Written by Jimmie Burroughs Email this article to a friend
Each person has to make decisions every day of their life; many are mundane decisions that make little difference, like for instance where to eat lunch etc. Some decisions however are very important and can impact life either in a positive way are a negative way. The problem with emotional decisions is they can come back to haunt you later. They are spur of the moment decisions often made without thought.
Included in this article are the 5 ways to make a decision based on more than just emotions:
1. Distinguishing your emotions from your mind and your will
2. Understanding your decision making process
3. Understanding what constitutes your true self
4. Getting in touch with your inner, true self
5. Developing your decision making ability
Distinguishing your emotions from your mind and your will:
A human being is an entity of body, soul and spirit. The body is only the house in which the soul and spirit resides. The body is the tangible part of existence while the spirit and the soul are the immaterial. It is much easier to understand that which can be seen and touched than the abstract which can neither be seen nor touched. The soul is our means of communicating on a horizontal level, that is with each other. The soul is made up of three separate entities: mind, will and emotions and each has a different function in the decision making process.
The mind has stored information that enables a person to make decisions on past experiences or knowledge concerning different matters. A child is told not to touch a hot object but does any way out of curiosity and gets burned; the mind stores that experience and reminds the child the next time not to touch a hot object.
Many of the decisions we are called to make can be decided based on past experiences. Sometimes that is not enough. For example if a certain person lies to you in the past, you might decide to give them another chance and sometimes that is a good decision but it can also result in getting burned the second time. So doing things over and over expecting a different outcome is not using the knowledge we have stored in the proper way and we see people doing the same stupid things again and again.
Knowledge is also another feature of the mind that enters the decision process and even though you have not experienced a certain thing, you know, based on knowledge, that it could be harmful or a bad decision.
The emotions, though a needed part of our existence, are not designed for making decisions. We are made up with emotional drives that enable us to enjoy certain things as well as have an appetite for certain things; for example, the hunger drive that makes us want to eat the food we need for survival or the sex drive that encourages procreation. We must control these drives otherwise they will assume a mind of their own and control us, over eating, indulging in dangerous sexual activity etc.
Making an emotional decision on whether to have sex or not is always a “yes” because to the emotion alone says, that feels good and therefore it is right to do to fulfill the need of the emotion. If we include in this decision just the mind, it will tell us that, according to the situation, as to whether it is a good decision. If it is extramarital sex, the decision will always be “no” based on what the mind knows to be right and wrong. When we include the will also; if the will is strongly oriented to what is right, the no will be reinforced.
Here is another example that requires additional wisdom to the mix of making a decision: Recently my daughter backed over her dog; actually drug her for over a hundred feet out to the street. There are often branches in the drive from the many trees in the yard, so she thought it was a branch. She didn’t realize it was the dog. The next day the dog could not be found and there was evidence on the drive that something had been run over.
We looked the yard over including the small wooded area behind the house but no dog to be found. My daughter and grandson drove around the neighborhood but still no dog. 36 hours after the incident a neighbor who lived down the street and around the corner came by and told my daughter she saw the dog laying in the front yard of a vacant house and recognized it as living here. My daughter and grandson went and picked the dog up and put him in the back of a Jeep Cherokee. When she arrived home she asked me to come over and help.
The dog was still alive and it was difficult to determine how badly injured she was. We had to make a decision on what to do. We didn’t want the dog to suffer and so the first impression was to locate a 24 hour animal clinic and take the dog there immediately. Under certain conditions that would have been the best but that was a decision based on emotions alone. It could have cost several hundreds of dollars.
This was a very important decision, though it was only a dog and not a person. We had to think in terms of the dog’s welfare and also consider what was best and most practical. It was not an easy decision at all and emotions were running high.
We examined the dog and could only find 3 or 4 treatable scrapes. She was not bleeding and didn’t seem to be in pain though for an animal with a high threshold for pain that is hard to determine. Another consideration was that the dog was 15 years old and had passed a normal life span for a large dog. To invest a lot of money for x-rays and tests as well as treatment didn’t seem a wise choice for a dog that may soon need to be put down anyway.
We then realized that there were only three alternatives. We could take the dog to a 24 hour animal clinic and pay who knows how much, or we could give the dog something for pain, treat the wounds just as a Vet would do and give the dog a chance to recover on her own without the x-rays and testing etc., or we could have her put down.
We decided to give her overnight and then make a final decision. This turned out to be a wise decision because the dog was better by morning and continued to steadily improve. She would never go beyond the conditions brought on by old age but she could at least get back to that point. Yes she may still need to be put down in the future to save her from unneeded pain but as for now she seems to be doing fine.
