BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL
Mar. 1, 2016, Toronto, ON - As a follow up to my last article on decision making (click HERE if you want to read that one first), I feel that it would be remiss of me to not also mention that there are no “wrong” decisions; only bad decisions and indecision.
Ignorance is the one thing we don’t know that we have. However, once becoming known to us, we cannot be excused for that same ignorance any longer. Enacting the same decision, over and over again, knowing full well that it will lead to the same unfavorable outcome, is a bad decision. If we know that the stove is hot, it would be a bad decision to touch it a second time. Granted, we may be touching it to see if we can somehow illicit a different response; but to know that it is still hot and to touch it, hoping that it will somehow change without first changing ourselves, is not only a bad decision, it is a silly one...
Similarly, deliberating too long on any choice, only to have that choice be made for us later on by hesitating too long, results in an unfavourable outcome. Indecision such as this can only lead to an incessant contemplation over what “could have” been, offering up mental exhaustion over what "should have" been done. Mental rumination such as: “If only I had just…” and “I wonder what would have happened if…” and "Why didn't I simply…" are all states of suffering. It is better to make some decision, and learn from it, than to make no decision and spend your next moment wishing you had decided earlier on. After all, if we do not readily make our own decisions in this moment, they will forcefully be pushed upon us; diminishing our lucid sense of Self control.
Moment by each passing moment, we are faced with some choice; from which we must make some decision. Making the bad decision (one in which a certain negative outcome will occur) and enacting indecision (hesitating too long to make a decision, only to have that decision be made for us) will both lead to mental suffering. To know and to still do is just as bad as hesitating and not doing anything at all.
However, in the end, no matter which decision we make, we must always remember to go all-in or not go at all. Neglect, unrest and a split focus, all reverberate out of not going all-in, will ultimately lead to both wasted time and even greater suffering in the next moment. The past is not real and the future is uncertain; all we can do in this moment is make the best decision we can, and run full-steam-ahead with that. Because in any other moment, we know that we would just be wasting our time.