From The Storyteller
June 17, 2019, Nudges
“Why did I do that?” These words reflect my thoughts after sending a $400 check to an unknown person, based on a promised future “phone deal”. I also repeated this sentence after my oil well deal, and my big bet on a “sure thing” poker hand. Money’s gone, good deal's vanished, and the reoccurring answer to my question was, “It seemed like a good idea at the time”. Unfortunately, this answer is not helpful because, while it is an honest answer, it offered no suggestions for improving.
Enter the “nudge”.
It came in the form of an idea to change my focus from “Why did I do that” to “How do I feel when I’m in the process of making a decision”. The change, from a focus on results to a focus on what I’m feeling, is huge. Ultimately my question became “Does this feel right, or do I feel uneasy?” Simply put, when it doesn’t feel right – avoid.
This particular “why” to “how” story occurred roughly 35 years ago, and while I can’t explain it, this does reflect how something very important works in my life. “Nudges” happen to all of us, and I choose this word because I experience them more as suggestions rather than commands. Other terms like gut feelings, intuition, inspiration, or simply great ideas often identify the same experience.
I’ve found that when I add a “nudge’s” suggestion into my decision making process, the outcome is better. I have no idea where “nudges” come from, and I feel like Arthur Miller, the playwright, when asked, “Where does your work originate?” He simply said, “If I knew I would go there more often.”
I’ve been nudged to share an experience I can’t explain. Hopefully you can relate.
Moral: I can’t explain an ice cream experience either.