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The Two-Headed Dilemma

Jerry starts the day feeling good, works out a little, has a great breakfast, and kisses his wife before leaving for work. He remembers while he is driving that his last mortgage payment will come in just two months, and that makes him even happier. Jerry arrives at the office and right away receives the news that he got the contract he was working hard for. On top of that, his 28-year-old assistant tells him that she found a mistake in the books and the profits of his division were 34% higher than originally reported. Jerry feels delighted, powerful, and energized, and then his attractive assistant serves him a flirty cup of coffee and asks him if he would like to celebrate together at the end of the day. At this point, Jerry feels that he can do whatever he wants. It is then, for a second, when Jerry faces the two-headed dilemma.

Women claim (with arguably some good support) that men use two heads to think. Indeed, we as men know very well at our manopausing stage that it is indeed our bigger, reliable head that has brought us to where we are now. This big one filled with brains has served us well, helping us make the right decisions in life, thanks to analysis, awareness, organization, concentration, and other good stuff. We KNOW better, and every man with a fair IQ would agree to that.

If it is a no-brainer that using the big head filled with brains is the best option for us, why do we men choose sometimes to use the little, hot-blooded one? That is probably the million-dollar question that we males (and millions of frustrated females) still cannot explain completely. Is it because using the little one is more exciting? Fun? Bold? Whatever the reason, we can be certain that it’s not because it is going to help us make smarter decisions. In the two-headed dilemma (disclaimer: any similarity with personal experiences is just pure coincidence), Jerry has about one second to ponder whether he can go off-script and take a walk on the wild side or go home and celebrate with his wife and dogs. He feels like Neo (The Matrix hero), wondering which pill to take at this moment in his personal movie.

One true thing is that we always have the time to decide what the best decision is for us. According to a 2014 study, conducted by psychologists from Harvard and other universities that collected data from over 35 years of studying emotion and decision-making, emotions directly influence our decision-making for multiple reasons. The study’s conclusions confirm what we already may intuitively know: what we decide is highly influenced by how we feel at the moment. The more intense our emotions are the more chances we have to not use our brains to their full capacity. This may trigger other decision-making methods (yes, sadly even with our very own glands).

Once a woman told me something that struck me as so true: women have a direct connection between their clitorises and hearts. Using the same analogy, I will argue that men have a direct connection between our egos and our glands. Our egos get fueled with our emotions, and the stronger they get, the more stubborn we get, even to the point of shutting down our brains. Therefore, the more conscious we are about our egos, the fewer probabilities there are of thinking with our little head. We will be aware of the emotions that we are experiencing, while facing a decision-making moment, and we will be able to think about what the best course of action would be to get us the most desired outcome. Remember that the best outcome does not always mean what is best for us but what is best for the people who surround us.

As a mental coach, there are many things that I could suggest to minimize the effect of emotions on the decision-making process. However, the best thing that we could do is stay focused on who we are, what are the important things in our life, and what our goals are. In a nutshell, if any situation arises that is not aligned with our values, priorities, and goals, then just take a deep breath and try to avoid making a decision that will go against those things…even if you have a beautiful, young, flirty assistant who wants to tempt you to throw some of those considerations to the wind. Even then.

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About The Author
Javier Burga
Javier Burga
Javier Burga, director of Potential & Performance, has an M.S. in Sports Psychology and a B.S. in Business Administration. He is an entrepreneur and has a business background of more than 25 years. He is now fully committed to helping people to improve their performance and wellness. Find more about his practice at www.potentialandperformance.com or check one of his short videos at his YouTube channel Potential & Performance.
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