Life is about decision making. Karl Popper, who is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century said “Life is problem-solving.” When we make decisions in life, its purpose is usually to solve problems. When we have adequate knowledge or information about an issue, it enables us to competently and effectively handle that issue.
One of the problems that philosophers have had to grapple with is what should be the reliable and ultimate source of knowledge? There are two major theories to this problem, rationalism (reason) by the rationalists and empiricism (sense experience) by the empiricists. This shows that the source of knowledge is important in arriving at decisions in life that are certain, true and reliable. The mind has proven to be the most effective weapon in solving problems or dealing with challenges in life.
What do you feel and what is your mind telling you?
Rationality is a thing of the mind and the heart is also a seat of feelings and desires. The feelings in the heart could be feelings of pain, discomfort, disappointment, betrayal, joy, hope or peace etc. Sometimes our minds get into conflict with our heart when the mind is telling us one thing while the heart also seems to be telling us another. This situation leads to a standoff and yet a decision is crucial. The interesting thing is that usually most people are tempted to follow their feelings because that seems to be the easier choice, what you possibly desire. But the best decisions in life are usually made from the head and not from the heart where emotions can be crowded. It is great when the mind and heart are in agreement. This makes the decision easier and we are able to act with a lot of confidence without doubt and hesitation. But the problem is when there is a standoff. In situations like this, the heart should be seen as a raw material that the mind processes into finished goods. The raw materials are the various feelings and desires we have in our heart and the finished goods are the final decisions we arrive at after taking away the irrelevant and unjustifiable desires and feelings we harbour in our heart. The desires and feelings you take away are those that would not be beneficial to the course. They are the pain, selfishness, anger, bitterness, lust, hatred, excitements, anxieties, pride, greed and others.
Equipping the mind is protecting the heart
The heart is a delicate, yet, an essential part of us that needs protection from the harm people can cause to it or the harm we can bring to it ourselves. The best tool to protect our heart is our mind. For our mind to do that effectively, it needs to be supplied with all the requisite materials it needs to function effectively in a given situation. One of the ways to arm the mind is reading or studying. This gives you enough knowledge or ideas to think more appropriately. The more information you have about an issue, the higher the possibility of coming out with the appropriate decision about it.
Another way of protecting the heart with the mind is through consultations. The people we usually consult about an issue are usually people we believe are more knowledgeable and experienced in the area of our challenge. One of the advantages of consultation is that by the experience of the people you consult, they are able to guide you from making costly decisions in life that will hurt your heart. It will also save you time, money, heartbreaks, disappointment, regrets and sometimes disillusionment.
However, sometimes after engaging reason, the mind is unable to clearly decide. This is where you have to pay more attention to your Spirit. Sometimes people substitute the voice of the Spirit with expressions like “my heart is telling me that” or “something told me that”
To conclude, I want you to remember that in all your decisions in life, prayer is very important. Some things may look right but it doesn’t mean it is right. Prayer can reveal what escapes man in his decision making. The wise king Solomon saw the need for man to protect his heart so he tells us in Proverbs 4:23 that “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” To improve your mind by seeking knowledge and wisdom is ensuring that your heart is insured from heartbreaks, pain, disappointments and regret as you make good decisions in life.
Remember, if you lose your heart in anything, you lose everything about that thing. And nothing happens apart from the feeling of giving up.