The Art & Science of Wise Decision-making
Decisions based on fear, or short-term greed, are not wise.
Computers and telecommunication technologies enable immediate access to information about almost anything. But knowledge of information is not wisdom.
And everything has a ‘cost’ – the flood of mindless distractions in modern life sacrifices self-reflection and being fully present.
Where there is no Vision, the people perish.
– Proverbs 29.18
So how do we learn the critical art of wise decision-making?
The answer is a complex interplay of emotional and intellectual processing – with some helpful clues from the past:
The longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart – Sioux legend
Your Vision will become clear only when you can look into your own Heart. Who looks outside dreams; who looks inside awakes -Carl Jung, (Psychiatrist)
Emotion is what motivates us to take major action – to sink or swim, (e.g. flight or fight). However, the Amygdala, the emotional center in the brain which processes feelings, is actually a part of the more primitive & reflexive lower brain. It can and ideally should be restrained by analysis & planning from the more evolved upper brain area of the Pre-Frontal Cortex.
In practical terms – we need to learn to think through our feelings to avoid undesirable consequences. (For example, the ancient Iroquois’ Law of Seven Generations about how the decisions we make today could impact seven generations into the future).
After first thinking through our feelings, we then must secondly re-engage our emotions to provide the energy & motivation to take the appropriate action.
Wise decision-making is based on a composite of emotions & thinking – sort of like learning to ‘surf the emotional waves’.
Easier said than done, as in the difference between talking the talk vs. walking the talk. So for many high-achievers the go to resource is to partner with a Coach.
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