Saturday, June 12, 2021

Half Past 21 - Our Quarterly Deliberation

There is a Stoic action pattern that my wife and I follow. When we need to make an important decision, we rely on three key practices: hesitation, deliberation, and reservation.

Hesitation simply means to slow down, to not jump to conclusions from incomplete data, to allow emotions to inform but not distort our perceptions. Hesitation tells us to wait and gather our strength before making the decision.

Reservation is the practice of letting go of ultimate results, of acknowledging that though our action well-informed and well-intentioned, the facts are that we are not omniscient or omnipotent, and our actions, and in fact, all our lives are buffeted by the winds of a chaotic world.

Deliberation is the fulcrum on which our lives are balanced. This is the pivot point of action. It is the decisions that come before the actions.

Once, near the beginning of each quarter, we sit together to discuss the best path for our next three months. These are the Quarterly Deliberations. 

We use a handy five-point review to remind us of all the aspects of our lives we should consider as we strive to build a Flourishing Life:

  • Faith
  • Finance
  • Fitness
  • Fulfillment
  • Family
Once we have spent about three hours of in-depth conversation, checking balances, coordinating calendars, populating to-do lists, and communicating with friends and family, we can rest assured that we have done what we can with what we know to be as prepared as possible. But these are assumptions and subject to the vagueries of chance. Kind of like the rest of life, right?

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