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December


The A to Z Guide to Life - Letter 'D' Monday December 28, 2015

'D' is for 'Decision'. But it is for a special kind of Decision. There are two types of decisions we can make.

One is like drawing a line in the sand.
The other is like drawing a line in wet cement.
Both have the 'sand' of good intentions.
One works; the other doesn't.

So what does cement add to sand to produce concrete results?

Successful cement begins with moving from a continuum of shades of grey to the ruthless binary domain of 'yes' or 'no' – of 'black' and 'white' – of 'do it' or 'don't' – of 'on' or 'off'!

Powerful decisions begin with a switch. One moment you're on one path. The next you flick the switch and you're on a new path. It really is like flicking the switch 'on'.

Poor decisions flick the switch on and off, on and off, on an off – and that is as annoying as this sentence.

No, we begin with 'ON'!

Then there are the added ingredients of perseverance, patience and practice. This is because flicking the 'on' switch doesn't end the game, it begins it. It begins a process.

Want to lose those pounds? Flick the 'on' switch to say, "I am going to lose 'x' amount!" Make it a declaration from which there is no turning back. Then recognise that the dance begins: two steps forward and usually one step back. This is the nature of the thing. Progress is rarely in a straight line.

I can touch type. I love it. It didn't happen overnight. But the decision did. I chose to enroll on a programme – boom! I flicked the switch. Then I went to class after class – I persevered – and I had the patience to endure, realising that the muscle-memory would take time, but it would happen. And it did. It took practice though – a lot of practice.

Finally, whether it is the gym or enrolling in that new class, it is far more powerful to begin the process onward from the decision point in the company of friends.

We are your friends.
Let's begin.
Together.
So, what shall we be decisive about today?

Lex
A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.


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Comments

Lou Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 5:30am

This has really got me thinking. Thanks Lex.

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 7:11am

You are most welcome, Lou. Making an impression in cement can be fun! L'x

Hopeful One Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 7:14am

Hi Les - very thoughtful blog. The important step to me is to make the decision in the first place.. It may turn out to be right or wrong , correct or incorrect, happy or sad or many of the other myriad variations. However this will be revealed only AFTER the decision is made. At this stage a curious thing happens. As soon as this is revealed the mind sets about correcting or modifying the original it in the light of the revelation . A bad decision becomes a good decision . Make the decision and the mind will find the means.

Hopeful One Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 7:17am

Apologies - I meant Lex.

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 7:54am

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”


? William Hutchison Murray

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 7:54am

Just for you, Hopeful One. You can call me "Neil" if that helps! L'x

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 8:07am

...and what you've written reminds me of the power of a tug to move a ship that is already moving. Make the decision, and then nudge and tug it onto the right course. So the decision might be "Healthy Weight Loss" and the path may be "Get Thee to the Gym!" However, the Gym might not be the best path... so the revised goal could be, "Get out for a vigorous walk on a daily basis." - Am I understanding you correctly, HO? L'x

Lesley Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 11:31am

Yep. I never realised this until I found out the hard way. I didn't fully commit and left one foot in one base and another in another. What happened? Providence didn't work with me and deep hurt and sadness were the result. It is as if I needed to listen to a wisdom greater than my mind and didn't. I am learning!

Hopeful One Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 5:39pm

Hi Neil- that's a lot easier . Thanks. And yes you understand me correctly.

Lesley Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 11:37am

Thanks for a useful strengthening blog, Lex. I have started a three year course in Naturopathic Nutrition which is hard. It involves chemistry and biology which I last glimpsed as a 15 year old. Here I am 37 years later and my brain aches. I set myself this path and it takes huge commitment. I try to break it into small steps and not be overwhelmed by the whole. I also read an excellent blog recently which talked of "Just start it" as opposed to the "Just do it" Nike slogan. The first step is starting and that's a good goal to begin with. SO simple when you are in the depths of depression and have trouble getting out of bed. Happy 2016 to you.

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 12:34pm

Hi Lesley, Caroline can share my email address with you if you'd like support. I've helped literally hundreds of students over the years break down study into manageable, memorable units. Most of my students have been 'mature'! Would be glad to act as a Learning Mentor for free. L'x

the room above the garage Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 6:46pm

Overview please Lex! Hugely interesting.

susan Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 2:32pm

Hi Lex, this is a great topic and I completely agree that once a commitment is made, the universe steps in and helps things happen. I'd bet we all have magical stories about this. It's getting to that point of full commitment that's difficult and the wishy-washy ones don't work, as Lesley says. I've let many opportunities go by, deciding not to commit, thinking I could work out the truth of it beforehand... which in many cases is just not possible. Anyway, thanks! Having a very lazy day (banana bread in oven at least); just wanted to thank you. xx

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 3:18pm

Hi Susan. Thanks for the encouragement. I had a vision, provoked by Lesley's post, of one foot on the shore and one on a boat that is gently drifting away from the shore. Of course it's still moored but... L'xx ...still, Banana Bread makes all things right again!

