the intensity of your emotions, the more you’ll want them. In fact, this is the reason why some people enjoy pain. They get used to its intensity because it is their most intense experience in life. Higher intensity is the reason that blissfulness is inferred as the ultimate purpose of life.

Should being blissful be your end-goal in life or you should just conduct your life in a blissful way?

I know a bunch of people who at some point took up some grieving choices just to be a part of the gang because at the time of decision-making their emotional intensity was running low.

Smoking undeer peer pressure - Aashish Vats

For instance, choosing to smoke under peer pressure is not a value-based decision. It is an emotional push, because

Life – Intensity = Anxiety

Every smoker is aware of the harmful effects caused by smoking. However, most of them aren’t able to break their habit because it’s the intensity that is felt through smoking, which is driving them. You must understand that no one can manipulate, or convince, you for anything if you have a sense of fulfillment within you. This fulfillment just basically means that your emotional intensity is being taken care of. If your fulfillment is subject to outside drama, then your life would invariably be a manifestation of high and low graphs.

We all have a bit of niggle for the drama. And our emotions suggest that in order to create a million-dollar movie of our life, a bit of drama is a pre-requisite.

My drama is special and unique”. Why? “Because it’s my fuckin drama and not yours, so only I can understand it”. You can find such imperiously entitled self-aggrandized narcissistic nuts everywhere around you. They constantly cut slack to oneself in some form or the other.

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  • I lost my job, thus, I deserve to have a couple of drinks, maybe more than a couple. Or. I got a new job, let’s celebrate and get a couple of drinks.
  • I just went through a terrible break-up and I feel the need of being loved. And what better than proposing that girl in the office who has a crush on me. (Actually, the office girl doesn’t give a shit, but the mind makes-up things because it has a job to make you feel better about yourself2)The mind and over-thinking is not a problem. Actually, it’s not overthinking in the first place. The mind has developed a certain ability after millions of years of evolution. However, because some of our experiences are not desirable, thus, we tend to regard thinking as over and bad. I have briefly taken up this consequence in my book titled – Wait for it, it’s a surprise.).
  • I am trying very hard to quit smoking. Seven days straight without a single cigarette. I deserve to have at least one now.
  • I love her and everything is fair in love and war. Ergo, I am allowed to stalk her.
  • After a few drinks or a couple of sad songs – I am missing my ex. She was a great person. I should have never let her go. Shall I call her?
  • When I am a little high, I can be much better with my creativity and I need to finish this script by tomorrow. Well, one joint doesn’t hurt anybody. Besides, what is the point of this life when I can’t have the freedom of doing what I want?

All our decisions are taken through the mind. The person with such abject thoughts doesn’t just succumb to his temptations or pleases poor judgments but his mental strength is being overpowered by the energy created by his emotions. This is how it feels being mentally weak, carrying bogus and sham moral boundaries.

Our emotions are not only a kind of energy but it’s our energy. And, it so happens that our values and boundaries3)Our values determine our boundaries and priorities. They both then influence our behaviour. determine, and have a huge influence, on our emotions. If a person has no true moral boundaries, then his emotions would be ubiquitous. Therefore, if his mind would oppose the energy already-in- motion, there will be certain chaos and mayhem in his life. Henceforth, such people find themselves a puppet of their own groveling impulsions.

In most situations, for all of us, our mind smartly follows such a path that can create cohesion amongst our decisions and the energy already in motion. These cohesive decisions are non-cognitive, imprudent, impulsive and taken with the sole purpose of avoiding chaos and feeling better. Better about the situation and oneself.   

We use so many reasons to validate the underlying attribute of our thinking that when we reach the heights of our bewilderment, we try to circumvent the mental pain using phrases like – I only get to live one life, hence, I must enjoy it.

Of course, we must relish our life but the pleasure must not be castoff as a justification to dodge mental pain, which is an inseparable part of the process of establishing clarity within thoughts.

If you try to duck any sort of mental pain, chances are your life would swing like a pendulum. Emotional highs would be pretty natural. Sometimes you would feel like being at the top of the world, and other times, the skies would fall down over you. Typical narcissistic endowment.

