My friend just came back from her travel and she told me she met a girl that really inspires her. This girl she met doesn’t really have any plan in life she said. She will continue to do the things she is currently doing as long as it still feels “right” to her (my friend literally put the quotation mark). She wants to be able to exit if something doesn’t feel good to her anymore. It sounds like such a great idea, living life with the flow. I imagine myself constantly feeling happy and content doing what she is doing at the moment. As much as I want my life to be always rainbows and butterflies, the reality is not always the case. However, this conversation sparks an interesting thought in my mind.
I made a promise with myself 2 years go (2018) that I would do all the things I ‘want’ within the next 5 years so my future self wont regret anything from my past. I want to be able to say “I have done all the things I wanted to do”. I imagine it would make me feel good fulfilling the things that feels good to me and it felt so right to at that time. Nonetheless, 1.5 years forwards, if there is any takeaway from my life so far is decisions based only on emotions doesn’t really do me any good or take me to forward in my life. I personally think the emotion or “feeling” good or right is based on a perception in our mind and thoughts, that are already influenced with biases from other people thoughts, past experiences and even the content we consume. Based on that, we build our idealistic concept of ‘what is right’ according to our thought process. In fact, that concept also has input in our decision making process.
Instead of purely taking the feeling good or right as the primary decision maker, I have learnt to take it as a signal for me to investigate further of why is a particular thing feels right to me. The reason why I don’t want to decide solely based on emotion is because emotion and what I feel changes all the time. In fact, I don’t think at this point in my life I would consider my emotion is stable enough to be the decision maker. This might be different with you though.
On the other hand, having assessment about what we want to do gives us a more logical perspective and understanding of ourselves. For me, just solely decide on what feels right without any understanding what is the definition of “right” for me can lead me into the wrong direction. In fact, the idea of what is right for you and for me are different. I personally believe that the idea of what is right doesn’t come from our feeling but from a long thought process. It takes system 2 or a longer and more hardworking thought process to process and probably justify the inputs in your mind. Eventually, that becomes what I consider as what feels right on my thought process. The template becomes the system 1 or the simpler thought process on my thought process when I am faced with decisions and the output is “I feel this is right for me”.
PS: The term System 1 and System 2 on thought process is based on Daniel Kahneman’s book, “Thinking Fast and Slow”
This might or might not be relatable to you. We have our own values and thought process that affect our own decision making. We might agree or disagree on each other about this but that’s completely okay! I think that is the beauty of being human, the diversity in interpreting the world around us. I never intend this post to be a recommendation or self-development related or even how-to-do-life kind of thing. I just want to convey another perspective on this specific topic based on my own thought process along with all its biases and influences.
This is my Naked Mind