I did a mini-series on decision making a while ago and came across varying opinions on what it takes to be a good decision maker. Except I’m not sure that I truly fully support the conclusions I came to at that time.
My main issue is the distinction between rational logic and ‘irrational’ emotions. Because all irrational means is without logic, yet it’s often construed as really negative. One definition of irrational is ‘Without normal mental clarity or sound judgement’, but where does authenticity fit in with this? Can you make an irrational choice that at the same time comes with emotional clarity and authentic judgement?
Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal did a TED talk titled How to make stress you friend, and right at the end she said:
Chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort. That’s the best way to make decisions. Go after what it is that creates meaning in your life and then trust yourself to handle the stress that follows.
So maybe logic, aka stress avoidance in this context, isn’t always the answer. Because doesn’t chasing meaning mean being authentic and true to yourself and your deeper values and emotions?
And I guess this also comes back to the question of whether you can have both happiness and meaning. If striving for meaning creates stress, then maybe the choice we need to make is whether we allow this stress to make us unhappy.
If we choose meaning and authenticity and embrace the stress, the discomfort, the uncertainty, then surely this is the only way to find true fulfillment and happiness?