We live in a very mind-centered world. Thanks to social media and texting, we have more time than ever to plan out our communications in the perfect way. Technical know-how is encouraged, as is strategy, tact, and autonomy, all requiring a great deal of mental strength.
I, for one, spend a lot of time in my Head. Whether I am a child of nature or nurture, the way I approach the world involves a lot of thinking, contemplating, “philosophizing”. It’s what I like to do, it’s part of how I operate.
But enough about me. I’m just one example of a kind of person in today’s world – a kind of person that you may know, or even be yourself. And this thought-centered way of being may be very useful, but, as with such things, can also be debilitating.
I think Emerson said it best:
What a contrast between the well-clad, reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil, and a bill of exchange in his pocket, and the naked New-Zealander, whose property is a club, a spear, a mat, and an undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under! But compare the health of the two men, and you shall see that the white man has lost his aboriginal strength. If the traveller tell us truly, strike the savage with a broad axe, and in a day or two the flesh shall unite and heal as if you struck the blow into soft pitch, and the same blow shall send the white man to his grave. [Self-Reliance]
The more “cultured” we become, the more we have the danger of relying on the Brain to help us navigate. As information increases at an exponential rate, cluttering our consciousness, we can go one of two ways: we can either become more analytical, more thought-oriented, or we can become more feeling-oriented.
In times of doubt, Thought Orientation is often the best policy. A problem needs to be solved, information is gathered, experiments performed, and conclusions drawn based on impartial data. But, as today’s methods of navigating the fields of business and relationships become less and less like yesterday’s, Feeling Orientation may prove to be even more effective.
The kicker is, intuition and “going with the gut” are not things that can be taught, and therefore, not fostered by society. We’re not necessarily going to see them encouraged or advertised. But that’s OK, because we were born knowing how to do them. Learning to navigate our world by “feeling it out” is one of our most primal instincts. And perhaps, needed now more than ever.