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What to Do? What to Do? Thoughts on the Dilemma of Choice!

Life is what happens to us while we are deciding what we want to do with our life.

What to Do? What to Do? Thoughts on the Dilemma of Choice!We may be wise to design a plan that will free us up to "happen to life" instead of the other way around. When we know we need to be doing something different we most certainly will be confronted by all the reasons why we think we can't. They are reasons why disguised as excuses. They are, in reality, one and the same.

There are only results or reasons why. The reasons why are called excuses. The reasons why are the excuses many of us use to justify our choice to do nothing but talk about doing something different.

Talk's cheap. If we really know we need to be doing something different, then we need to do something completely out of character, at least for most of us. . . we need to do something different. The something different is this: this time we need to do something about it. Look into all of the possibilities. Taking this first, major step is the first step towards doing even bigger things better.

The first step almost always feels like the biggest step. You have to take it while you are still afraid. Your intention must be to have fun at your destination. There is something magical about having fun. I have seldom had feelings of fear while having fun; the kind of fear that stops you in your tracks and keeps you from doing what you know you must do. It seems to go away. Poof!

Your feelings about change are very real. They are perfectly normal. It's scary. A choice to change can cause anxiety; fear of what we think might happen. Never allow your feelings to force you into the paralysis of doing nothing. The exercise of inquiry alone can yield amazing results. It can lead you down many paths. The options are endless.

Thinking about questions you've never asked yourself before can tell you a lot about who you are now and can stimulate the answers you already know, yet are afraid to accept since you began to feel the need to do something different. You may even discover that you are already doing what you need to be doing.

Choice demands personal inquiry. It requires self-discovery.


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The decision process - that time when you really take an honest look at how things might be if you would only do something different - often is that time when you analyze things to death. You become so confused you want to give up in despair. Listen to your heart. It will tell you, "Never. Never give up!" It also knows "what to do." Listen to it.

Decide to do, even when you are not sure it's the right thing, and feel your self-esteem soar; feel some of your insecurities quickly begin to fade. It feels good to be in control again. We often fail to remember that we are always in charge. We have choice. Life does our bidding.

Most of us complain that life isn't going where we want it to or that life dealt us a bad hand. Not true. Life follows our lead; it heeds our direction. When we don't like what life gives us as lessons, we often complain. A life burdened with complaint has no freedom to discover "what to do." Complaining about life is an energy drain.

Living life creates energy. Living life with gusto is even better. You never again need be concerned about charging your battery. Gusto is it's own self-supercharger. Give yourself fully and with gusto to life and life will give itself fully and with gusto to you. Life feeds on the energy you put into it to making it better.

We sometimes fail to understand that each life lesson is repeated until it is learned. When we don't get it the first time, life gives it to us again and again and again and again and again until it is learned.

When life gives us a lesson, we need to slow down a little and see what life is slowing us down for. Just what is it I need to learn from this experience? For what good purpose am I experiencing what is going on right now? When you look for the good that is coming to you from your present experience, you will find it.

When we focus on being and doing whatever it takes to have our life be better, we not only accomplish a better way of doing and being for ourselves, life also is better for the ones we love; those we are in relationships with. We are easier to be with. We are more fun to do things with.

When we change. . . we give permission to others around us to change. It is not possible to change others. To others, the empowerment for change is often unspoken; it is communicated in the changes they consciously or unconsciously notice in us.

Have you considered the possibility that you don't really need to be doing anything different or new? What if what you are doing now is what you are supposed to be doing? Think about it.

Who says you need to do anything new anyway? Maybe you do and maybe you don't. Sometimes we experience feelings of discomfort about our choices. Discomfort with those with whom we work; with the work we are doing or whatever. We haven't quite put ourselves fully into our present calling so we become bored or uncomfortable with what we do.

Some of us can't imagine ourselves doing anything else because we aren't really sure we can do anything else. And if we could, what would that be? What to do? What to do?

You have a choice. If you think what you do now is boring, do something to put an end to the boredom. If you think what you are doing now is boring, wait till you get to what you decide to do. It won't be any different. You created the boredom. Now, create an atmosphere of excitement around your work. Have some fun doing it. . . even if you don't want to. Especially if you don't want to.

Boredom dissipates when excitement shows up. Always do the best you can. Put your whole self into what you do. When you are excited about what you do, you do a better job; you are free to notice other things; the kind of things that are equally important to living life to its fullest. You can pay attention better. You communicate better. You contribute more. You can really be with people, instead of dreading being there.

