How To Trust Your Gut
A Guide To Help You Making The Best Possible Decisions Of Your Life
- • The Reasoning Pros and Cons Decision
- • The Overwhelming Heart Decision
- • The Biased Choice Decision
- • The Guts Decision
- • Conclusion
- Rumour says that there was a sign in Albert Einstein’s office that read that ‘not everything that can be counted counts not everything that counts can be counted’. This would be a good definition of gut instincts. While they seem unaccountable, they are at the same time responsible for most of the decisions that people are led to take every day.
- Most people like to refer to the powerful woman’s instincts, which are said to be superior to man’s! However, there is at first little indication about how you should be taking the best possible decisions in your life. Is it the guts? Is it the head? Is it the heart? What should you be listening to? And how to trust your gut? Surprisingly, there isn’t a common rule: There is a variety of decisions and situations, and therefore a variety of options to follow. The best way to tackle them appropriately is to understand what our best assets are in each situation. Want to find out more? This little guide is here to help you take better decisions.
‘Not everything that can be counted counts, not everything that counts can be counted’
I. The Reasoning Pros & Cons Decision
- There are decisions that at first seem to call for an emotional response. One of the most common examples that you will have to face in your life is to decide how to take care of your ageing relatives. While you may want to keep the family connection strong and to take care of them in the comfort of your home, most seniors will have different needs. For a start, more and more seniors remain active and want to stay independent.
- As much as you want to show that you care, they will prefer to join these senior assisted living communities that provide all the facilities that they need. This will keep them socially and physically active and satisfied, which is something that you can’t offer as a home carer. Additionally, it is not uncommon for older adults to need specific care, that you will not be able to provide, while senior independent living communities and nursing homes can offer long term costs for care for physical and mental health issues. For this type of decisions, it is essential that you learn to ignore your emotional involvement to focus on the essential: Who can best provide what is needed?
II. The Overwhelming Heart Decision
- Some decisions are taken without you even realising that they happen. They relate to situations that are connected to your protective instinct. For example, if you were to witness a child fall and cry, your first reaction would be to run at his or her side and check that everything is okay – that is if nobody does it before you. You don’t even need to be a parent or to know the child; this is a genetically embedded behaviour.
- If you love heartwarming stories, you have probably come across the label faith in humanity restored. This is commonly used to described a tragic situation that has been changed for the better only through love. Animal rescues are a favourite here, and you know that you would do the same without thinking twice. This heart decision, as it is called, is actually pre-coded in your DNA. You are simply programmed to protect those who need it, regardless of the cost.
III. The Biased Choice Decision
- Every day in life is filled with choices to make, from what to wear to which phone to buy. The variety of choice has created a new meaning for the expression of free will. Indeed, with a palette of similar products offering the same advantages to the buyer, it can seem that free will is a road paved with impossible choices. Except for one simple thing: It’s called bias, and you use it all the time to take more of your lifestyle decisions.
- You will choose a smartphone from a brand that, you feel, represents a social ideal to aspire to, for example. When you are looking to repaint your kitchen, the colour you pick will be a mix of how much you actually like the shade and how trendy the colour’s name was – a paint called fresh trout, for instance, will sell better than the one called dead salmon.
IV. The Guts Decision
- Any successful entrepreneur story has told it before and will continue to tell: Trust your guts. What that actually means is that trusting your guts is the fastest way to make an informed decision. Why? Because you rely on the collection of your past and subconscious experiences to come to a choice or a solution. As a result, the decision you make is not uninformed; it is based on a personal information drawn from life. This reduces the time you waste overthinking your next move. Simply go with the flow of your experiences instead.
- As surprising as it might sound, your guts are valuable allies when you are building a first impression of a person or a case. First impressions are the echo of your experiences and subconscious: It’s the guts speaking. According to psychological studies, you often know when your first impressions are accurate. As a lot of important decisions in life are made after brief encounters – whether to hire a candidate or to date someone –, it’s good to know that you can often rely on your gut feelings to show you the way.
- After all, the best decisions you can take, are decisions that are adapted to the situation. You can only rely on your guts when you encounter an already known situation or personality, for instance. But pros and cons processes are still the best when you face a new situation in which your decision will impact on the well-being of someone else. Instinctive heart decisions will still occur when you expect it less, and they will make you feel a lot better about yourself for following your natural protective instincts. However, before you decide on anything, you need to acknowledge and manifest your desires and know whether they should matter for the decision that you are about to take. If they don’t, ignore them and focus on the arguments that are relevant to the matter.
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