Often in life, we find ourselves on auto -pilot. We get into routines and we often turn our mind off when going through actions or making decisions. It happens… But sometimes, we need to remember that little voice that tells us not to buy the Jumbo sized Parmesan, because we don’t really need it.

What’s this about Parmesan? I was thinking about my little voice – the conscious one that helps me make better decisions, and remembering one time when I was grocery shopping. I was wandering the aisles… picked up some supplies for making pasta and salad, and remembered I needed some Parmesan cheese. I ambled to the Parmesan section, and saw that a Jumbo Family Sized 1KG pack of Parmesan was on sale for only $7.99! Auto pilot kicked in, figuring the sale was a great idea, and I popped the mega-Parm into my cart. Then, the little voice spoke up: “Do you really need 1KG of Parmesan?” I thought to myself No, I don’t. A short, in-my-head conversation ensued regarding the fantastic value of the 1KG mega-Parm vs. paying almost $5 for less than 1/4 the size. Ultimately, the voice won. Why? Because it’s the voice of reason!

What does a 1KG pack of Parmesan have to do with real life? Well, we often have this voice of reason silenced in real life. Ive been practicing clicking off the auto-pilot button, and taking time to listen to this voice. It’s amazing what taking 5-10 extra seconds to make a decision can do for you. From Parmesan to bigger life decisions, it really pays off to take one step back from things before you just say yes and drop the mega-Parm into your cart, or buy that sweater you like but don’t need, or agree to helping a friend re-paint their entire house for free…

Making good decisions in life is not as difficult as we think. We’re just so used to being on auto-pilot that we often don’t take that extra time (often simply a few seconds) to really evaluate what we want and what we need, and then act appropriately. It’s just a matter of correctly evaluating the problem and taking time to come up with solutions – and then choosing one that works best and is not necessarily just the easiest. Life is so busy, it becomes easier just to make the auto-pilot decisions. I find myself in more knots when I have not taken the time to think about my decisions and actions. Obviously, for me it’s a work in progress, and probably always will be. But the key is awareness!