Making decisions using both intuition and logic

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Well-being, ethics, Zen

Thorough your life, you will have to make choices. It is often suggested to make a list of pros and cons. Such list can be used as a mathematical mean for making a choice. For instance, there could be numerous arguments supporting the idea of staying at your job vs quite a bit arguments for quitting it. This method can be very dangerous and can even be exploited by salespersons trying to persuade you to buy a product.


How to use logic

Logic and reason can be used as a tool for an analysis of the circumstances ans potential consequences of a choice, but it is important not to overestimate extrapolated scenarios resulting in such analysis. Logic must be use intensively as a mean to gather as much information as possible 'before' making the choice.

How to use intuition

Intuition is often denied because of its non-verbal nature, but it is a true manifestation of intelligence. In order to use intuition, one must acknowledge the existence of oneself's emotions and be willing to listen to them without trying to rationalize the information provided by this mean. Looking at other people's facial expressions can be a very effective way to gather intuitive information. After gathering verbal (conceptual) and non-verbal (intuitive) information, one can make a choice using the inner compass. It is extremely important that the choice must be done in a calm state of mind in order to remain free from emotional manipulation and excessive passions.

The dangers of using the 'pros and cons' method

The pros and cons method may be useful as a mean to gather information on a topic, but using mathematics as a mean of doing the final move as whether or not to do something can give quite undesired results.

Not all elements are equal

When creating a list of pros and cons, some elements of the list may be of varying importance. The solution to that problem would be to attribute weighted numbers, however such attribution of number may be utterly arbitrary and hard to maintain as new elements are added, existing values must be adjusted to avoid inconsistencies and excessive emphasis.

Each element can be subdivided indefinitely

One could subdivide an element of the list in order to enlarge one side of the list to the detriment of the other side.

Sometimes emotional phenomena have no words

We use words to describe some phenomena, however, what can be described with words cannot ultimately be demonstrated. We have a name for the color "red". We can point out a red object to someone, but we cannot describe the red color itself without using red objects or objects related to red objects. We may use "heat" as an analog to red since fire is sometimes red, but then again, we use red objects. In many cases, non-verbal information has no counterpart in verbal world and in other cases, a verbal representation of the intuitive world would be a poor model of the intuitive content.

Sometimes your are not aware of your motives

Sometimes we are not aware of the motives of our choices. Doing the list of pros and cons may or may not help to understand the motives. That kind of practice is however quite useful to extrapolate consequences of our choices.

The true motive of your choices must be the seeking of happiness and inner peace

Logic cannot be used as an end in itself, but as a mean to achieve a higher goal. Using logic as the motive of a choice is devoid of meaning. The mother of all motives is always life and love itself, however the intermediate motive may be twisted to a high degree. One must be aware of the intermediate motives of one's actions in order to take the right decisions.

It may be an unconscious shortcut to intuition

One could easily give excessive weight or subdivisions to a 'pro' or 'con' element in order to shift the balance towards one side or another. It is more efficient to use our intuition directly by listening to our unconscious mind (which in fact is not unconscious but non-verbal).

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