February 13

Courage and decision making in uncertain times

Nowadays we need a lot of courage for decision making. It is impossible to take decisions with you all the relevant information. We are swamped by data and this clouds our judgment. Our brain cannot cope with that. We can no longer it weight all in our calculating mind. First because we don’t have access to all significant data. Second because the accessible data is overwhelming.

What to do when our brain cannot help us?

I have great news to you. Scientists have confirmed that we don’t have just one center of intelligence, we have three. Our heart and out gut join our brain in support of complex decision making. Research has discovered that what popular culture said was very accurate,

  • I have a gut feeling that he’s lying
  • I knew it in my heart of hearts
  • She has a gut feeling that something bad is happening at home
  • My heart told me
  • My immediate gut reaction was that the merger would be a disaster

Meet your three brains

Our brain provides us with logic and intellect. We tend to think that this our rational self, but in fact there is nothing further than the truth. Our brain is mainly controlled by our subconscious mind and this one is rather “irrational”. These are the part of our psyche that control our behavior by honoring the mental programing of our early childhood, in fact of centuries of evolution. This is what saved us from the lion and now saves us from being run over by a car.

Our heart gives us our intuition. We thought that the brain controlled our heart. We never noticed that people are still alive even if they are brain dead, while no one survives the heart stopping. Science has discovered that it’s the opposite. The heart is the boss. It commands the brain by releasing hormones and by simply using the neuropathways that connect them.

The gut bring the “gut feeling”. In his book “Blink” Malcolm Gladwell goes into great length about how we know the whole by just a blink. In few seconds we know if a couple would stay married, if someone is lying, if we should buy this, etc.  Our gut knows very quickly the answer. However few seconds later, our heart comes with his emotions and our brain with its reasons. Then the decision making process stalls.

To be an excellent decision maker in this convoluted reality we need to learn to listen to our gut.  

I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the most knowledgeable persons on this very subject, the power of our 3 brains, Grant Soosalu. He's terribly inspiring and has the science to go deep on this. If you would like to get your hands on that interview, just pop in here your data.

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