We all spend a lot of time in life making decisions.
What is the best thing to do in a given situation, and what is the worst thing to do?
What is the thing we absolutely must do, and what is the thing we absolutely must never do?
And more than just spending time actually making decisions that come up, we also spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about how we will make the next decision that comes up. So, even when there is no decision on the horizon, we think about how we’ll handle something should it come up.
Although everyone is different, and some folks profess to spend much more time making decisions from their heart and not their head, most of us do use some amount of “head” thinking (or logic) when decision making. Why? Because we think this is smart. We think this shows an abundance of caution, care and consideration. We think this is the way to go.
But is it?
Recently I was having a discussion with a number of women friends about specific decisions on the horizon they faced. Some of these decisions related to kids — schools, babysitters, health issues. Some related to work — bosses, unfulfilling work, potential promotions. And some related to spouses — difficulties, arguments, times of trial. As we discussed these decisions, one of the women in the group started margin the discussion a bigger picture one.
Instead of saying, “Well, Mary, in the particular situation with your son, Ethan, have you thought about…” she said something wildly different.
Specifically, she said, “Well, Mary, how do you want to approach the decision? Do you want to think your way through it? Or feel your way through it?”
This stopped me in my tracks.
I am usually so wholly focused on thinking my way through decisions – and am convinced of the value of this – that I all too readily discard the importance of feeling in decisions. Additionally, the idea of “feeling your way through a decision”, to me, sounded very different than “making a decision with your heart” or making an emotional decision.
Even for this die-hard over-thinker, the concept of feeling your way through seemed a way to rethink how I think about decisions. And I left the women’s get-together that day wondering, “How can I feel my way a bit more through the decisions I need to make in life?”
And now, the question to you:
Do you need to learn to feel your way through your decisions?