Endurance and Encouragement





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Finding Black And White In The Gray

I like rules. As I write that I canít help but smile, because I know some who are defiant rule breakers. They bend the rules, cross the line, and straddle the fence, and theyíre proud of it. Me on the other hand I like the security of boundaries. I respect things that remain constant and predictable such as one plus one equals two and A comes before B. So when I find myself in a murky situation with no clear cut solution, I am uncomfortable.  I want a black and white answerer a yes or no. However life often is full of situations that are both right and wrong, that have some good and bad, where the answer is not obvious.  Gray circumstance with no easy answer, oh I hate that.

My Dad was a big advocate of getting out a piece of paper. Making two columns and writing down the pros and cons.  That works fairly well, until, I factor in my emotions. Strangely enough there have been times when the answer is obvious on paper, but my feelings simply will not go along with the logic.  Wow, thatís a tough place to be isnít it? And maybe thatís where the gray comes in. The emotions distort your view and make things cloudy.  Another area that garbles my reasoning is the past. There are times when my past experience taints my current thinking.

So what do you do when you have a cloudy puzzling dilemma? How do you make the right decision? Recently before a running race I was asked if I was going to win.  I replied ďIt depends who else shows up in my age group, but I am going to do my best.Ē

Do my best, perhaps this is the answer we ultimately accept when we have difficult decisions to make.  We analyze the facts, sift away our emotions and then choose, without knowing in advance if we are making the right choice-if we are going to win, so to speak. That is why those shades of gray situations loom large in our brain, because there is no neon sign illuminating success. We pick away at the factoring pieces and make a choice.  Dark gray over light gray, we weed our way through the fog and draw a conclusion. We make a decision and if there is the sweet spot in the gray of indecision, itís when we move from indecision to action.  The freedom in this whole murky mess comes when we accept that we have investigated and researched, that we have weighed all our options and we go ahead and choose. Once we step from indecision moving into action mode we experience relief. The real choice is how long do I stay in that painful place of indecision.  Do I procrastinate or do I study the options and get to it?  How long do I spend sifting through the gray? Thatís always our choice.