What’s driving your train? In our lifes decisions, we are often driven by our emotions, our faith, and just plain facts. While most everyone weighs decisions to the best of their abilities, some of us may not realize that we are making decisions based off of feelings rather than what is factual and it might not be a good thing we are doing.
Do Feelings Drive Your Train?
If feelings drive your train, then you may be under the assumption that it’s the outside world that makes you feel a certain way. These people are led and driven by their feelings and because of this, they often feel like they are going up and down like a never-ending yo-yo, which can be a pretty inconsistent and stressful way of being! Making decisions off of feelings will most likely prove to be a bad idea in the long run. So, what’s driving your train?
Does Faith Drive Your Train?
When I first heard about faith and decision making, it took me a minute. Because when you think about it, Faith has nothing to do with what a person actually believes. You see, Faith has to do with a persons expectations. Yet, it is often times having something to do with assigning faith to religion. When we do this, we often run into problems.
Everyone with some history knows that contrasting faiths have caused wars and fighting, e.g. “we want to know what you believe. Are you a good person or a bad person? If you don’t believe what we believe then you are the enemy.” This is an example of cognitive inflexibility which is black and white thinking or rigid thinking. It is completely future-focused toward some positive outcome sometime in the future. Unfortunately, when nothing seems to be going right – faith collapses and extreme highs and extreme lows follow. Is this what’s driving your train?
Let’s Look At This Thing Called Facts…
You cannot argue with facts no matter what your opinion is. Well, you could but you shouldn’t. It makes sense then that if we build our lives with facts we take control of our feelings AND our faith. But be careful, just because we think something is true or that we believe something is – does not make it so. Most people think that what they believe is true and absolute and therefore a Fact. But the real fact is, that cognitive distortions deceive us into believing what we think or believe is true, when it may not actually be.
What Do We Do Then!?
Build a life based upon FACTS not on what we “think” or “feel” or “have faith in”. Of course, we should consider these other things, but we do not base our decisions off of them alone. Find the Facts first, then weigh them against what you want and value. You should know the difference when you are making decisions based on real facts rather than the other options (your emotions and faith). When we police our thoughts, modifying as necessary, life will feel more grounded and consistant.
If we work on reacting to facts, our emotions eventually balance out in life. It is important because there are horrible things that can happen in life and the sooner we know that the only problem we have in life is the way we feel about the things outside of ourselves the better. The only thing that impacts the inside of us is our quality of thinking about the outside.
Our environments are usually where we try to control things when we really we can’t can we? These include, our friends, family, our work, our society, even our economy and our president. These are the most dstructive areas because most people don’t take full responsibility for themselves. There is a huge difference in controlling something and having an influence on something. All stress comes when we try to control or manipulate and then lose that control.
We get to choose how we react or respond to various events and situations. Though, the only things we have actual control over is our own body, attitudes, and choices. We do not control how others respond (unless you are a god and we never knew it).
The Reasoning Mind – The Wise Mind – The Emotional Mind
We use our Emotional Mind first. (think 6-year-olds)
Emotional language: I just feel…. I feel like…. I really feel like…
If the (chimp) is happy – all is good. But if it is unhappy – all is bad.
As we get older -The Reasoning Mind is worked on. Intellect. Rational.
Cognitive inflexibility begins in this area. As we learn – what’s right/wrong. Our opinions form. But also rigid beliefs are formed.
You cannot live in the reasoning mind. It is overly opinionated, relying on what was already learned or believed. These people say things like, “Don’t you think…or I think you should… “
The Wise Mind: as we grow we learn that balance is the key. A combination of the reasoning mind and emotional mind is where equilibrium is found.
The only time that we have a problem in life is when we FEEL we have a problem. There is nothing happening outside of us – it is how we feel about the things that we believe are happening to us.