WHY DO WE MAKE BAD DECISIONS?
We all do it. And when we do, we often say things like “Why did I do that?” Or does this sound familiar, “Damn, that was the first thing I thought.” Or how often have you just gotten frustrated because you made a bad decision because you “overthought” something?
Yep, but why do we do this?
Why do we allow ourselves to make decisions when we often know better over and over again? It’s as though you can’t seem to help yourself. Perhaps you think you're being prudent and attempting to try and think things through. But are you? Or are you just not as connected to your intuition as you would like to be. After all, I’m sure that by now you have experienced enough bad decisions and mistakes to have learned better. Yet you haven’t and neither has anybody else.
I have thought long and hard about this as I have an insatiable curiosity for just about everything. I have this need for the big “WHY?” “HOW?” I must admit I sometimes hate it as it can be very frustrating and time-consuming. But, what a fascinating journey!
So I think I can see the answer to this question.
We experience everything differently on different levels. For example, let’s say you’re in a situation where you experience something that caused you to have an emotional reaction. Your heart knows what emotion is appropriate for that experience and it sends that signal to your body to feel that emotion. Those feelings are now communicated to your brain so that it deals with what is at hand.
But that’s where the trouble starts.
Your brain is arrogant as hell and thinks it’s the boss who knows better. Not just you, all of ours! As far as the brain is concerned, it’s in charge! So it’s going to take that information from the heart and body and “evaluate” it. First it has the need to reexamine the situation as it has decided it knows better. Then it vacillates between its different opinions which are often not in keeping with what would be best for what the heart and gut are communicating to it.
See, your heart and your gut know what they’re saying. But only your brain can make a decision. Only your brain can decide a course of action based on its own evaluation. Only your brain can make choices and implement actions. So, very often the brain makes decisions with no regard for what the heart/gut is telling them. As such, we act on things in ways that sometimes don’t make rational sense.
I believe deeply that our kids should be taught how to make good and sound decisions. Therefore, I try very hard to teach kids how to think things out through what I call “the trifecta.” I want to put them in some highly charged situations and encourage them to think with their hearts and instincts as well as their brains. The goal is to get them to feel their way through this instantaneous process as the brain listens to what the heart and instincts are telling it. It’s internal collaboration between all three components in order to make much better decisions with much better consideration and understanding.
When you do that, some of those bad decisions might just go away!