Making Decisions- The Relationship Between Work & Self

By: Connie Butler

: an opportunity for discovering and shaping;
the place where the self meets the world.

Regardless of what business we are in, what projects we are
working on or what interests we have in the world – we are
all in the business of relationship building. In business
we are always cultivating relationships with employees,
with prospective clients, with colleagues. In our personal
lives the place of relationship is often more obvious and
more central. And our deeper relationship with ourselves
is at the core of how we manage and grow each of those
other relationships and therefore our lives.

At every moment in our professional and personal lives we
are faced with decisions – one after another that create
and move along the landscape of our lives. What criteria do
you use to make good decisions, what benchmarks do you
employ to measure your decision making process? The issue
of relationships and decision-making are closely allied.
If we are in close, clear contact with our own beings, our
wisdom, our intuitive faculties- the decisions we make have
more likelihood of keeping us moving along a path that is
in integrity with our values and real goals. When we allow
the rush of events to disconnect us from this deeper well
of understanding and vision – all that we do suffers. I
hear over and over again from clients how there isn’t the
time, how the bottom-line is what must determine their
choices and often their direction. I am not immune to the
pressures and demands of the world we all live in. But if
we are to, in some way, affect the world positively and
develop a life that is worth living we must find some time
to allow for the growth and development of that which will
give us the foundation, creativity and energy to make
moment-to-moment sound decisions.

How do you cultivate this essential connection or
relationship with yourself? What nourishes it? For me
sometimes in a busy work environment it is the presence of
beauty or the kind and friendly relationship I have
developed with my colleagues. My daily habits of mind and
inspiring walk contribute to this. Sometimes it is taking
the time to stop and allow silence to be present so I can
sense the next move. I know that when I do this my
decisions are more balanced. Each of us must look to
ourselves, to mentors and teachers to cultivate even simple
practices that we can integrate into our day.

When we are able to do this – to maintain a stronger
connection to that core in us there is a sense of our own
strength and power that then comes forward in our
relationships and choices.

Of course our decision making
takes into account facts, weighing of potential outcomes,
the history of the issue at hand. But if you are making a
decision the context in which it is made is really the
state you are in, your thoughts, your clarity, and your
connection to a deeper well of being. These influence
directly your perceptions, understanding, openness to
options and solutions, and the flow of your creative
juices. We must call on our own deeper understanding and
vision to inform our choices.

Usually when we have cultivated this more essential
connection it is easier to see or sense what is needed in
the situation. We more easily feel our own power to stand
firm in the face of conflicting opinions or forces. We can
keep a perspective that serves the situation and begins to
move it along in some creative and hopefully affirmative

The word “Choices" itself gives us clues to the components
of good decision-making. I believe that good choices are
ones that bring about more ability, more freedom for
ourselves and others and ones that allow for continued
growth in the situation. Here is a way of looking at your
daily choices and seeing how they are or are not
contributing to this.

C: Creative
A good choice calls on your creativity, your interest
in finding solutions that may have been hidden. They actual
feel good in your body because you can feel the energy of
your creativity being engaged. This in itself is

H: Healthy
Faced with a decision you can always look at what is
the healthiest route both for yourself, for those involved
and perhaps even for the future. Healthy native cultures
often make decisions based on the impact they may have for
generations to come. We have lost that long-range vision
and often make short-term decisions that are detrimental to
the entire situation further down the road.

O: Open- Opportunities – Objective
Does the decision keep you open to possibilities?
Does it bring in a larger field of opportunities? Are you
able to make it in an objective as opposed to an
emotionally reactive state?

I: Inspire
Inspiration is usually the outcome of a good
decision. Even if the solution is difficult or the next
steps hazardous you know that you are doing the best thing
possible in the situation. Once more that in itself adds
to your self-esteem and raises the energy available in the
situation or system.

C: Connections
Isolation of some sort is often the by-product of
questionable decisions. Whether that isolation is from
others, our own selves or our talents and abilities. But
when we maintain those basic connections we can more safely
navigate the new and unknown territory that some choices

E: Empower
At then end of the day do your choices leave you feeling
empowered – the author of your own decisions or do you feel
caught in a web of confusion. If the later is true it is
time to stand back and begin to take a larger view of the
issues at hand.

S: Soul
Finally choices that both utilize your connection to your
soul and serve to support that bond are those that will
bear the richest fruit.

Ask yourself – does this choice call on creativity – does
it lead to healthy actions that support an open attitude
and opportunities that lead to inspiration of some kind –
empowering you and others to maintain the soul- the energy
– the heart and guidance available in each moment. Choices
such as these create energy – not drain it- they feel good
to us and at the end of the day we can rest easy knowing
that regardless of outcome we have done the best that we

We are the authors of our lives and our business. Although
we are each within a larger field of forces, history and
pressures each of us has at our disposal creative wisdom,
connection and creativity that help us navigate the
sometimes-chaotic landscape of each day.

“Feel the truth of what you are and at the same moment act.
Risk yourself for what you know is right and true."
Fredrick DouglasBusiness Management Articles, escaped slave from an Independence Day

Copyright 2004 All rights reserved.


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