Make a list of benefits you receive from being excited about what you are presently doing. Learn to be okay with where you are, while you are there. This doesn't mean that you have to stay there.


Being okay with where you are may help you to know that with all the confusion you have created in wondering about "what to do;" when you finally discover what you need to be doing, you may be unable to concentrate fully on the new work to be done because your current level of confusion shows up as boredom, discomfort and dissatisfaction and is still with you.

dilemma-choice-2-healthyplaceBeing excited about what you do now, even though you feel the need to be doing something else, helps you prepare mentally for being even more excited about what's next.

Being content with where you are may also assist you in understanding that unless you can be happy where you are, you may be unable to find happiness elsewhere. If you are looking for something new because you are unhappy with what you are now doing, you may be looking for the right thing to do for the wrong reason.

When you put energy into something to make it better, you receive energy from it. You don't have to pour a lot of energy into being happy. You simply decide to be happy. It helps to think about happy things. You need to learn to be happy where you are, so you can be happy when you get to where you are going.

Even if you have feelings of unhappiness, discomfort or boredom right now, how do you really know that you need to be doing something else? These feelings are very real. They are worth an in-depth inquiry as to what it is that causes you to feel that way.

Be honest with yourself. If you really want to get to the bottom of things, you must tell the truth to yourself. Self-inquiry is no time to sleeze-out.

In choosing a new direction, don't cop-out! Decide to choose something you love to do! Life is to short to do something you do not love to do. Do what you love. You may miss out on the opportunity to contribute to others by not doing what you love.


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When you love what you do, you are more excited about doing it and are more free to share what you have to offer to others. You must love what you do or is the thing you do worth doing?

To not choose "what to do" or to continue to only talk about "what to do," when you know you need to move on is not taking care of you. It is not attending to your own needs.

With indecision about our life's direction, we succumb to the direction life takes us. We fall prey to the choices of others and of our own misguided choices. We then become the unintended victim. Indecision breeds confusion. There is nothing much more uncomfortable than being a confused victim.

Many of us are inconsistent in that we will make decisions when we are fairly certain of the outcome, but when it comes to making a "new direction" decision, that's different! And when we don't make a decision, life just does it's own thing. . . our own thing.

We forget that even in not making a decision, a decision is made. Now, life is again happening to us and we feel out of control.

We must accept that we created the present dilemma we have with 'what to do?' It is our dilemma of choice! It is of our making! And we get to handle it or complain about it or whatever we do about it.

We seldom give thought to the idea that we are the only one who has a clue as to how life got this way. If we would only take responsibility for how life turns out - there's that "r" word again - our life would be different. Perhaps, better.

This is your life. . . right now! Own it. You created it. Do all you can to make it better now! Not someday! What have you got to say about that? Careful. Remember, we are grown up now, supposedly mature, and we are supposed to be responsible and hold ourselves accountable.

What you thought about yesterday has brought you to where you are today. What you think about becomes your past. You are either a slave to your thoughts and ideas or master of them.

It often seems that life is only consistent when we are not. Life will take up the slack. It will fill in the blanks. That's right! That's what it is doing right now and it is doing so at our direction. We tell life what to put in the blanks.

Right now, at this moment in time, we are doing life exactly the way life shows up for us. Our choice is to create it, the way it is, moment by moment. Life is always consistent with our wishes, spoken or unspoken.

With no plans of what to do, we stay busy trying to figure out what to do and struggle to keep our head above water; fighting for our life; being unhappy about what is going on instead of creating new and exciting ways of being and doing so we can get on with our life.

You already have a life. This is it! You don't have to fight for it anymore. When you become so totally dissatisfied with it the way it is, then, you will want to do something about it. That is, unless you catch on; that to make some changes before you allow life to become too painful is the wiser of the choices available.

So. . . if you want the misery, the burden, the confusion and the insecurities to go away. . . make a decision about "what to do!"

It's that simple! Not easy. Only simple. Making the decision is the toughest part.

Putting the decision off only comes from fear. What are you afraid of? Failure? Success? Starting over? Not knowing how? Are you concerned about what other people will think? Or all of the above. . . and more?

Consider putting you first. You are in charge here. Take control. Be good to yourself. Decide. Assert who you would be if you could put your name at the top of the list; the list of people who know "what to do."


