When the Small Decisions Get in the Way


carrie-closet-1040kk052410When I tell someone the hardest part of my day is deciding what to wear, I am only half kidding. I have discovered recently that the dozens of small decisions I make everyday are getting more difficult while the big decisions are getting easier.

What to wear. What coffee to order. What music to play. What form of exercise. What kind of yoga. What mantra. What to order at dinner. What style of eating, from raw to non-vegan. What book to read at night. What news to watch. What news to not watch. What phone calls to return. And on and on.

With each of these minor decisions, I can Yelp, Google, find an app, create an app or instantly access multiple tiers of information and choices. I can actually never make a choice and just keep researching.

I seriously started thinking that my brain was going through something that I needed to be concerned about. Then I realized, maybe we have too many options and too much info at all times, and all at an ever-increasing rate of delivery. TONS OF INFO AND CHOICES.

But why is it more intense than ever? It’s because it is now all INSTANTLY AVAILABLE. This gives a whole new urgency to things. I feel like I must respond to texts just because it is a recent and urgent piece of information. Sadly, I may give as much importance to a realtor wanting to know if I own an extension cord as to my mother who needs an account number to settle my father’s will.

In an article in Newsweek magazine called “Brain Freeze,” March 7, 2011, Sharon Begley speaks to this phenomenon and calls it info-paralysis. Scientifically, the brain shuts down with too much overload. We already knew this, but now it is proven that the pre-frontal cortex stops working with too many choices, especially at a rapid and urgent rate.

Texting is a good example of instant response. If our brain thinks it is immediate, it must be more important; another example of reduced decision making from too much overload. Dr. Joe Marshall, author of “Repeatlessness” submits that this is what 2012 is all about: the dissolving of the pre-frontal cortex, which also controls our sense of time, thus the fulfillment of the “end of time.”

What will decision making be like without the pre-frontal cortex? I really don’t know, but in the mean time, I am TEMPLATING.

What is Templating? It is the creation of sets of pre-made decisions, according to what is happening in your life. For example, right now, I am in the process of healing from a wound and needing to rest and reboot in all areas of my life. What I want to increase is vitality, meditation and a keen sense of where I am going in the big picture.

So what does my template look like?


Mantra: Meditator, Athlete, Positive Thinker

Mental Activity: Dreaming Big

Music: Classical

Visualizations: Beauty in all things

Diet: Bright color fruits and vegetables plus protein

Clothes: Comfort and yoga clothes

People: The ones who plus others. Caretakers. Smilers.

Drink: Fresh juice and one Americano coffee with steamed soy per day.

Modus Operandi for dealing with cell phone: Call Harvesting. I turn the phone off (yes off). I turn it on at 10am, 2pm and 8pm to “harvest” calls, listen to messages and respond accordingly. Difficult to do at first, but the rewards are tremendous. I can’t always get away with it, but during “High Vibe Template” it is important.

BAM. Many of the constant, urgent, small decisions I make all day long are eliminated, freeing up my mental real estate so I can own it. Fact: At some point, the brain needs to be cut-off from new info to be creative.

I have several other Templates I am test-driving such as: On the Road In Training Crunch Time Probably the only constant on every list will be the Americano with steamed soy.