Rational or Instinctive Decisions: Which Works Better?

Rational or Instinctive Decisions: Which Works Better? - 1

The time to make a decision is the most nerve-wracking moment for any decision maker. The list of the “what ifs” is never-ending. Assuming the information we have is accurate, have we really covered all the angles that matter? The list goes on.

The reality is that one is rarely in possession of 100% of the required information and, like many things in life, decisions are also based on gut feeling, past experiences, expectations, understanding of facts, people and so much more.

Data analysis, for as accurate as it may be, reflects the past. It can help the decision making process and manage some expectations but relying only on this is the equivalent of driving a car with eyes closed; no matter well you know the rules of the road something crucial would be missing…

So, how do we know when it’s the right time to make a decision and what the right decision is? Well, once you have covered all rational aspects of the matter at hand, done all your calculations to make Mr Spock proud of your work, what do you do if you still have that strange feeling in your stomach that tells you that maybe this is not the right moment or decision? Maybe the expectations are too high, and you should expect less. Just accept that it is ok to feel that way – and do it anyway! Ah, the perils of reason.

Reasoned decisions and rational decisions are different concepts. Rationality is essential and can be backed by data. They will always give you the average outcome. Like playing golf; securing the play gives you the scorecard. After all, golf is precisely based on being at the par. However, if you do not want, or cannot, settle for average, be alert, reasoned and go with your guts. Your instinct is based on inner knowledge, intuition, uninterrupted by your consciousness.

Whatever you do own your decisions with clarity and honesty. Even when you make a mistake, rarely you will be judged adversely if it was an honest mistake!

As humans we make our best decisions when our instincts are fully alert and we listen to them, that is, if we want the best outcome. One must be prepared for the road ahead and handle the winter to reach the springtime!

A decision purely based on rational considerations tends to be rigid. Overthought decisions tend to be late and out of sync, not flowing. We should all take a leaf from the Taoist concept that “A tree that won’t bend easily breaks in storms.” when we make decisions.

SImon Vumbaca

Share This :
Related Post :