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Clear Way to Make a Good, Right Decision–Sentiment or Heart; Flip a Coin


Imagine you have a decision to make.  It is a difficult decision and one that necessitates mindful attention.  The decision is a huge one, one that will take you on a very different path than any other decision.  Or, it is a small, but essential, pivotal decision of the moment. 

Try the following practice.

Notice your sentiment.  Sentiment is feeling based on emotion, opinion, self-concern, fear, sadness, nostalgia. It has the Latin root word for “feel” in its very fiber.  It often starts with “I should…”, “I am afraid…”, “What if…”,

“I will miss…”, “I fear..”, “I can’t…”, “I shouldn’t,,”  It has lots of “buts” and “ifs”.

After you immerse yourself in your sentiment, know that it is not a great basis for a decision.  It could cause you to miss a great opportunity.  It could cause you to stay in a bad situation.  It will confuse you and make you ambivalent and indecisive.

Now consult your “heart”.  Heart has many definitions.  It is the muscle without which we could not survive.  It is the “central or innermost part of something…”, “the vital part or essence..” (Apple Dictionary 2.1.3)  Some of the expressions we use with heart are “close to her heart”, “heart-felt”, “deep in my heart”, “get to the heart of the matter”, “from the bottom of my heart”, “good, at heart”, “broken heart”, “in one’s heart of heart”, “with all my heart”. (also from Apple Dictionary)

Every definition or reference to heart regards it as our deepest, all knowing, intuitive spot.  If you consult your heart for the right decision, it may or may not satisfy your sentimental urges.  There is nothing wrong with being nostalgic or sad at leaving an old way and beginning a new one.  We can feel our feelings and then follow our hearts.


Modified I-Ching, Flip a Coin


Here is an easy way to find out what your “heart” really wants.


Take a coin.  Let’s say your decision is “Should I go to this college or that college?

Should I take this job or that Job?

Should I go on this trip or that trip?

Assign, for instance, one side of the coin to go Stanford, and the other side means you go to NYU.  Flip the coin.  Whatever comes up, you will have a few seconds of visceral reaction to the recommendation of the coin.  You will either sigh and say “ah yes”, or you will say “no–I don’t want to do that!  You give yourself the answer with the help of the coin which channels your heart.


Copyright Rick Concoff  2011

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