The lyrics of “Listening to my heart instead of my head” from a recent top 40 song made me think about decisions and how they are made by the head, heart and gut, and this concept applies to much in life. I heard these lyrics from a song I heard, and as I have written about music does everything from inspire and motivate me to calm me (acoustic), and sometimes I even get business as well as ‘life” ideas from a song.
This saying of “Listening to my heart instead of my head” made me think how it applies to so much in life. Whether you make a certain purchase in life, whether you invest in a stock or business, proceed with personal relationships or love, decide to take a new job, and really everything has to do with your heart and head. But I also realized there may be more to it, and I think your “gut” comes into play too.
Thinking with head to me means logic and methodical. This is what I am very good at as shown from my mostly success in businesses that require this attention to detail, investments, and other accomplishments. I am a logical person, driven by numbers, patterns, reason and the like.
Examples may be creating a spreadsheet to determine as well as analyze your household budget to determine whether you should make a purchase or not. Or do the calculations on how much to save for retirements based on expected returns, years to retire, and more. Or how to find patterns, logic, and math to build a business around say SEO. The head is logic, math, and methodical.
The heart is all about emotions. Personally, I am often driven by my gut, then probably head and then emotions. I have learned that when I was growing up, my family and upbringing did not encourage emotions, as we were focused on getting through the day, months and years with all the turmoil going on. Things like my dad leaving, addiction, fighting, etc. I was never talked to about those major life events, asked how I felt, or was asked to express myself emotionally when growing up, and that is a major oversight in a kid’s development. I am trying to address this now through therapy.
Examples of decisions by the heart to me may be a low income family buying lotto tickets as their heart says they will win even though their head/logically their chance is 1 in say 100 million. It may be having a list of needs when car shopping, but you see a fancy sports car and buy it as your “heart” says to by the flashy car even though it may not be practical and you can’t afford it.
It can be meeting someone new and going for it, even though logically you know its not meant to last for many reasons. Or it may following your head and taking what you think is a new job you wanted, even though your head knows it will not be a good fit for your needs as say the commute is too far, and other logical reasons it will not work. Or buying that big screen TV as you love the bright clear picture (head), but you know the cost to buy and run it make it unaffordable (your head).
Emotions, and the heart, also come into play when investing. Maybe your heart loves a company or business, and you invest in it even though the financials are questionable at best. Or you sell stocks when the market goes down (as you get emotional) and buy when stocks are high….which is of course never what you should do.
To me, another one is the gut, and this comes into play too. It is what is your intuition telling you. It is generally based on your past experiences, your “wisdom”, and how does it feel as a hunch or “gut check”. I like this description of a gut check, and it is “the ability to know things without consciously reasoning”.
A big driver of this is life experiences. Or it can be what knowledge we obtain over the years, from intensive reading, training, and the like. But it is mostly experiences that drive the gut. Does something intuitively “feel right” to you? Does a story or issue seem like it may not make sense per your intuition/gut/instinct/experiences and the person is lying? Or a scam? If your gut is screaming at you that something is off with anything (whether business or personal issue), than there probably is and it is a great idea to get some type of proof. That goes back to the old saying of “Trust but Verify”, and if your gut is telling you something does not make sense than verify it, as there more than likely probably is something off.
If you know someone or how something worked that happened in the past you know it if possible now or not from experiences. If you are familiar with a job, your gut (experiences) can help you determine whether what someone tells you about the job makes sense and a good fit for you. Every piece of experience, knowledge, and more come into play for your gut or intuition. This is why for those with a wide range of experiences, and who keep an open mind, intuition and instinct can be powerful in decision making.
There are countless articles on head, heart, or gut decisions, and the top 40 song Lucid Dreams definitely made me think more about this. All 3 factors probably all need to come into play in some part or another with decisions, depending on your personality and other factors. I probably generally skew more towards intuition, gut and head over heart. i have learned that was “your gut tells you” is often correct. When it comes to financial matters for low income families, using your head is the best way to make a decision…such as budgeting, when to buy something, etc. For example, no matter how much your heart wants that new TV or new car, or fancy shoes or purse, etc. if your head is “screaming” at you as you can’t afford it, then maybe you should think twice (or more!).
But experiences, your gut, and intuition, to me, are major parts of decisions and they are powerful. While how powerful or how relevant one or more may be in a certain decision, the fact is that they all need to come into play in one way or another for effective decision making. What do you think? We will create a poll in the forum. In the meantime, I also liked this article too, but as noted there are many others. http://www.freetopursue.com/blog/2015/10/20/head-heart-or-gut