Mrs Jul A Non Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 2:38pm

Hello Lex. I have been wanting to say something about your blog today just because it's you writing!
I have made many decisions today like chucking the Xmas tree outside, taking down some decorations but leaving a few up just to say it is still Christmas time for many even though thankfully mine is over.
I make decisions quickly. I can't cope with them hanging over me. But they are decisions which are nice ones or ones which you don't have to carry through as once it's done, that's it, onto the next decision. So what I am saying is that resolutions are different from decisions. I am not good at carrying anything through which I don't want to do. So I only make decisions about pleasant things and these days, don't make any resolutions I know I won't be able to keep or come to think of it, any at all!
I am very interested however in touch typing and am encouraged by you having persevered and done this. Bravo to you Lex. I may look into this myself.
I can't get it out of my mind that D is for Depression. But not when you are around Lex. Julia xxx

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 3:22pm

And "D" is for "Dr Joy", Julia... I'll turn on the laughin' gas... what do you fancy, giggles or guffaws? Tee hee, glad you trashed yer Christmas Tree! Seriously, I wondering what "The oil of gladness" means when it says in the Good Book that this is the cure for "the spirit of heaviness". What do you think? L'x - thanks for bringing me Joy.

The Gardener Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 2:46pm

Oh Lex, perseverance and patience - lst P OK, second I have cracked, thoroughly and completely. Wrote down all important things to do/decisions to make - last night - all done - at bottom put KEEP CALM. Bad nights, so much to do - shopping, busy of course - Mr TG likes to come - means getting him and his walker in this end, out other, find him a chair in supermarket - then load them all in and out of car again. OK, has to be done, and done willingly. But he is obsessed with light and heat - always wrong - in car, when will heating be on - it won't, not driving far enough to warm engine. I cracked - because I cannot accept that his mind has gone so far - he was a high-level technician among other things - SURELY he must still remember the workings of a motor? I am on a total knife-edge, and I hate it. Lots of fascinating/challenging things to do - but my concentration is permanently disturbed. I HAVE to be decisive now, cling to important things, treat my husband like an annoying mosquito - psychiatrists, supposed to support - are now just saying that the condition is worsening - only thing they can work on is adjusting medicaments so there is a chance I might sleep. I'm not a moaner at heart - still (viz Lex above) absorbing new things, taking an interest in the future - planning new house, doing budgets, actually advertised an 'open week-end' for everything in my shop next week-end - includes major exhibition of church history - but my head's like cotton wool - my normal inner strength, thanks to whatever deity/good angel looking over me,is ebbing fast. I am managing half an hour sleep/relaxing at mid-day, must have put fear of God into Mr TG, he actually leaves me alone.

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 3:25pm

Dearest G, you know we ALL want to support you. I'm reminded of a proverb, "it's the little flies that spoil the perfumer's oil." If we were to reverse this, it is the tiny joys - fairies perhaps - that bring the most subtle and sublime scent of hope. For you, Dear G, I'm convinced it is tiny victories that must sustain you. This will all pass, I know. What can we do to strengthen you? Just ask. L'x

Paul Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 5:25pm

Another very good blog Lex
I don't know whether it's an age thing (59) or its linked to my low moods, but I find it really difficult to make decisions. Even driving the car deciding which route to take can be hard work. Looking forwards to the rest of the alphabet Lex
Paul


Joke ( I used to be indecisive but now I'm not sure)

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 6:37pm

Best joke today, Paul... as long as we're laughing, it's way better than that whole, "Fat lady sings" thing! L'x

The Gardener Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 5:49pm

Dear Lex - I think there is no more than just 'being' there to write out my problems and 'let fly'. I'm not joking, but all the care I've had from you people is worth a fortune in psychiatric fees. I suppose I was a bit big-headed - I thought I could cope with this enemy where others have failed. You will probably have gathered that in my life I have coped with many problems - but this one cannot be solved - there is no logic, no reasoning. I've tried writing it out 'academically' with a writer/academic friend, a terrific correspondent - but you can't attack it like an essay, gather your material, organise it, then write it out with beginning, the meat of it, and the conclusion. My pride is definitely hurt, and I'm bored stiff - no social life, no 'big' projects because no hope of being able to concentrate. Ideas still come flooding in (my brain, thank God? is still a fertile bit of soil). Perhaps in my life I was a spoiled brat, especially having such an extraordinary rich retirement - and the loss, truly, of nearly everything is trying my character, which is not showing up too well at the moment.

