by John Yeo
How are you more likely to make an important decision — by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?
Now this question is not as straightforward as it looks, at first sight. My first instinct would be to say that whenever I make a personal important decision, I look at the obvious outcome from every conceivable angle, before I act. I would like to say that most of the major decisions I have made in my life have been the result of a very great deal of logical reasoning. However if the truth were to be systematically arrived at by thought and clear memory, there have been an extraordinary amount of split-second actions made by obvious split-second decisions.
Every day in the course of driving a car from point A to point B, many important decisions are taken in a flash to enable a safe journey. Should one overtake the slow-moving car in front? If the road ahead is clear then the decision to overtake is taken instantly. I would refer to this sort of decision as very important, as life and death is certainly involved. Yet this could be referred to as an instinctive reaction that doesn't require a great deal of prior thought at the time, as all the thought processes have already been in action to build up the instinct.
All the major important decisions in my life are usually the result of a great deal of prior thought and reasoning. The question above asks would you go with your gut feeling or reasoning a decision through? I would suggest that both angles of making a decision are usually important. In my view the gut feeling starts the process of the logical reasoning. For example if your gut feeling about a decision is negative, no reasoning is required as the decision will never need to be made.
All of the major decisions in life should never be taken lightly as the repercussions could be life changing, however this deliberation can be a terribly long process and the instinct is sometimes to go by the gut, or lose out on some unrepeatable opportunities.
Planning a vegetable garden is full of both types of decision. The type of crops to grow in the available space, and type of soil they will grow in, crop rotation to prevent the spread of disease. These are examples of very important decisions that require a great deal of thought and prior planning.
The gut feeling decisions are faced when a friend has surplus crops and you receive some totally unplanned for plants that you know nothing about and you just plant them, regardless of the risk of disease or crop failure.
Life is a an amalgam of many many prior decisions, some good, some bad, some very reasoned and well thought through, and a great many instant decisions based on a pure gut reaction.
If I were to be pinned down to answer this question one way or the other, my pure gut reaction would be to answer that I always reason and think things through, but that would certainly be a gut reaction!
Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.