Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Analysis Paralysis

Life is the sum of all your choices. ~Albert Camus

One of the hardest things in life is trying to figure out which paths to go down. There are big decisions and small decisions that effect the direction that our lives will take everyday. How do you know when you are doing the right thing?

I am a pretty indecisive person by nature. I love the middle of the road. In politics I am an independent, refusing to mold my opinions to that of any one party’s beliefs. In high school I dropped out of the highest level of classes (Humanities) and down to the honors level courses because I was more content to be mediocre at a lot of things (school work, band, soccer, cheerleading, ect.) rather that really stand out in any one thing. At work I always try not to rock the boat too much. With my friends I always try to be the peacemaker and avoid any real conflict. I even hate picking out a place to eat. (I once wasted my whole lunch hour because I couldn’t decide!)

But in life you have to make decisions. If you aren’t happy with the way things are, you have to do something to change them. If you ignore problems, they get bigger. If you become complacent, you loose the joy in life. If you do the same thing over and over again you will get the same result.

So what holds me back from making decisions? Fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear that I am not doing the right thing. Fear that this decision is the wrong one. Fear that I may regret this. Fear that they may not like me. Fear that I don’t really want this. Fear of being uncomfortable. Fear of being hurt. Fear of looking stupid. Fear of failure.

I pray about things all the time. Pray that God will give me signs that point me in the right direction. But even when I pray I worry that I am praying for the wrong thing or for the wrong reasons. Am I being too selfish? Should I be happy with what God has already blessed me with? Should I not even worry about what is going on in my life and pray for the poor, suffering, sick, or lost souls that I may not even know?

But I don’t think doubt is a bad thing. It makes you think about things more. You explore other options. Think about the rewards and consequences of each decision. But how do you find that balance between thinking things through and over-analyzing?

Eventually you do have to make choices. You have to go out into the world everyday and be faced with decisions. Psychologist and philosopher William James said “When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.” I just hope and pray that the decisions and choices I make everyday are good ones and lead me down the right path!

A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one. ~Rita Mae Brown

Why is all this on my mind today you may ask? Well, I have only read one chapter in my latest book because I can not shut off my mind lately! I read one page and don't even know what I read because I was THINKING too much! Does this mean I have a decision to be made that will bring me peace so I can get back to escaping into other people's worlds instead of living in my own???

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