LillyPet Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 6:12pm

Dear TG, You will get there. Things will change. You will gave a social life again and live a rewarding life again. You are enduring this enormous challenge on hardly any sleep and still keeping so much else going.if you can termporarily scale anything back and focus on essentials you may conserve some energy. The moaning is bound to be annoying, I'd have to block at least some of it out somehow. Maybe make a decision today. Big, small, just a start, whatever, but make one that will make a difference. Off to reluctantly make a start on mine. Best wishes TG. So glad you're here. Big hug, LP xxx

LillyPet Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 6:13pm

Temporarily ;)

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 6:39pm

Dearest G, I think you've given us all the encouragement we need to continue to be a support. That was a lovely thing to say. Now, I'm going to bleat on again about Mind Mapping. Do you use the technique? L'x

LillyPet Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 5:59pm

Hi Lex, I like the deciding to start idea, it seems less daunting than the decision to achieve a big goal.
So the big one is I have decided to start to loose a stone and a half in the new year.
There! A committment made amongst friends! :) who knows whether I'll find the determination and will power to excercise more and eat less, but I can start by cutting out all cake, puddings and chocolate
(except a little bit of dark for emergency backup!)
I've just decided to start putting away the mountain of clean washing and clothes that's been hanging over me for an eternity. I'll start now, who knows how far I'll get before I've had enough!
These things are trivial in the grand scheme of things I know, but small achievements towards them might feel good and procrastinating about them doesn't! Ugh! Here goes! :(
LP :)xx

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 6:41pm

Yay! Way to go, LP... and you know where to appraise me of your progress! You do know that the evidence is that you are 10x more likely to be successful now that you've gone public? L'x

LillyPet Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 10:36pm

That must be true! Today's decision sorted and some! mini stepper iut and quietly waiting in the corner to come out of retirement come the new year! We'll see! Joking aside, thanks for a boost of inspiration Lex! :) xx

the room above the garage Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 6:52pm

Like Paul, decision making is a tough one for me. I can't even decide whether to fess up that I feel so rubbish today (physical not mental!) that I can't reply properly. Ah there. Many thank yous Lex, I'm grateful for this blog and will revisit tomorrow when my brain catches up X.

Lex Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 7:52pm

Perhaps each blog has its season, RATG? In your own time - it's not Mastermind, it's Moodscopemind! L'x

the room above the garage Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 9:45pm

Thank you lovely x.

LillyPet Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 10:55pm

Wishing you better ratg. Xx

The Gardener Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 8:32pm

Lilly Pet, thank you. Mr G is starting his 'run up' to his 'wilful childishness' at bed time. We've had a GOOD evening. Phoned d-in-law and exchanged giggles about our crazier Christmas experiences. Three-way conversation with eldest son - with his Pappa joining in - prompted by awful UK weather, we remembered Land rover and huge caravan, 3 sons 7, 5 and 1 stuck in Cornwall with most of England covered in snow in 1963 and cutting us off from home. We eventually had to leave the caravan in Mere and fetch it later. The point of this is that my husband remembered and joined in. We then had a nice meal and listened to Flanders and swann, which amused him. So, no moans. BUT all this had to be instigated by me. I get much criticism because people say he is 'ill' and can't help it. But he has never instigated anything - always enjoyed what I have planned - and, in all honesty, has never blamed me when, especially in the manic states years ago things got a bit out of hand. Now, to entertain him at all, it needs a whole team - at respite there are always two girls (trained, of course) to 6 'patients' and sometimes the girls are at the end of their tether at the end of 6 hours. And they have psychiatric nurses and a medical team behind them if someone 'flips' (which does happen).Will try Lex's 'mind mapping' going into limbo? at the endless repetition - walking away when the riling starts - making a real plan for the evenings (worst time for Mr G, and I am nearly out for the count). How's that for starters? Bit Utopian?

LillyPet Mon, Dec 28th 2015 @ 10:47pm

It sounds fantastic! Am whooping and cheering you on! So glad to hear that you have a bit of support and have had a good evening.
Am looking forward to hearing about how the decisions go and am interested to hear more about Lex's mind mapping. LP xx

Mj Tue, Dec 29th 2015 @ 12:20pm

Lex, I am so with you & others ready to decide!! I think maybe part of my plan to address binge eating and drinking will be to get support for my efforts and encouragement when I falter. Social butterflying is NOT my strong suit. So making a commitment to that is a bit frightening. If anyone is reading this and wants to join me please send an email to mjparkmdiv@aol.com. Maybe together we can make some SMART goals together.
Peace to all for the new year and thank you Lex
for being you!
Margaret

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