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Rhonda Dorren on Decisions. Snap Judgements. Can Be Educated and Controlled
Malcom Gladwell does an interesting job of talking about “educated and controlled snap judgments,” in his book “blink”. The subtitle of “blink” is “The Power of Thinking Without Thinking”. This relates completely to the great challenge of making change, once we have made a decision to change. What on earth happens to me I ask, when I seem to surprisingly, somehow, suddenly, find myself doing something I swore I would stop doing? Then to make matters worse, as soon I find myself in this situation, my first reaction is anger, frustration and resentment toward myself. Because I just can’t believe I am doing it again. Of course, this response never helps my already negative situation. This is a common dilemma with weight control; I can’t even begin to count the number of times this desperate experience is shared. The ChiQue Discussion Groups are very helpful for people facing this challenge.
Gladwell makes good points and discusses many examples of how our unconscious thinking is no different from our conscious thinking. Gladwell shows that we are able to develop, change and improve our rapid decision making, with practice. What a sense of relief it is to know that there is a way that I can stop myself, from what seems to me as instinctively doing what I know, and I truly mean I know, in in my heart and in my brain, to be destructive behaviours for me. Such a relief to know the assumption: “I can’t help it” is not true. But how do I make the change, from “I can’t help it”? I must stop my sinister inner voice repeatedly saying, “I’ve tried already”.
We practice trained decision making with our conscious thoughts. We practice facing conscious decisions with thoughtful process, by slowing down to fractions of time, we purposefully gather the information about the decision. It is like stretching time, until the last possible moment, when we make a decision. The more practice with daily conscious decisions that we successfully make, the more our subconscious will follow. Here’s how Gladman describes this: “the decision moments – every moment – every blink – is composed of a series of discrete moving parts, and every one of those parts offers an opportunity for intervention, for reform, and for correction.” ChiQue Facilitators can guide you through this process, supporting you to success.
I have applied this process to breakfast, which is one meal I seem to routinely chose and eat foods that are good for me, in a quantity that is healthy for me. When I prepare my breakfast in the morning, I purposefully slow down, consciously think about the food I am choosing including how much food I will eat, how I will prepare the food and exactly where I will eat the food. I do all of this process as I enter the kitchen and before I begin to make my breakfast. This is very different from the rapid pace, quick selection and eating on the fly that I often used to experience at breakfast or at other times of the day. Gladman’s works tells me, that if I practice this, I will subconsciously behave this way the next time I am subconsciously going to eat food to comfort me. I am looking forward to these results.
How about you? I am interested in all of your comments.