Tag Archives: decision making

Thought #48. Follow your nose.

Learning how to be guided by natural instincts could help us thrive in life. Strangely enough, very few people are used to relying on intuition. By all accounts, rationality is synonymous with lacking faith in our sixth sense. Then, if both approaches, rational and instinctive, seem to be at odds, how can we marry them?

If we could go back to our origins, when the first life on earth struggled to survive, we would, in all likelihood, see how the inborn intuitive power of living creatures came into its own. Yet we cannot help but believe that it should have gone that way.

Besides ignoring the past, we have been taught to believe that human reason equals sanity. Can we make conscious decisions by following our gut instincts? Consciousness and normality is hardly ever used when talking about intuition.

However, we use it all the time. Every day, we make life-and-death decisions unconsciously. For example, we stop at a red light or let the soup cool. But, most commonly, we make thousands of wise decisions without even thinking about them: brush your teeth first thing in the morning, close the door when leaving home, buckle your seat belt when driving to work, answer your mum’s call, etc.

Going on automatic pilot prevents your brain from being overwhelmed, from crashing. If we had to consider every action separately, we would never leave home in the morning. Sometimes, it takes us too much time to come to a conclusion before deciding. It would be advisable to optimise this process.

Why we do not we learn to use our natural instincts more frequently? Why not use them when making conscious decisions? From my point of view, spontaneous people welcome change and that is the crux. In other words, fear of change could be tantamount to excess of rationality.  By acting instinctively, we save time and effort and that gives us the opportunity to concentrate on those tasks that really require such a concentration.

Let you hair down and if the opportunity presents itself, give a chance to your animal instinct.

Thought #41. Look on the bright side.

However hard you try, nothing seems to work. This is a situation which may sound all too familiar to most of people. When we find ourselves on the horns of a dilemma, especially when there are too many clouds on the horizon, it is challenging to make the right choice. A dilemma normally involves two equally undesirable alternatives. And still, if you look on the bright side, the fact of having the choice is by itself something good enough.

How we learn to make conscious decisions is probably the crucial question. In order to broaden your experience in the art of decision-making, take into account that fear is the worst enemy. Fear of change, particularly, has been broadly studied by psychologists and researchers all over the world. I would say that we normally tend to exaggerate the importance of our own dilemmas. Inwardly, it may seem the most important ones but, if you openly share your problem with, for example, a friend, a new point of view could melt your niggling worries.

Coldly considering the action of making decisions can improve the chances of success. You can weigh your alternatives, but most importantly, you must let your hair down and try to wind down. A put off decision is better than a hastily made. Sometimes, however hard you try, nothing will work until you manage to stand back from your quandary. This little space between you and your problems might be enough to discover some overlooked facts that could tip the balance firmly in favour of an apparently worse choice.