I watch daily, and for hours, Israeli TV and correspond with many people worldwide about the war in the Middle East. I try to identify a light at the end of the tunnel. In listening to people, however, I often get a tunnel vision response, with no light in sight. I am often presented with, what I believe, are badly rationalized, emotional decisions, with potential to cause more problems than they solve.

I have an insight why.

Bad decisions emerge when we either use only our heart, or only our brain, or use them both simultaneously.

Single track thinking: Think of a teenager's love. The brain is on vacation. Gone. It is all emotion. The result could be teenage pregnancy. Now think of a Nazi putting children on a woodenpile, pouring gasoline on them and starting a fire. (That is how my cousins died.) The children scream. He goes on with the business unperturbed. It is action taken by a brainwashed person to believe Jews are not human, thus a screaming child is like a screaming rat. No problem. No heart engagement.

How about engaging both brain and heart simultaneously?

Watching politicians debate the 2023 war in the Israeli parliament, I notice they are highly emotional when speaking. They interrupt each other with lots of screaming, some offending. Decisions that need cool thinking are being made emotionally. And an emotionally presented decision evokes an emotional response. The end result is that all want to talk but no one appears to want to listen. In my judgment, the decisions made are not well supported with logical reasoning. The decisions made are based on emotions that do not always lead to the best results.

The decision process should engage the heart and the mind but in the correct sequence.

Start with the heart. Heart “thinks” with emotions and they are not necessarily rational or defendable or easy to explain. It is ok. Just feel and express how you feelabout the subject. Do not use the brain. Do not explain or defend. Just express and be aware of how you FEEL. Here you can be emotional. Your argument can be contradictory, even illogical, shameful, whatever. The purpose is to clean your heart so when the brain gets activated, the heart is silent and not taking energy from thinking logically. When done expressing your true feelings, move to the brain.

Thinking, using the brain, is the time for logical reasoning. Continue the cold rational thinking till you reach your conclusions. Now, before acting on the decision, go back to the heart and ask yourself about how you feel about the decision you have taken. Just feel. Do not think. If it feels right, go forward. If not, go back to the brain for more thinking.

Significant, emotionally loaded decisions, should be made with logical thinking bounded by emotions, and not driven by emotions, presented as if logically derived.At the end of the day, the decision has to make sense, be rational and logical and at the same time feel right.

The feeling right is critical. Listening to your intuition, I found, is not to be ignored. Where it comes from, I do not know, but I do know that whenever I ignored my intuition, the implemented decision was a bad decision no matter how well thought and reasoned it was.

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes