The second of a three part Planning for Action series with tips for transformation.
On average, we make 35,000 decisions a day - whew - no wonder we’re tired. Whether you flossed this morning may not alter the course of your life, but changing your job or starting a business sure will. If you’re prone to hem and haw rather than make a decision, it’s time to take heart.
“It is vital that when educating our children’s brains, we do not neglect to educate their hearts.” Dalai Lama
Emotions plays a part in what you decide whether you rely on the Magic 8 Ball, a pros and cons list, or fancy decision matrix. In 2020, thanks to Daniel Goleman, we can all agree Emotional Intelligence is a ‘thing’. Studies show it is a more important determinate of success than cognitive intelligence. So why isn’t heart hard-wired into decision models…Or is it?
The relationship between emotions and the mind has been studied for centuries. Ronald de Sousa, in The Rationality of Emotion, wrote: “Emotions are...the function where mind and body most closely and mysteriously interact.” So why does the brain still get top billing, and trusting your emotional guidance system rolls in the credits? We know that physiological cues, with access to our memories, experiences and value system, provide important sensory feedback to help us contextualize our decisions.
“My heart was pounding.”
“My throat went dry.”
“It just felt right.”
Neuroscience now confirms more messages come from the heart to the brain than vice-versa. It’s time to move over brain. Our gut instinct and heart-felt emotions are the new kid in town, ready to make for better, more informed decisions.
Adding the power of emotions to the mind’s capacity, builds mental and emotional coherence. You get the power of BOTH your heart AND your head! Being aligned to your inner guidance, you have a greater ability to reach your goals, faster, through better decisions.
Adding heart to decisions keeps you connected to your authenticity and aligned to your values. It may not take you down the data and analysis path - but you will head toward what is right for you. Think about those times you didn’t listen to your inner wisdom. [Yeah, didn’t work out so well for me either.] The heart’s care, kindness and compassion increases the love and positive energy flowing through our system – welcome additions in these busy, challenging times.
Whatever you do …
Make a call
Taking heart doesn’t mean going slow. We all know that every successful entrepreneur from Gates to Branson adheres to Picasso’s wisdom: “Action is the foundational key to all success.” You’ll still need to make a decision to act! So stay connected to your inner wisdom, your heart, through meditation and mindfulness practices, and you’ll remain close to your head-heart powerhouse. You can take decisions more quickly and confidently when connected to your heart.
Next choice, take heart
We have countless forks in the road. Decisions made with limited information that affect our lives. Take heart knowing you have a built-in phone-a-friend. When next you find yourself, in front of ‘two roads diverged in a yellow wood’, you can smile, take a deep breath, and be rest assured. Your brain, latest research and neuroscience all give you permission, to ’follow your heart.’