Speaking generally, if a person fears failure, he is only fearing growth. Adversity is something that we must face head-on. Like everything else, it’s a choice. And our choices are what defines us.

There is great power rooted in choices. Each time we make one, we change the world for oneself.  Our choices are the most authentic conceivable ‘character certificate’ for ourselves. Think about this – if everything about our life and this world is dependent on the variety of our choices; isn’t it important, in fact, the only question worth asking – How to make better choices?

And, by the way, if you can relate to any of the above-mentioned illustrations of thoughts even remotely, then this blog is an apt and expedient consultation for you. Moving on…

How to make better choices?

This is the most glorified question of the contemporary developed world. People do stupid acts, succumb to their impulsions and then blame the feelings for their idiocy. We all do it, at some point or the other, we all have been a victim of our impulsions. Consequently, the best way to approach this problem is through an understanding of the facts which lets us infer it as a problem.

Why do we feel the need to control or restrict our feelings? Or, why do we act impulsively?

Because most of us are muddled and we find ourselves in a delinquent of choices. We understand the existence of more than one choice and are unable to make the correct ones. Predominantly, it’s happening because our life energies have never been organized. They are stuck. And by life energies, I do not mean spiritual and yogic chakras4)Some spiritual gurus and neuroscientists like Dr. Joe Dispenza have made a huge business out of selling inner chakras. However, here I am not talking about them. about which there is a growing trend in society. Just the way you are, are a form of energy. I am referring to that.

Your feelings, or say, emotions, define your every choice. And, as I said, they are a kind of energy. They are the energy that inspires action. Deprived of this energy, you wouldn’t feel like doing anything in this world. Thinking logically, there is absolutely no reason for doing anything in life. Why bother, you’d die anyway?

Knowledge in itself isn’t enough to stir action. If it were then we would never find an obese or an alcoholic person. Therefore, the existence of our emotions is crucial for our survival. They are the energy that determines our directions in life. Perhaps, we must know how to control them to create the life of our choice.

Our mind is very flimsy and compliant towards a suggestion. Movies, songs, our work environment, our friend circle, the books we read, and our own thoughts – everything puts some sort of energy in motion in the world. And these energies reach our mind in the form of suggestions. ‘Being rich’ is a suggestion. ‘Looking beautiful’ is a suggestion. ‘Portraying a Casanova’ is a suggestion. Getting drunk for epic celebrations is also a suggestion. Differential Relationships and Friends with benefits are also suggestions.

In today’s advertisement and internet dominated world, it’s as simple as walking in the park to fashion a need amongst the viewers. All they need to do is suggest something to us as cool and we are lured into their trap. None of us really tries to understand the application of most pf our thoughts.

A thought in itself is never positive or negative. Positive and negative are just impressions which entirely depends upon its application and comprehension. Hence, the selection of thoughts, wisely, is imperative. It is the only way to make better choices. How to be a smart-ass while dealing with your thoughts? Come to the next section to decode that…

Making better Choices

Let’s suppose you are a superfast computer, with incredible features and every second there are some things, known as viruses, trying to intrude your software. How would you stop them from entering? You create a ‘FIREWALL’. Also, how to eliminate the virus already inside – Run an ‘ANTIVIRUS SCAN’. These viruses are the thoughts that have corrupted your internal software. Therefore, you need an Anti-virus and firewall program to regain absolute control of your system. This absolute control is necessary to pick what is important and beneficial for you and to eliminate the superfluous baggage.

Here are four steps, enriched with nutrients and minerals, decoding, how to make better choices.

Step-1: Selecting a Personality for Yourself

The most fundamental precision has been missing in our lives which nobody cares enough to ask and establish. The clarity of your own personality and framing a boundary-wall, based upon healthy life values, around it to restrict the emotions from being ubiquitous.

Tell me, when was the last time you sat with yourself to decide – what kind of a person you want to be? I bet it was a very long time ago. Maybe so long, that you forgot to do that in this life.

