Thinking Magically™ | A Minimalist’s Guide to Choice

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.

                                                                          – Amelia Earhart

Happy New Year! As you move into a new cycle of accomplishment and making things happen, I thought it would be both fun and instructive to dig deeply into a powerful method  – The Rubber Band Model – I use for coordinating my plans of action with my deeds. After all, merely thinking about your life without actually doing something to move in that direction really doesn’t take you very far. And . . . here’s an interesting thing to consider: perhaps the keys to your personal kingdom of prosperity are not as much about giving you an entrance to achievement as they are about giving you access to the fulfillment of having taken action to attain your elite goal.

I first learned of this Rubber Band concept in the book entitled The Decision Book by Mikael Krogerus and Roman Tschappeler. Robert A. Brugelman of the Stanford Graduate School of Business has opined on a like-minded, more complex, but similarly named model.

Imagine that you are being pulled in four directions by rubber bands and you must hold equal pressure in all directions to maintain harmony (to stay centered between the the four forces). You are always being drawn to somewhere else and being held in place at the same time. The first direction is how you talk to yourself internally (how you are internally programming yourself). The second direction is what it will take for you to win (your plan of action). The third is your activity (what you actually do in furtherance of your plan of action). And the fourth is the environment in which you find yourself (your chosen reality). [NOTE: For those of you who would like to plot this theory into a medicine wheel or The Vitruvian Square, it would look like this: North =  Your Chosen Reality, East = Internal Talk, South = Your Plan of Action, West = Your Actions]

When you make a decision, then, you are constantly considering these four elements and how you will keep them in balance (even if such contemplation is at the subconscious level initially). For purposes of today, however, let’s only explore the more simplistic model from Krogerus’ and Tschappeler’s book. For this elementary approach, we will be combining all of Brugelman’s components for a decision into two factors.

The next time you have a decision to make and the choice is demanding, ask yourself these two questions:

What is holding you in place? (This question seeks to uncover how your internal dialogue, your life strategy, your deeds, and your achievements all collude to keep you right where you are. This is your fear of change and the level of your satisfaction.)

What is pulling you from where you are? (This question seeks to uncover how your internal dialogue, your life strategy, your deeds, and your achievements all collude to change things up a bit. This is your need for new things and the level of your discontent with your present situation.)

Once you get the answers to these two questions, you can readily understand, see, feel, or be touched by which of the responses is more intense, enabling, and potent than the other. You will then move in the direction of the strongest force (whether it is to stay where you are or be moved to a new place).

EXTRA CREDIT – A Deck of Shadows Reading

For some added perspective and guidance, you might consider transforming the foregoing technique into a compelling and clarifying reading.


STEP 1: From The Deck of Shadows, choose a card that represents the situation in which you find yourself. Place it face-up in front of you.

STEP 2: Mix and cut the cards until you are content.

STEP 3: Deal one card face-up to the left of your original chosen card. This card represents the temptation to keep the status quo and stay where you are.

STEP 4: Deal one card face-up to the right of your original chosen card. This card represents the allure of moving in a new direction, take risks, and change.

The cards to the let and right of the middle card represent the two positive powers that are enticing you. Ask yourself how you feel about each one. Then determine which one will rock your world if you do in that direction.

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© 2013 by Scott Grossberg. All Rights Reserved.

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