When you do what you can, to do the best you can - like a promise you keep to yourself - you will begin to feel love for yourself and move far beyond any fear of making a decision. Fear cannot exist in the presence of love. The burden that life feels like, is lifted when you decide "what to do."

What to Do? What to Do? Thoughts on the Dilemma of Choice!Often we say, "I just don't know 'what to do'!" We already know that we don't know "what to do." Why do we feel we must keep telling ourselves that? We know that or we would be doing something different.

The truth is, you do know. When you want to know, you will know. No one else can know for you. . . only you will know.

Take care that your focus is in the right place. It may be time to think and talk about what you might love to do. If you need a "how to," maybe this will help.

Make a list. Write all of your ideas on a piece of paper. Be intentional about choosing something to do.

Don't rule anything out; even the things you think could never happen or would not be appropriate for you. This gets the negative conversations that keep you from focusing on what you want, out of your head and on paper so you can properly dispose of them.

Doing this also keeps your mind focused on coming up with something to do instead of affirming to yourself over and over that you don't know "what to do." After the list gets longer, you can determine what needs to be tossed out and what needs to be considered.

Hang the list on your mirror where you will be reminded to add new ideas to the list as they occur to you. Some of the ideas will make you laugh. Others, you will feel afraid. Or sad. You may experience a myriad of emotions with this process. Stay with it.

Think about results. Imagine the fun you will have on the way to attaining the results. Make several copies and carry one with you at all times. Be creative. Use your imagination.


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What makes you feel good when you do it? What do you think might make you feel better about yourself if you did it? Or maybe you haven't done it yet and you think if might feel good. What is that? Write it down. What are others doing that interests you? What kind of people do you enjoy being around?

In your wildest imaginings, what would you really like to take on? Does it serve you as well as others? What could you do that would have you feel good about saying, "I love what I do!"? What would that be? What would you be doing right now if you knew you could not fail?

Never rule out anything because you don't know how to do it or are afraid you might not be able to do it or that you don't have the money to fund the venture or anything else. Just make your list! Write everything down that comes up. Writing things down is a great adventure. It is a path with the possibility of making you free.

Here is perhaps the most important reason you may want to consider writing everything down. Writing down everything frees the heart to express what It wants that is best for you. In that moment, there is a connection between the mind and the heart; it's called trust.

When trust is present, freedom reigns. You can feel it! Having made the decision to write everything down, the heart is free to express those hidden desires and dreams that have been living in the shadows of self-doubt and fear. Fear vanishes in the presents of Love. There can be no trust without Love; love of God, love of self and love of others.

Trust your heart to know what It wants that is best for you. The heart never lies. Desires of the heart are important because they indicate the urging from the spirit of God that is attempting to move you forward.

When your heart speaks, you know it's not you speaking. You normally don't talk like that. The heart speaks only possibilities. The mind often goes back and forth. That part of you - your heart - that speaks like you don't, could be called many things. One possibility is: you could call it God.

What harm could possibly come from trusting in whatever your version of God is?

I trust you will sense the wisdom behind these thoughts. Write everything down! Don't rush. Some of what you write down will be from your own mind. . . some from your heart. When you sort through all of your own thoughts and ideas and the desires of your heart, you will finally discover the infinite treasure you have been looking for and you will know what to do.

As long as you have the discipline for consistency of effort in the area of wanting to know "what to do," you will not have to be concerned about when you will know. We must only listen to our heart to know when it is time to do something new or different. In that moment of truth, when trust is present, the heart has been known to put its ideas first on your list of "what to do". When you trust it, it gives its ideas freely without restrictions or limitations or barriers or reasons why you can't.

Sometimes we trust - for only a split second - get the message and fail to recognize that, "That's it!" We fail to write it down, literally tossing it away; giving our mind permission to dismiss and discard the idea.

In so doing, we fail to give it a chance to birth the many other ideas that might come from inquiring fully about how it might contribute to solving our dilemma. Then, we go about our business of only talking about doing something different. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with talking about doing something different. There is only something wrong with only and always talking about doing something different and never doing anything different.

I suppose we should say something more about wanting to know. Only when you want to know, can you trust enough to get the message. Sometimes we surprise ourselves. We become clear that we want to know, and at that moment, we trust the words of our heart, write them down and we get it the first time.


Trust can create some pretty amazing moments like that. Trust produces your imagined results. Put trust at the top of your list and watch what happens. It may be true that "what to do" can only be discovered if you write everything down. It may not be true. I wouldn't gamble on it if I were you. The stakes are too high.

