When feelings drive your life decisions.
Feeling, mood, emotions, sensations, guts, etc are the words we often use to answer the why question. ‘Why did you act that way?’ ‘I just felt like.’ ‘ I was in the mood.’ I know that equating mood to feelings is a bit of a stretch but permit it for the purpose of this writeup.
And often, these answers imply that there was no rationale behind the actions. Just feelings, whether out of hormones or based on past experiences.
Most of the functions of the human organism and behaviour are regulated by hormones. Hormones are chemical molecules that act as messengers, that is, they carry a message via the body fluids from their point of synthesis to other organs, close or distant. It’s simply a way organs communicate and give/receive instructions on what to do.
Among the many processes regulated in this way are our mood, growth and development, sexual functions and reproduction, and metabolism.
So you see that many organs, beginning from the brain through your heart, to even the skin are influenced by these tiny chemical substances. They’re small but powerful; so powerful that variations in their levels can alter the whole man/woman (read: mood swings and pathological conditions).
So, you can see that hormones are extremely important in the correct functioning of the human system, and without them, communication between organs and tissues will be grossly deficient, if not totally absent.
However, understanding that the effects of some hormones last for only a short period (except in abnormal medical conditions), should help to be more careful about making certain life decisions under their short-lived effect. Understanding that feelings and moods come and go should help you to be more conscious about your thoughts, words, and actions when you’re under their influence. If you make life decisions based on your feelings/mood of the moment, you might regret it when the mood/feelings wane.
Our feelings towards people and things fluctuate and can be triggered by several factors. Sometimes, the feeling of affection is so high that we think and even wish it remains at that level. But at other times, it falls and we don’t even have any desire towards that object or person. Imagine if you took long-lasting decisions based on how you felt at both extremes, you’ll likely regret afterwards. This is part of the reasons I think that love, as well as its opposite, isn’t about feelings, but a conscious decision – you love when you’re feeling it and still love when the feeling is nowhere to be found.
Don’t get me wrong, making decisions out of gut feeling is good, in fact, that’s what many entrepreneurs do. They have some deep feeling that pursuing a particular objective or making a particular investment is worth it and so they funnel their resources into that. But basing all your business decisions entirely on current feelings/mood could be very dangerous; there should be other things that must be factored in during the decision-making process, especially now that we have access to statistics on many things.
So, you need to strike a balance between important decisions that require thoughtfulness, prayers, discussions, survey etc. and other decisions where you could simply follow your instincts and gut feeling. Everyone has what works for him/her but finding a balance is key to longevity in life and business. Instincts are gold, especially when you have good ones, but they’re not the gold standard.
Finally, in relationships (family, friends, business) don’t take important decisions out of sheer emotions. Allow the waters to calm, or rather, think of the ideal thing to do if you weren’t feeling so emotional. In your stable mind, what would you do? what is the best decision when the feel-good or feel-bad hormones aren’t operational or at their basal state?
Don’t allow feelings of anger, sexual urge, disappointment, loneliness and the rest to lead you into acting in a rash way. Don’t be hasty. Don’t be quick. Give it a minute thought. That can save you an entire life of regret.
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