Mind over matter

In your strive for a balanced, happy life, have you ever come across the difficulty of negotiating between your head and your heart? Rationally you favour one course of action, but your gut tells you something else? It's frustrating at the best of times, and can turn downright annoying, and not to mention paralysing, at the worst. So how have you handled these situations in the past, is there a rule you can follow? I'd say it depends on the situation. I know this sounds vague and will turn off those of you who like things to be black or white. I know this because I'm one of you. It's philosophically safe to say though that we do not live in a world of absolutes. Everything is relative, even reality. After all, we do all have our very own perceptions of the things happening inside and around us. That can be frustrating too, but it's also a great lesson in tolerance and flexibility. But I digress - back to the situations: Say you're at work and your boss demands some dodgy paper-shredding of you. Your head says uh-huh... but your gut's not convinced. This is assuming you're an honest sort of person while your boss is involved in some criminal activity. In this case, listening to your gut may be the way to go, even though it will be tough in the short run what with refusing a direct order and getting into trouble with your boss, possibly even losing your job. However, in the long run, imagine you doing the shredding, the excrement eventually hitting the fan and you being put behind bars for assistance in the wrongful deed. No amount of "I felt I shouldn't have" will get you out of there, buddy.

Then take the recently split-up couple. Things had been rough for a while, words have been said that can't be taken back, one of you moves out. Of course this abrupt change leaves you unsettled, of course you still have feelings for the other, but you know full well that you won't be able to trust them again. Every time the phone rings you get butterflies, and you want to answer, but your head says no. You're hurt, you're protecting yourself, you need some time. But if it feels so good, how can it be wrong?

There's no rule when to follow either of our decision-making centers. In matters of the heart, the romantically inclined will listen to their heart. Does it always lead to Prince Charming? I doubt it. Yet at the same time, we don't want to think relationships through, because it's so rational, they never do that in the movies, and relationships just can't be rationalised like that. Feelings have to be taken into account. To spin the story a bit further, there are four possible endings as I see them: 1. you stay broken up but you never get over it and subsequently live a life of broken-hearted solitude, 2. you stay broken up, get used to it, and move on, 3. you get back together but realise it's been a mistake and break up for good a short while later, 4. you get back together and have a happy ending. I'm inclined to bet that whatever happens, no matter which result you end up with, you'll say in 99 % of the cases: "I knew it". So why not trust your instinct from the start, no matter where it's coming from?

As for those more rational situations, some say that there are simply things you have to do in order to get ahead in this world, whether you're comfortable with them or not. What good is money though if you can't sleep at night because your conscience keeps you awake? This goes back to the values-article I wrote two weeks ago, if you fancy having a look at it.

The decision, as always, lies with your good self. You have unlimited options how to lead your life, and it is your responsibility to check out the ones that appear most appealing. If head and heart can't come to a consensus, don't fret, just do. Toss a coin if need be. The only thing worse than indecision must be being stuck! Decision-making is nothing to be afraid of - if you get it wrong, you may not be able to go back, but you can change course and take another route at any time.

Til next time!