The Default Position is Bad for Your Health

Doing things the easy way instead of the hard way is better for your health. When you do things the easy way, then you are in charge. Do them the hard way and you are not. Every decision you make matters. Even the small decisions are important. What, when, how, why and even where you choose to eat will have an impact on your health. What, when, how, why and where you choose to speak has the potential to create conflict or harmony. What, when, how, who, why and where you choose to buy a book, clothes, food, a car, a house, a trip overseas has an unimaginable impact on other people, the social, economic, political, and natural environments.

Each choice you make is important. Humans can be indecisive at times because it’s hard to make decisions. Too many choices and which one is right? Not enough choices or  none that you like. You know deep down that making a decision will have a massive ripple effect, but when you decide not to make a decision, then it is, in fact, a decision that you’ve made by default. Doing nothing is a decision. It is easier to do nothing. Until a crisis jolts you out of your nothingness. A crisis is a build-up of excess energy to a point where a random situation explodes, or it can be energy that drains away until a situation implodes.

When chaos strikes out of nowhere, like a lightning bolt through your gut, then you realise you have no choice but to make a decision to do something instead of nothing. You end up back where you started. You have to make a decision anyway.

If you put off making a decision about when, what, where, who, why, or how to get your car serviced, when you know it is due for one, then your indecisiveness causes you to procrastinate. This is dangerous because all procrastination is a path to limbo, where you get stuck and can’t move forward. It forces you into a default position instead of one of your own choice.

You find that putting off getting your car serviced leaves you with a niggling uneasiness and worry that it will break down. This inner tension would disappear if you had the car serviced, but like many things in life before this one, where you didn’t or wouldn’t, now you can’t. You are stuck in a default position. You don’t have the money to fix it. The longer the car runs without a service, the worse it gets. Your stress level begins to rise. The car starts to cough and splutter as if it has the flu. The increase in stress begins to compromise your immune system. Then the crisis hits. Everything seems to go wrong all at once. You’ve developed a debilitating virus, but you have to put a smile on your face and drag yourself out the door for an important job interview. Just when you really need to rely on the car, it breaks down in the middle of the freeway. You sit there thinking, ‘NOOOO!!!! This can’t be happening?’ You feel as sick as your car. Chaos is forcing you into a barrage of decisions. You need to get to the interview on time. You need the car back on the road. You are so sick you can barely get yourself in and out of the car. It’s overwhelming. You break down emotionally in your broken down car. Delaying the car service has grown into one that will cost you much more on many levels than it would have, had you booked the car in for a service when it was due, but you couldn’t afford to. A lifelong habit of procrastination has produced this currently unavoidable default position.

To make the situation even worse, as you wait for assistance to arrive, you call your mother for a sympathetic ear, but you have to cut her off before she says curtly, ‘I told you so.’

Why wait for a crisis to bully you into a decision? This is self-torture. Living your life by default is harder than living it by choice. It will cost you far more than the initial angst you had about the impact and importance of making decisions. Save yourself the added pain and make your decisions earlier rather than later. Don’t wait until circumstances do it for you. Do it with the greatest good of all concerned uppermost in your mind, as you take into account the information you have available at the time. Then it will be the best you can do. It will be better for your health and everyone concerned.

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