The same voice in your mind that told you to act is the same voice that ridicules you later for making that choice. Unfortunately, it’s typical in our society to feel a conflict between what we want to do (our heart) and what we feel is practical (our mind). We end up living one third of our lives in a cubicle for the “benefits.” We stay friends with people we only kind of like. We do and say things to fit in and seem cooling that really go against what we feel are right in our hearts. Is your heart at fault? Are your feelings just silly and frivolous? Or maybe it’s your mind that’s to blame. It might seem like it’s always coming up with conflicting messages anyway. And on it goes and we never really seem to get to it. There’s a lot of social conditioning that covers up and obscures things too. Even if you really feel like that’s the right choice, how do you know for sure? How do you know it’s not just what you think you should do?
All of this might sound a little over the top, but it’s a real problem. It ruins lives because people can’t make up their minds about whether or not the path of their heart is valid or not. They end up living a shadow of the possibility that they could. All because they couldn’t make up their mind. There’s a simple answer to this problem. It might seem even a little too simple. But most things are. Bruce Lee once said “The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.” First, let’s take a look at where this problem starts.
Avoid confusing the purpose of the heart and mind. The main reason we suffer from this illness of indecision, is that we’ve mistaken the purpose of heart and mind. The heart is like a compass - its purpose is to guide the direction our lives should take. Our heart takes a bird's eye view on our life and says “this is where you are and this is the direction you need to go.” Our mind, on the other hand, isn’t made for making purpose-driven decisions. The nature of the mind is that it conceptualizes, organizes, and compares information. It does this as best it can and says “here are the facts, here are both sides of the story.” If we compare our mind and heart to a courtroom, our mind would be the defendant and the plaintiff (both stories) and our heart would be justice or the judge (the right direction). The reason we’re so troubled by this conflict of "Head vs. Heart" is that the mind is not only playing the prosecutor and the defense, but has taken over the role of the judge as well. The mind should never be the judge. The mind's job is to compare and contrast. To sort things out and say “this is what I’ve got, do what you want with it.” But more often than not, our mind isn’t doing that. Our mind is making our choices. What’s worse, is even when we don’t need our mind to be at work, it’s still going. Comparing and contrasting everything. Brooding, mostly. Have you ever noticed that even when it’s completely unnecessary to think about anything, your mind is still going? Have you noticed that when this is happening, your mind is getting in the way of your experience? Just a few examples of this that come to mind are: sex, watching a sunset, or taking a shower. A mind really doesn’t need to be thinking while doing these things. There’s no point.
Tame the mind. Before we can get the mind to take a break when we don’t need to be incessantly thinking, we have to make friends with it first. If we try to tell our mind to go away, or that we don’t need it, we’ll just encourage it all the more. Instead of a retreat we’ll get resurgence. We don’t want that. So if we want to end the conflict of head and heart, we’ve got to figure out a way to marry this disparate pair. Remember at the start, we suggested that the answer to this problem is simple? Well, it is. But it won’t be easy at first, because we’ve been doing it all wrong for so long. What we have to do is only use our mind to go with ourselves. The Latin root for sin means “to go against.” So we have to learn to be without sin. We have to learn to constantly rely on our decisions to be “with ourselves.”
Think about each of your decisions. When deciding what phone to get or who to marry or how long to spend at the dinner table, think about each of these things:
- Gain information: What is the implied benefit of the decision? Will it be something you'll ever regret? Although your mind may be telling you that the temporary benefit of a bad decision will be a wise one, in your heart you may still know that it's not the best thing to do. Seek information about it and evaluate in your mind.
- Identify problems: What might go wrong? Will you feel good after making the decision?
- Explore options: Think about what's best for you, and most of the time doing what your heart tells you to do is the best choice.
- Implement a plan and make a choice. Learn from your mistakes and try, try again.
- By listening to your heart, you can train your mind to think like it and eventually get them to work in harmony.
Keep practicing to fall into this new habit. Have you ever wondered how to tell whether a decision is right? It seems so difficult, doesn’t it? But it becomes so easy when you think “Is this choice going with me, or against me?” You’ll find that the right choice is immediately evident. If you can learn to practice this every time you make a choice, you’ll start to regain your personal power. You’ll create a marriage of your heart and mind. Maybe then their child (you) won’t have permanent emotional damage from the divorce it’s been suffering from for so long. Make the choice today. Just try it out. Go with yourself.
Atul Malikram from PR 24x7 Network Limited says” It is very difficult for a person to decide priority of vital parts of our body system, where brain and mind, the two most significant parts of human life function simultaneously. But as suggested above, we start practicing for new habits, I am sure, we all shall be able to take concrete decisions, more effectively.”
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