Although this thought process I am about to talk about has been around for centuries, I believe it needs some revamping. One of the biggest problems I find when talking to people is their imbalance between emotion and logic. For instance, if someone is highly controlled by their emotions they are more likely to make decisions based on illogical reasons. Like someone who buys a dog because it looks sad sitting in its cage at the pound. This is simply not a logical decision. There are YEARS of picking up doo-doo and buying dog food that comes along with a decision like that. On the other hand, being too logical can keep a person from following their heart and feeling the emotions that come along with life. All too often logical people put up a defense against the outside world because, logically, it is in their best interest to avoid feeling negative emotions. No risk, no reward. So, what’s the solution?
A logical approach to emotions. Since emotions, by nature, are out of control and logical is all about control, a delicate combination of the two is best for achieving happiness in life. To illustrate the value of such an approach, consider the following:
I’m sure at some point in your life you have allowed yourself to have stronger feelings for someone than you meant to. This is an emotional decision, and is therefore out of control. I mean, why else do they call it falling in love? Now, with a divorce rate of over 50% in this country, it seems that a lot of people make the mistake of following their emotions, without logical consideration of important details. The saying, “love is blind,” illustrates this point perfectly. Allowing yourself to be completely blinded by your emotions is like walking into Macy’s, closing your eyes, and buying the first thing you put your hands on. Is it going to fit right? Will you even like it when you open your eyes? Is it worth the hassle of going back to the store to return it in two weeks? Most of the time, it’s not. So why do it? Why not open your eyes, walk around, and select what you want based on certain criteria? THEN make the decision to buy, or to fall in love, in this analogy.
My point here is that the vast majority of the bad decisions we make in our lives are emotionally driven. Rarely does someone look at a product in a store, decide they do not like it, and buy it. It’s emotional. So why do we still approach decisions in this way? If logical considerations are made before one commits to something, then most problems can be avoided.
So, how does one do this? Well, I assure you, it is not as hard as it seems. First, you have to have an awareness of your own emotions. When approaching a decision involving them, one should always ask themselves: What is driving my decision here? Would I advise someone else to do what I’m going to do? If the answers to those questions are “emotions” and “probably not,” then you should really reconsider what you’re doing. Stepping outside of YOU and looking back is the best way to see the logic in the decision that’s being made. Before driving away, check your mirrors, strap on your seatbelt, and know where you going. Then… just enjoy the drive.