The Classical Dilemma between the Head and the Heart
Why do we have such a hard time making decisions?
The same voice in your mind that told you to act, is the same voice that usually ridicules you later for making that choice. Unfortunately, it’s typical in our society to feel a conflict between what we want to do (our heart) and what we feel is practical (our mind). We end up living one third of our lives in a cubicle for the “benefits.” For me as a Motivational Speaker, I struggle with the travel required but love the work. We stay friends with people we only kind of like. We do and say things to fit in and seem cool that really go against what we feel is right in our hearts. Is your heart at fault? Are your feelings just silly and frivolous? Or maybe it’s your mind that is to blame. It might seem like it’s always coming up with conflicting messages anyway. And on it goes and we never really seem to get to it. There’s a lot of social conditioning that covers up and obscures things too. Even if you really feel like that’s the right choice, how do you know for sure? How do you know it’s not just what you think you should do?
All of this might sound a little over the top, but it’s a real problem. It ruins lives because people can’t make up their minds about whether or not the path of their heart is valid or not. They end up living a shadow of the possibility that they could. All because they couldn’t make up their mind. We are so afraid of making the wrong decision, so we make NO decisions. There’s a simple answer to this problem. It might seem even a little too simple. But most things are. I am a big believer that when we need to make decisions, you must think about and literally feel how the decision feels in your body. So think about both sides of the decision and take a big breath in. If it energizes you when you think about that decision, then it’s the right decision. If it causes you to feel any amount of stress or tension, then It’s the wrong decision. Not quite convinced? Well read on…
“We are so afraid of making the wrong decision, so we make NO decisions.” Linda Edgecombe @lindaedgecombe
Avoid confusing the purpose of the heart and mind.
The main reason we suffer from this illness of indecision, is that we’ve mistaken the purpose of heart and mind. The heart is like a compass – its purpose is to guide the direction our lives should take. Our heart takes a bird’s eye view on our life and says “this is where you are and this is the direction you need to go.” Our mind, on the other hand, isn’t made for making purpose-driven decisions. The nature of the mind is that it conceptualizes, organizes and compares information. It does this as best it can and says; “here are the facts, here are both sides of the story.” If we compare our mind and heart to a courtroom, our mind would be the defendant and the plaintiff (both stories) and our heart would be justice or the judge (the right direction). The reason we’re so troubled by this conflict of “Head vs. Heart” is that the mind is not only playing the prosecutor and the defense, but has taken over the role of the judge as well. The mind should never be the judge. The mind’s job is to compare and contrast. To sort things out and say “this is what I’ve got, do what you want with it.” But more often than not, our mind isn’t doing that. Our mind is making our choices. What’s worse, is even when we don’t need our mind to be at work, it’s still going. Comparing and contrasting everything. Brooding, mostly. Have you ever noticed that even when it’s completely unnecessary to think about anything, your mind is still going? Have you noticed that when this is happening, your mind is getting in the way of your experience? Just a few examples of this that come to mind are: sex, watching a sunset, or taking a shower. A mind really doesn’t need to be thinking while doing these things. There’s no point. At all.
Tame the mind. Before we can get the mind to take a break when we don’t need to be incessantly thinking, we have to make friends with it first. If we try to tell our mind to go away, or that we don’t need it, we’ll just encourage it all the more. Instead of a retreat we’ll get a resurgence. We don’t want that. So if we want to end the conflict of head and heart, we’ve got to figure out a way to marry this disparate pair. Remember at the start, we suggested that the answer to this problem is simple? Well, it is. But it won’t be easy at first, because we’ve been doing it all wrong for so long. Mind based decisions has become our ‘default’ setting. What we have to do is only use our mind to go with ourselves (heart based) (Intuition) (gut) (energetically). We have to learn to constantly rely on our decisions to be “with ourselves.”
Think about each of your decisions. When deciding what phone to get or who to marry or whether you want to stay at your current job.
- Gain information: What is the implied benefit of the decision? Will it be something you’ll ever regret? Although your mind may be telling you that the temporary benefit of a bad decision will be a wise one, in your heart you may still know that it’s not the best thing to do. Seek information about it and evaluate in your mind.
- Identify problems: What might go wrong? Will you feel good after making the decision?
- Explore options: Think about what’s best for you, and most of the time doing what your heart tells you to do is the best choice.
- Implement a plan and make a choice. Learn from your mistakes and try, try again.
- Doing this due diligence, especially on Big Decisions, takes any remorse away, once the decision is made. Trust yourself, once you have put this time in.
By listening to your heart, you can train your mind to think like it and eventually get them to work in harmony.
Keep practicing to fall into this new habit.
Have you ever wondered how to tell whether a decision is right? It seems so difficult, doesn’t it? But it becomes so easy when you think, “Is this choice going with me, or against me?” You’ll find that the right choice is immediately evident. If you can learn to practice this every time you Make the choice today. Just try it out. For one day, practice making all your decisions based on, “is this decision going with me or against me. Go with yourself.
Please keep me posted on how you do.