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The head and the heart

Recently I felt like my heart and head were constantly battling. It really was tough.

When you grow a business, you have to listen to the mind to keep things in order and yet the heart can sometimes turn your head the other way, allowing you to see things differently.

With creativity and depth being in the driving seat of this new venture, you can find yourself throwing too much caution to the wind. It’s such a balance to understand when you listen to what.

I dug around to actually see if there were any facts that looked at these dilemmas and found this experiment quite interesting.

A Chinese university asked 72 college-age participants to make decisions about whether to take a risk (heart) or not (head). The conditions were designed to resemble real-life situations involving the factors of time constraints and emotion arousal.

The findings showed that under the time pressure condition, the students were far more likely to make risky decisions when they were feeling happy and far less likely to make risky decisions when they were primed to feel sad. With unlimited time to ponder risk, though, emotion made no difference at all in risk-taking judgments.

What was their upshot? Listening to your heart is something that will more likely hurt you than not, especially if you’re under any kind of time pressure. Once you’ve had time to sort through all the factors, both rational and irrational, your judgment should be clearer. Decisions to take risks may in fact benefit you, but just take your time, whenever possible, to gain the most fulfillment from those decisions.

I found this very interesting, as I’d say I was tending to go with my heart, as I panicked. I’ve realised I must sleep on things; I must give myself time to reflect and not allow the battle to be with the ‘head or heart’, but more a demand to be armoured with ‘reflection time’. The head and heart want the same thing really; just two thoughts, that can be glued together with time.

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