Backing up, if we had followed our emotions, it would have been very expensive and would not have helped the dog any more than what we were able to do for her. Of course this is not the same rationale that would be used for a human but then a dog is not a human and the circumstances dictated a different decision. If it had been a human, the decision would of course have been how to get them safely to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.
While I know some will disagree with the above decision and perhaps you would have decided, after thinking it through, to have done differently and that is fine. It took three adults to decide that that was the best decision considering the circumstances and what we could determine according to the wounds visible etc. The point is that it was an educated decision and not one made on emotions only. It included the mind and what seemed to be the best will.
Understanding your decision making process:
Once we understand that there are several things that need to be included in any decision, then we can follow a logical decision making process. Your super market, dry goods stores and all advertising and marketing approach you on an emotional level, hoping to influence you to make an emotional decision to buy their products. The reason that this approach is used is because it is the one with the least resistance. This is referred to as impulse buying. You see it, you like it and buy it without considering if you really need it or not. Then later it winds up in a garage sale.
The difference in the way rich people who know how to handle money make financial decisions and poor people who do not is that rich people, as a rule, do not buy junk but they invest in assets. It might be an antique piece of furniture that gains in value or a painting that appreciates over time. You will not find a bunch of junk cluttering their walls and living space or filling their garage.
Understanding the decision process and using it consistently will make the difference not only in finances but each and every other facet of your life.
Understand what constitutes your true self:
Decision making should start with the true self or the inner self, the spirit if you will. It is the very essence of our being and is capable of doing all the things the soul can, also including seeing and hearing. It is referred to sometimes as the intuitive part of man or the discerning ability. The inner self will use the mind will and emotions but will not depend on their limited ability to decide; it is much deeper. It is the inner self which takes over and decides on what the very best decision would be in any circumstance. This means that it is necessary to get in touch with your inner self.
Some refer to the inner self as a gut feeling or the subconscious mind and that is fine but it does not truly define the scope of the inner self or true self. When you accept your inner self as the center of your being and rely on it for direction, it can truly change your whole perspective and for the good. It is where the feeling that something is not quite right comes from that you have no idea as to why.
I was with my wife the moment she died. It was early in the morning on June the 23, 2005 she uttered he final two words, “Something’s wrong”. At 3:15 PM that same day she died. She had been in a battle with cancer for several months and I think it was her inner self that was telling her that the battle was finished. To her it came out as “something’s wrong”.
Getting in touch with your inner self:
How do you get in touch with your inner self? First, it is recognizing that there is actually an inner self, the spirit of man; then becoming sensitive to the inner voice. I think some meditation takes the wrong approach to getting in touch with the inner self but there is a quiet time alone when we put the normal cares out of mind and give ourselves a time to become more sensitive to the true inner self. If this seems to be kind of foreign to you, I understand but give it a try for yourself; it works for millions of others.
Since I am a Christian, I use a different approach from Oriental Meditation as taught by Yoga, for example. While there is some similarity, the focus is entirely different. My focus is getting in touch not only with my spirit but with the Holy Spirit of God which resides within me. It is amazing that we have the ability to be in touch with the same power that created the universe; how about that for help in decision making.
Whether or not you are a Christian as I, you still can get in touch with your spirit and this so important in your ability to decide wisely.
Developing your decision making ability:
The way you develop your ability to make sound decisions is by making then consistently. Be informed on what is a good decision. There are a lot of self help books available that will give you valuable information on how to decide and manage your finances for example and how to decide on how to preserve it and how to grow your personal wealth.
Personal development is a key to developing the ability to make sound decisions. It also is the key to living a successful and meaningful life, directed by good decisions.
Many have realized the importance of personal development and some pay thousands of dollars for training. Those who have special gifts to coach others in how to grow personally charge a lot of money for their expertise. Some pay Tony Robbins as much as a million dollars a year to receive his personal coaching.
If you don’t have a lot of money to spend, you can buy books. You can use the free information on this website which will be ever expanding over time. While I don’t claim to be a Tony Robbins, I do have over 30 years experience in personal development and want to share my knowledge with you through this website for free.
Please tell your friends about this website and spread the knowledge and information found here. This site presently has about 60 articles on personal development and that number will grow in time to hundreds of articles. While I offer this information free to anyone who wants to gain by it, I also appreciate your help financially if you see fit.
To subscribe to blog simply click on the RSS button on the left, and copy and paste the URL of our RSS feed into your RSS reader. ARTICLE INDEX _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ FREE Reproduction Rights – Feel free to publish this article on your website as long as the following information is included at the end of the article:Jimmie Burroughs is the author of JimmieBurroughs.com ; get more tips on personal development: www.JimmieBurroughs.com
JimmieBurroughs.com is founded and maintained by Jimmie Burroughs Nashville, Tennessee. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ © 2011 Jimmie Burroughs. All rights reserved