While homeschooling my son on poetry, we covered Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken. It lends to this idea about choices in life. Many people consider it speaks to us about taking a path not taken, perhaps regret about doing so, but this isn’t the case at all.
The Road Not Taken is coming to a path diverged, a person might muddle through trying to decide which path is. The poem is about choices, and regretting choices, not the result of them.
Daniel Todd Gilbert, a psychology professor at Harvard, researches happiness. He did a wonderful TedTalk on the topic of Why We Make Bad Decisions, and provides some interesting insight on our making decisions.
We live with consequences of our decisions. But don’t just live with them, learn from them. Don’t wallow in regret, be empowered by what you can learn from experiences. Some lessons we learn from bad decisions can be invaluable to developing who we are as people.
Some techniques to help work through decisions:
Free writing. I’ve used this for plotting stories, but also use the free writing technique to work through making decisions. It is simple to do- Write non-stop on the topic for 10-15 minutes. Don’t stop. Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation. I find that using this method lets your brain work through consequences and you find the answer reveals itself through the writing.
Tarot Reading. You can create your own card spread to find answers, but generally you want to explore the symbolism and possible meaning through the tarot. The decision making spread can prove useful. Click image to go to the page to explain how to use.
Pendulum Method. This technique works with your subconscious through yes or no answers. I prefer free writing for my choice-helping-method, but you might find this method helps you too.
Find an item you can use for a pendulum, and start asking questions about the choice you need to make. The pendulum swings back or forth, or in circles, and you might be surprised on the answer.
Pendulum Basics– How to make and use a pendulum.
What do you think? Have you let go of a past regret? Do you find a lesson to be learned from a bad decision? Post in comments.