“I think this job would be a good opportunity and a great stepping stone, but I just can’t say I’m excited about the work. Because of my existing relationship with the organization, I felt like I’d be burning a bridge if I didn’t accept the offer, so I did. But last week I got so upset I had to call in sick and spend the day in bed,” reported a friend, who luckily, is currently employed and not in a position to have to take the job out of necessity. “But this job would give me the opportunity to…” and on went a laundry list of valid reasons she should take the job, convincing herself again.
“When I was in my early twenties and broke my engagement, I had to consider that on the surface it was perfect: we were compatible, I liked his family, my family liked him, my friends liked him, and he was directed – hard working and in medical school. But was he the right one for me to marry? Was it the right time and place? No. It wasn’t. It was better to break the engagement than get a divorce.”
“Yes, but….” and so went the list again.
Though hundreds of years of philosophy have tried to convince us that what distinguishes us as human beings is our ability to reason and, in turn, the best way to make decisions is to discount our emotions and rely on reason alone, our emotions will find a way to tell us their perspective, possibly keeping us in bed all day, even when we refuse to listen.
It’s easy to make a decision with our rational brain. It’s much more difficult to trust our instincts.