Logic vs. Heart: How Should You Make Big Decisions?

People will tell you that you should always make logical decisions. All decisions should be based on fact, on reason, on thinking, but not on emotion, they argue. I don’t completely disagree. There are a lot of decisions that should be based on fact. If you can get cell phone service that’s just as good but cheaper, that’s a logical decision with no emotion required. If your car needs to be repaired, of course you should make a logical decision about which mechanic to hire to fix it. But emotional decisions have their place, too.

If you find that a logical decision is eluding you, it might be because you need to use your heart instead.

Photo Credit: Dana Tentis on Pixabay


Logic doesn’t always apply

There are millions of decision that require logic and thinking. Those same decisions are also very often easy. There’s a list of facts, an easy pro and con list, or something else that makes the choice clear. Even if the choice later turns out to be wrong, there’s still something you can point to that explains why you made that choice.

But sometimes logic is only part of the equation. Other times, logic doesn’t apply at all.

Take having a baby, for example. There’s logic involved in determining whether you have the finances to support a baby, if your home is large enough, and if your health is good enough. But there’s much more to the decision than that. What about desire: do you want to have a baby? Do you feel ready to have a baby? Would you rather have a puppy instead?

What about starting a relationship? Logic tends to be out of place in those kinds of decisions. They’re made based on questions like do I like this person, what do we have in common, and do I want to spend that much time with them? Logic rarely comes into play in these decisions, though it’s not entirely out of the question.

Ignore logic if you’re struggling

If you’ve been struggling with a decision for a while, try ignoring logic. Ignore the people who tell you to think it over and make a reasonable decision.

Instead, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Take several deep breaths, if you need to, until you feel relaxed. Then ask yourself questions like the following:

  • What do I want to do?
  • If there were no consequences for my decision, what would I choose?
  • Gun to my head, I have to choose right now, what do I choose?

If the choices are limited, you can also try imagining yourself after making each decision. What happens to you? Are you happy? What about the people around you, how are they affected? Sometimes, when you imagine yourself in each potential outcome, you realize which one you really want.

Another thing you can try, still sitting with your eyes closed and relaxed, is simply waiting for something to bubble up. Don’t ask specific questions, don’t try to imagine yourself in scenarios. Just sit there and wait. Your heart, or your intuition, will eventually come forward with an answer. It will whisper to you what you really want to do. It knows, even when logic doesn’t.

Photo Credit: one_life on Pixabay


The hardest decisions are often emotional

The thing about logical decisions is that they usually lock us into the decision with the lowest amount of risk, not the one that will make us the happiest.

Using logic to decide whether to stay or leave an unhappy relationship, for example, is likely to lead to you staying, because you rely on their income to survive financially or you’re scared to try to date again. But using your heart might lead to you leaving because you know you’ll be happier if you free yourself to find the right person for you.

A logical decision about quitting your job will lead to you staying because you can count on the income, while the heart will tell you to quit and start that passion-based business you’ve always dreamed of.

If decreasing risk is what matters to you, then logic wins. But if you’ve been struggling for a long time with a decision, or if what you’re really searching for is happiness, give your heart a chance to have its say.

Give it a try. See what happens. You might find that many of the decisions you’ve been struggling with are resolved almost instantly just by changing which organ you use to make the decision.

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