Are you satisfied with how you make decisions? Do you use your logical mind, your feelings, or your intuition? Would you like to make conscious, appropriate and more successful choices?
Especially now in this modern age, we often have many choices. Sometimes, all of our options become overwhelming. Also, because things are changing so fast, many individuals often find themselves in situations where new decisions are necessary.
The questions go on and on. Where do I want to live? Who do I want to socialize with? What job or career should I pursue? Where can I go on vacation? How should I deal with my money? Should I get involved in a relationship? What can I do to be a more successful parent? How can I balance my life better?
In the course of counseling many clients as a Marriage, Family Therapist, I noticed that there are basically three ways people often decide things. The first one I will refer to as the logical choice. This is very appropriate in many but not all situations. It is good to listen to your logical mind (left part of our brain) when you are dealing with logical issues.
Some examples are: balancing a check book, business problems and planning a budget. The logical mind offers rational, linear thinking that can help you see things in reality, in black and white. It also contributes to your common sense which is very helpful in many situations.
A second way to make decisions is with your feelings (the right part of your brain) even though the choice may not be logical and may appear irrational. For example, you may have an opportunity for a certain job or relationship that logically looks right. However, you may decline either one or both because your “heart is not in it.” If you want to be happy, your feelings need to definitely be considered.
For example, Jane, a thirty-six year old wife and mother loved her husband and children and had a very high paying job in the computer industry. But Jane was miserable. Logically, she had everything most people desire, including a beautiful home and two cars. But Jane was depressed because she hated her career. Obviously, her feelings and her logic were in conflict. This caused her confusion and guilt feelings. During the counseling sessions, Jane admitted to herself that she wanted to quit her job, even though the family would have less income, and pursue an acting career.
Fortunately, her husband who loved her in a healthy way (he wanted her to be happy) supported his wife to explore her dreams. It was such a joy to see Jane glowing on the stage in her first comedy play.
An example of the third way people take actions based on their intuition is with the case of Stephen, a fifty year old salesman. He had a gut feeling not to take the plane he had previously scheduled for a business trip. Trusting his intuition, Stephen called ahead and made arrangements to take a later flight. The first plane had problems, and Stephen avoided being stranded out in a small city where the airplane had to make a forced landing. He followed his sixth sense which is a very wise part of us.
I am one of many people who learned the hard way how valuable my intuitive messages can be. I was once speaking to a woman, Marion, who was starting a wonderful organization. She asked me to help her create it and be one of the speakers. What Marion said sounded great, logical and exciting to be part of.
However, my intuition had doubts that she was healthy enough to succeed. Ignoring my sixth sense, I invested money, time and energy into the project only to find out that Marion had many personal problems that prevented her from fulfilling her goal. I learned my lesson and now I always check in on what wise information my intuition whispers to me.
As far as relationships are concerned, clients often admitted that their intuition told them the relationship would not work (love is not enough) and they could have avoided a lot of pain if they had listened.
In conclusion, I have discovered that most of the time the best way to make decisions is to check in on your logical mind, your feelings, and your intuitive messages. Since each of the three parts of you has a different perspective, you have a good chance of seeing all the pieces and then making the right decision at that time.
If you find yourself weak in certain areas, then you can find someone that you trust to offer you the other viewpoints before you make your decision. When you have eliminated your blind spots and considered all the information the three parts can offer, you are likely to make more successful choices and experience more fun, satisfaction and happiness in every area of your life.