What to Do? What to Do? Thoughts on the Dilemma of Choice!When you decide, the people of the world become your teachers. Once you make a decision, tell people what you are up to and watch what happens! You will truly be amazed. And you must ask for what you want. You could never imagine how many people will fall in line for the opportunity to contribute to you in a way that empowers you to continue with your new quest.

Discovery of what's next for you can only happen when you shut down the conversation that you don't know "what to do" and open up to the infinite possibilities that are available when you truly are ready to know. Remember, if you only and always say you don't know what you want to do, you are right! Are you quite sure this is something you want to be right about?

Life is a series of decisions. They come at us point blank. Someone once said, "It is better to make the wrong decision than to make no decision at all." I agree. Unless we know our calling, we may end up on the short end of the stick.

We may become disappointed at our own inability to cope with making the decisions we know we need to make, to do what must be done. Such disappointment can trigger many more inappropriate decisions that only delay getting to what must be done.

When you know "what to do," the decisions you make have to do with the things you have intentions about. Find someone who's doing what you want to do and request mentoring or hire a coach. Why reinvent the wheel?

Successful people love to share their expertise with others who are on the same path; with the serious truth seekers; those who do when they discover "what to do."


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Then, there's the fear. There is only one way to step on your fear. Step on it! You have to lift your foot and step on it! You have to do something. . . while you are still afraid.

We must decide what to do with our lives, then design a do-able plan. We must be specific about our intentions. When we are specific, what we intend to do usually gets done.

Never allow yourself to be closed to doing something new after you have decided what you want to be and do. Never cast this discovery in bronze. Things change. Nothing is constant. Be open to the unlimited possibilities to contribute. To lock in on only one way of serving your purpose in life is to lock out an infinite number of other exciting possibilities.

Many of us seem to wonder about on the path of self-discovery; often confused about being there, and we sometimes wonder off the path. So many new things happen when we begin to inquire about having life be better that we entertain the thought that life was much easier when we didn't know what we now know.

Now that you know, you can never not know. You could give up. You could again devote your time to living in the past; to only talking about doing something different. That doesn't sound like an alternative I would be interested in. How about you? You can never go back and feel good about it. Keep your eyes on the possibilities yet to be discovered. That's exciting!

Replacing old habits takes time and carefully directed energy. The more you discover about yourself, the quicker you can reach workable solutions to help your life be better. They will assist you in staying on the path. It makes replacing old habits easier when you make having fun on the way to the result a high priority.

Replace your old habits with some new, fun habits! Imagine the fun you could have with your life if you would only decide to. Replacing old habits takes imagining, then embracing the end result so dramatically that you develop a 'burn' to be complete with knowing what it is you need to do. Your subconscious mind is impressed by drama. Don't let it down. What you vividly imagine can and will come to pass.

If you are not familiar with journaling, that might help. Journaling is a healthy way of expressing yourself so you can get to know you better.

Believing in the benefits that come from the results will keep you focused on that special something that excites you to action; that pulls you forward. It requires staying pointed in the direction we say we want to go; remaining true to what we know we must do.

Another word that fits here might be discipline. We can all use more of that; the discipline to do whatever it takes to make the discovery that can transform the opportunity you have to contribute to others, into one of instantaneous self-transformation.

This is the only life you have. Focus on what you want to do, then do it with gusto! Until you decide what that is, do what you are doing now with gusto!

You have all the time you have. No one knows how much that is. Do something now! Today! How sad to let time pass without having the discipline to focus on the possibilities new choices can bring.

Everyone is going to die someday. The questions are: "When are you going to start living? When are you going to begin doing?"

You can decide "what to do". . . or not. You can decide who you want to do it with. . . or not. You can decide who you will have to become to accomplish what you want to do. . . or not. You can change your attitude about life. . . or not.

You can do things differently. . . or not. You can discover new ways of thinking. . . or not. You can decide to do and be all of the things you already know you should be doing and being to make your life better. . . or not. You can decide and stick to the better choice. . . or not.

We are only and always talking about choice. God's greatest gift to you is choice!

What to do? What to do?

Knowing "what to do" and doing it most certainly improves the quality of your experience.

And it is only and always up to you!

next: Romantic Jealousy is Scary!

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 6). What to Do? What to Do? Thoughts on the Dilemma of Choice!, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, October 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/celebrate-love/what-to-do-what-to-do-thoughts-on-the-dilemma-of-choice

Last Updated: June 2, 2015

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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