Selecting a personality for yourself - Aashish Vats

To counter the intensity-anxiety paradox, that I mentioned earlier, you need to sit down with yourself and decide what kind of person you want to be. It essentially means choosing a personality for yourself.

Do whatever you think is good for you. Right or wrong is not the point. However, the decision must be yours. The idea here is to establish stronger value-boundaries by understanding your own self-worth.

There is a difference in being worthy of something and deserving something. Worth is earned and deservingness is presumed. Most people presume they deserve to be happy and thus they never get to be constantly happy. People who understand happiness, know how to work for it.

Happiness is something that is achieved as a by-product of your efforts. Efforts that are directed towards solving your legitimate problems. When you realize your own self-worth, no matter how good or bad it turns out, you would inevitably feel the need to work upon it constantly. Such efforts would consequently prompt you to work upon your life values.

Also, this doesn’t mean giving-up freedom. It means getting freedom from the acts of impulsions.  

Step – 2: Establish a Cohesion

You are facing a delinquent of choices because your body desires something else, the mind wants something else and your personality suggests something else. When you succumb to your impulsions, you are listening to only one of these three faculties. You need to bring your mind, your body and your personality into cohesion, so instead of urging different things, they prefer the same choice. This cohesion would bring harmony to your life.

This process would enable you to form a new personality for yourself based on conscious reasoning. A personality is a combination of different values, beliefs, and desires. Most people inherit a personality and suffer because most of the things about their personality are not self-chosen or even desirable. They abstract various aspects of their personality from the impressions that they have from the people around them.

We need to self-choose healthy moral values, get rid of presumptions, and explore different interpretations about various situations. When we create cohesion amongst our body, mind and our personality – all our energies would start working for us.

Step – 3: Learn to Embrace Reality

Another huge delinquent is that we try to fight our impulsions. The struggle, in turn, makes us even more impulsive. Let’s suppose a person is having an impulsion of skipping work. If he tries to fight this energy which is already in motion, no matter what the conclusion, he would only hurt himself as he would be fighting his own energy.

Our mind, which is the infinite source of wisdom, works constantly for the sake of our own protection. It is like our best friend. It suggests ways to avoid the disorder and circumvent the pain of unprofitable hustle – “Let’s skip it for one day, it doesn’t matter much” and there you go – he acted impulsively.

On the other hand, if he embraces reality then he can bring himself to conscious evaluation that he is having an impulsive thought. This way he can abstract the energy already in motion to work in his favor. The mind, again being the infinite source of wisdom would make suggestions, this time non-abrasive because all the energies are working in the same direction. It would focus on healthy reasons to go to work after all.

By embracing reality, we bring all our scattered energies together into the present and this brings us to a platform from where we can actually create some meaningful difference in our lives. The idea is to develop a good and healthy best friend in the form of our mind.

Step – 4: Being Conscious

At this point, all you need to do is be responsible. There is a whole crapload of teaching which suggest you work on your focusing skills. But here is the irony. The more you try to get close to focus, the farther it’ll go from you. Because you are using sound to create silence. It sounds ridiculous, isn’t it?

Learn to create silence within you. Life would automatically become an outpouring expression of opportunities to blossom with. Intensity is not your enemy. Everything around us is either constantly expanding or looking for expansion, therefore, the intensity is a universal quest.

And lastly, sticking to these four steps would enable you to make better choices. You know the process of controlling the feelings becomes much more tedious because the mind is aware that you are trying to restrict something. That is how your own intelligence has turned against you. If you just see this as a process to garner better choices, the mind would also work for you not against you.


Footnotes:-

I love nut-crackers.
The mind and over-thinking is not a problem. Actually, it’s not overthinking in the first place. The mind has developed a certain ability after millions of years of evolution. However, because some of our experiences are not desirable, thus, we tend to regard thinking as over and bad. I have briefly taken up this consequence in my book titled – Wait for it, it’s a surprise.
Our values determine our boundaries and priorities. They both then influence our behaviour.
Some spiritual gurus and neuroscientists like Dr. Joe Dispenza have made a huge business out of selling inner chakras. However, here I am not talking about them.