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MARCH 14TH 2011 

Decisions, Decisions…

Did you know that the adult human makes up to 35,000 decisions a day? Tiring, huh?  No wonder we fall back on habits – our autoreply to life’s challenges. It’s just easier that way because we don’t have the time or energy to navigate through our days debating every single decision that confronts us.

Short-cuts are our saving grace, and habits top that list.  But habits result in, and reinforce, the status quo. And if there’s one thing that unites the growing Citizen Capitalism community, it’s that the status quo is not an option, for us as individuals, for our governments, for the businesses we work for, invest in and buy from, or for society as a whole.

What we are in desperate need of is an easier way to make decisions that will allow for positive change in our lives without taxing our already overworked decision-making faculties.

After much gnashing of teeth, gallons of fair-trade coffee, and some late nights, we’ve created a filter that will help. It’s two simple questions:

1. Does my choice benefit me without hurting others?

2. Does it benefit today without costing tomorrow?

If you ask yourself these questions about anything you do in your day, you’ll be influenced to make new, perhaps better choices that will contribute to the kind of change you want to see in the world, Try it, you’ll see what we mean.

To further help with conscious decision-making, we’ve created this infographic. It recognizes that the decisions we make in our lives generally fall into a few major categories. While some are longer-term calls, we do make choices in each of these areas every day (that’s how we get to 35,000 so quickly!)

We’re in the process of building a category-specific questionnaire that highlights these decisions in a way that will allow us to be more conscious of our choices. Stay tuned; it’s coming your way soon!

In the meantime, if we all stopped once a day and said, “Today I’m going to actually think about this decision for a minute,” we’d be able to make new contributions to creating a better world.  Naturally, you’ll pick your own spots to practice this introspection, but here are some thought starters….

Could I leave the car at home today?

What if I have a vegetarian lunch?

What if I gave my coffee money to the Red Cross Japanese fund today?

Does one act make a difference? Answer this first: does one breath (out of some 50,000 per day) make a difference? Absolutely. As humans, we function so much by rote we forget that every action has a reaction, every cause an effect. So, yes, taking the time to make a conscious decision matters. Today, tomorrow, forever.



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