The heart or the mind, or what to follow when making the most important decisions?

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It takes approx. 4 minutes to read this article

The art of decision making sooner or later comes down to a dilemma: to follow your heart or your reason? Of course, both styles have their advocates. However, much depends on a person’s disposition and what the doubt is about

Emotionality or rationality? A very difficult choice

When faced with extremely difficult dilemmas, the conflict between heart and reason is very common. Rationally approaching the issue, the solution usually seems simple, but a specific kind of gut feeling or intuition, coming from nowhere, steers us in the opposite direction

Cultural context

It is worth noting that even cultural contexts have a great influence on whether we choose reason or heart. The behavior of the title character in Johan W. Goethe’s “The sufferings of young Werther” can hardly be described as rational. Following his heart led him to his doom – but he became a true idol of people living in the Romantic era. This does not change the fact that only a few decades earlier such an archetype of hero would have been condemned or even ridiculed. We too may be more steeped in one of these two traditions. It is now more about the influence of environment than even personal predisposition.

The need to know oneself

Without knowing your personal preferences, it is difficult to consciously agree to follow your heart or the criteria of rationality

Advantages and disadvantages of following reason

Admittedly, both positions are somewhat stereotyped. The person who uses reason is usually portrayed as someone who does not tend to go astray, always chooses according to calculation, and is simply efficient. This is the bright side of being common sense when making decisions in life

Being guided by reason can be exaggerated

Unfortunately, but the world around does not necessarily paint optimistic colors for such a person. The primacy of efficiency over heart may also strip us of our imagination and dreaminess. It may turn out that we slightly lower our own ambitions and limit our possibilities, because after all, we “have to stay firmly on the ground”. Is that a good thing? Not necessarily

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

Pros and cons of following your heart

A person who follows their heart may come across as much less concrete and most likely is. Hence, life’s decisions may involve serious dilemmas that are difficult to overcome. With the reflexes of the heart seem to combine empathy and kindness

In company, we very often feel better with a person who puts heart before reason. It’s easier to go on a spontaneous and crazy hitchhiking trip with her, go shopping, and do a thousand little things that aren’t important but are sometimes enjoyable. In truly difficult situations, however, cloyingness does not seem to be a good counselor, and we do not appreciate people who shield themselves from difficult choices with affection.

Being able to weigh the consequences

In practice, it’s not a very good idea to stand firm on decisions motivated by both hard calculation and gusto. It’s easy to fall into the trap of being consistent and sticking to the one path you’ve chosen, from which you can’t deviate, because your rational or romantic ego will suffer. In reality, life is different – it requires flexibility and compromise. Difficult decisions should be analyzed on many levels, you can not make them arbitrarily or in the name of whim. Sometimes it is even necessary to change the decision. Insisting only on reason or only on the heart seems to be a weak convention that must be discarded. It is by this attitude that one recognizes the maturity of the other person

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

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