Do not follow your heart, follow your mind

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Some variation of the expression “listen to your heart” has been the feature of many a Disney movie, popular song or piece of advice given by loved ones or mentors. However, the issue with that is that listening to one’s heart by itself disregards logic.

The problem with feelings is that oftentimes they are not based on anything real or they are based on half-truths. For example, if you have feelings for someone and want to date them, but there are clear signs that the relationship would be unhealthy, then your heart may be leading you on a path to emotional trauma and hurt that can easily be avoided. 

When making decisions it is safer to use logic as the determining factor. When using logic and facts, one is less likely to overlook the flaws of people and situations that are clouded by emotions. Using logic can prevent stepping into unhealthy situations.

Not letting your emotions be your main guide is a biblical principle, as well. Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can understand it?”

When placed as the leader of decision-making, the mind by itself makes decisions based on the best information it has. Of course, the emotions are essential in such process, but again, the mind should lead the emotions, not the other way around.

Of course, logic is not without flaw; if your thought process in your logic does not have good or correct information, it cannot make accurate decisions. However, it is still a better guide than basing decisions off of feelings alone because the brain bases decisions on actual knowledge.

Logical thinking cannot work alone, however, and emotions are not bad things. I cannot stress that enough, as there are some people who will tell you emotions do not matter. Emotions do matter. Emotions are the spice of life that make life enjoyable, and joy itself is an emotion. Humans are thinking and feeling beings. Also, logic can be used to rationalize any number of things without the sympathetic influences of the heart. 

So, what is the balance? Acknowledge and own your emotions, as repressing them is unhealthy. However, use logic to navigate them, understand them and to figure out where they come from, as well as if they should be acted upon. 

The best decision will typically not be made with just the heart or just logic. The best decision will be one where heart and mind can be brought to a place of mutual understanding. 

It is wrong to simply listen to your heart, but it is also wrong to say that you should completely ignore your heart. Put it like this: Your decision-making should be like the engine of a modern ship. Your emotions should be the engines that push you forward, but logic is the rudder that steers the ship.

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