This is by far the biggest challenge I deal with on a daily basis.
When you’re faced with a tough decision and your heart tells you one thing but then your head butts in and tells you the complete opposite.
It’s basically emotional vs. rational.
Most of my life (and I assume a lot of yours as well) I’ve been taught to use my head. Don’t do things spontaneously. Think about the decision overnight and re-evaluate when you wake up.
And sometimes that helpful tip is spot on.
But sometimes, no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to shake the emotional tie I have to something.
I think many of us have been raised in this society to think that the decision made solely on emotion is incorrect. That if you’re not using your head you’ll turn out massively regretting the decision somewhere down the line.
So for the first 26 or so years of my life, almost every decision I made was with my head. Or at least it was involved somewhat. And you know what?
I never made a catastrophic decision. I played by the rules, thought with my head, and did what was right.
And life was good – most of the time. But there was always this idea lurking in the back of my head. What if, just once, I made a big decision solely based on what I wanted emotionally. Not necessarily spontaneous, but one in which I could not rationalize but kept wanting. Day in and day out it was there.
Many of you know my story. I think the biggest life decision I have made to date was purely emotional. It went against everything rational in my head, but I did it anyway because I knew what I wanted.
And guess what? I survived.
Not only did I survive, but I am happier than I ever imagined I could have been making this decision.
Since that major life shift I have made a few more decisions based solely on emotion. I’ve learned a lot. Not necessarily from the successes but from the obstacles I ran into along the way.
So, why choose with your heart?
- The world will not end – I know your parents or friends or society have told you differently, but don’t be scared. Making big decisions based on intuition is viewed as unintelligent, irresponsible. But I can safely guarantee you, you will not lose everything if you decide to quit your boring office job to go work outside or focus on what lights a fire under your ass. Life may get hard. Shit, life may straight up suck for a while during the transition, but life will not end.
- Choosing with your heart is different. Different is a learning opportunity. And learning opportunities create amazing lives – Your brain rarely changes. It takes a lot of time and effort to change what you think is rationally smart. However your heart; the values, emotions, priorities DO change. What you care about today you may not care about 5 years from now. By following your head you’re always basing your decisions off of the same foundational information. Therefore, many decisions lead back to the same thing: a predictable, sustainable, safe, (boring) life. But when you choose your heart you never know what will happen. You are forced to talk to new people, live new places, learn new skills, and so on. As I said above, it’s hard work and scary at times but that doesn’t mean it was the wrong decision. In fact, I would offer that it’s because of that feeling that you made the right decisions.
- You choose yourself – Think back to the latest decision you made strictly with your head. What were some of the thoughts that crossed your mind to lead you to that decision? Many of us think rationally and make a decision based on what others would think, do, say, or feel. We make decisions that are seen as “obeying” the unspoken law of our responsibility. To act in a way in which everyone benefits (or at least nobody gets left out, hurt, etc.) But deep down, when you make a decision solely based on the rational side you do leave one person out. That person being you. When you choose with your heart you’re going with your gut. You’re doing what your body and spirit know what’s right. And every day after that when you wake up and are reminded of that decision there is an overwhelming sense of respect for yourself that follows. You chose what’s best for you and nobody can take that away.
There are many other reasons I can give you as to why you should start thinking more with your heart, but I can tell you one thing: If you make a decision by what your heart says you won’t regret it.
Take a second to think of a decision that’s been looming over you for a while. Maybe emotionally you know you want it a certain way but you’re letting the thought of what’s “right” get in the way.
Think about what can go wrong should you go 100% with your heart. What challenges might you face. Who in your life would be put in a bad spot? What could go wrong in the worst case scenario?
Now think about what could go right. What could you learn? Who could you be?