Life’s Investments — How to Make Conscious Choices

by Rebecca A. Watson on July 21, 2015

in energy, life, time

I wrote this in 2011. It’s 2015 now, and I just found the draft. I figured I would share. It helps to reflect: What were you doing four years ago? How have your opinions changed?

chinese new year

My hairstyle has certainly changed since then.

Imagine yourself young (maturity-wise, not number-wise) and a little lost. You’ve gotten past some of life’s hurdles, or as some like to call them, rites of passage, but still something seems missing. You seek guidance but you don’t take the advice to heart. Maybe you weren’t ready to hear it, or in my case, you just couldn’t comprehend it.

“You don’t have to do anything,” my therapist said, in what was probably my fifth visit.

I was about 26, married, graduated from college and, I think at this point, owned a house. All I could think about were things I had to do, and they overwhelmed me.

“Of course that’s not true,” I insisted, frustrated. “I have to pay my mortgage, my bills.”

“No. You don’t,” she replied again. Perhaps she thought repetition was key to the breakthrough I might have. “You don’t have to do anything.”

I sighed. She didn’t understand. How could she possibly? I had an education I’d mortgaged, and now I did the same with a home. Not only did I feel like I had to pay my loans, but I felt an intense pressure to find a career in my field: journalism. Might as well have majored in philosphy.

Fast-forward half a decade and an intesnse soul awakening later, and I get it. I don’t have to do anything. And neither do you. No one does.

I could choose to not pay my mortgage or not work at any job just as simply as I choose to do yoga and eat pancakes on the weekends (and sometimes Tuesdays).

This realization has set me free.

My time, or more aptly, my energy, is mine. It belongs to no one but me. How I choose to use it is an investment in me. If I decide that I’m going to quit my job and wander alone through the forest, well then that’s my right.

But I also have to understand that when I invest in that strategy, while there is little risk, there is only a small return. However, there are other ways to invest in myself that involve bigger risks, but also have great returns:

  • Starting a business
  • Falling in love
  • Bike riding after dark

Every choice we make is an investment of our energy. Once it’s approached in this manner, life seems to make a lot more sense.

Get In Tune

I still believe this for the most part. I think because of this, I have made a conscious effort to consult my intuition on a more regular basis. I ask for guidance on even the most mundane choices.

  • Should I buy the fresh lemon or squeezed juice?
  • Should I take the path on the left or right?
  • Should I book this or that hotel?

This isn’t really about waiting for your guidance to set you straight. I think it’s about making your choices register, to get you off auto-pilot.

Sleep On It

For me, this is only something I used to do with big decisions. But now I realize there are a lot of things that can wait until morning.

  • Making plans with a friend over text? Let them know you’ll get back to them in the a.m. when you’re feeling refreshed.
  • Firing off a quick email? Save the draft and read it over in the morning. You may be surprised at your fresh perspective.
  • Making an odd online purchase? Leave it in your cart and go back after breakfast. In the light of another day, it may not be so necessary.

Trust Yourself

This is key. Once you’ve made the choice, let it go. If you don’t, you’re wasting energy and living in the past: two things I don’t recommend.

I’m curious. How do you make conscious choices?

Wondering what else I wrote around this time in 2011? So did I. Check out my post on how to handle change

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Maryn July 21, 2015 at 4:28 pm

I love this post! I’ve been trying to get off of autopilot lately and I think you’re exactly right, it all starts with the small choices that enhance our lives day-to-day. Thanks for this.

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Rebecca A. Watson August 2, 2015 at 9:16 am

Thanks so much Maryn 🙂 I’m happy it helped you out. I think the small choices are the best places to start 🙂 Love and light!

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