LIFE’S MOST IMPORTANT LESSON©
If only we could live our lives in reverse – with the benefit of hindsight we could have made very different & smarter choices in the past to have achieved a happier future.
The quality of decisions are usually dumbed down by emotions. We mostly base our choices on our emotional feelings at the time. Ironically, choices based on this type of ‘emotional reasoning’ are actually less likely to result in feeling good later. For example, binging and fat gain, spending sprees and unmanageable debts, short-term greed and ecological crises, power and hubris.
You can’t press a ‘reverse button’ for a better outcome. Though you can learn the most important lesson to better your odds for a happier and more secure future – the importance of not giving in to your feelings and instead engaging your higher intelligence.
As expressed by the Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh – The longest journey you will ever take is the eighteen inches from your Head to your Heart.
And in the wisdom of the psychiatrist, Victor Frankl – Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.
Tony Robbins describes this insight as – Where focus goes, energy flows.
In Brain Science terms, this is the difference between data processing in the Pre-Frontal Cortex, (which specializes in abstract thinking, planning & decision making), and the Amygdala, (a lower & more primitive area of the Brain which is the emotional & stress reflex center).
How to engage and sustain more intelligent decision-making?
It’s important to learn to ‘control your State’, (so as to not be controlled or restricted by emotional feelings).
Relaxation quiets down the Amygdala, so calm your mind by being fully present and breathing more deeply, (e.g. with my super-charged meditation recording – The Tranquility Experience(c)).
You can also gain psychological distance for greater self-control & smarter thinking by toggling the way you address yourself within your own mind. By switching from first to third person, you ‘flip a switch’ in your brain circuits which increases your abilities to think more clearly and perform more effectively.
For example, reframing the ‘self-talk’ words in your mind from, “I am angry”, to alternatively – “I feel angry”, establishes some emotional detachment from the perspective of an ‘Observer’. And this modified emotional introspection actually changes the amount of blood flow, and consequently activation, in the more desirable Prefrontal Cortex relative to the Amygdala – so naming it, tames it).
Next activate your higher brain centers by reflecting beyond how you feel in the moment about making a possible choice – by imagining the pros and cons of how it could play out in the future. (However, according to, Hal Hershfield, a marketing professor – To make the best overall decisions for your future self, you need to stop imagining that person as an abstract stranger and instead see it as your self).
Stay tuned for my future mind-enhancing blog posts on tapping the power of intuition, strengthening concentration & memory, decision fatigue, multi-tasking, rapport, and recharging personal energy.
© Copyright 2016, Syntrek® Inc., Toronto (GTA), Ontario, Canada
All rights reserved.