Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Two-Pronged Decision Making

When making difficult or life-changing decisions, there are two levels of decision making we go through. One level is the rational, conscious mind. The mind is the part that considers all the options, weighs the pros and cons, and compares the metrics against your personal goals. The second level is subconscious and instinctive, sometimes called the human heart (not to be confused with the organ that pumps blood). The heart makes decisions using instincts and biases honed from your own life experiences and baser needs such as fear, anger, or self-preservation.

When you find yourself hesitating or unsure or conflicted about a particular decision, more often than not the reason is because your heart and mind are at odds. Your rational mind weighs all the factors and comes to a decision, but your heart has also made a decision and they disagree. Moving past your hestiation means giving more weight to one or the other. It will often be better to find a way to resolve those differences instead. This means asking your mind to probe into your heart’s concerns. Sometimes the rational mind will be able to use reason to allay the instinctive fears of the heart. Sometimes the subconsious heart will be able to identify something that the conscious mind has overlooked.

When heart and mind are one, this is no guarantee that it will be the correct decision (neither side can see into the future after all), but you can make the decision without regret knowing your full self has approved of it.

Posted by under post at #decision making #Self improvement
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