Deciding for your highest and best interest

by Jill Sockman

So, I was giving some thought to how we make decisions. In personality tests, this process is often broken down into two categories: intellectual/factual or emotional/intuitive. As I understand it, most of us have a primary method (one or the other) as the place from which we decide.

I’d like to add another element, continuing on from my ramblings last month. How many of our decisions are truly decisions and not just default reactions? How many things do we do without much mindfulness or introspection? And even more, how many of our choices are based on erroneous beliefs and patterns of behavior (samskara!) instead of in-the-moment presence with what is best?

My answer is too many, and I want to change that. I’ve come to recognize that I make a lot of decisions that are in the best interest of others (or so I’d like to believe) and not really the best choice for me. What I am slowly, glacially beginning to understand is that if it’s not the right thing for me (in the bigger “highest and best” sort of way) it’s not the right thing for anyone else either. Seems simple enough, but a little tougher to implement when you’re not in the habit.

This is the thing about sva dharma- your own personal path/truth/way. When you are doing the right thing, at the right time for you, you’re actually serving the collective in ways more far reaching than you can imagine. We are all connected, and as you walk your own way with clarity and integrity, you are in exactly the right place to help others do the same. So as you make that next decision, maybe the first question to ask is, Is this in my highest and best interest? And go from there.