Every single day, we are faced with hundreds of decisions. Whether it’s picking a place to go for lunch, which street to take home in a cab or deciding where to apply for college, the choices we make are extremely important and influential to our lives.
The impact of the decision may be minimal, or it could be entirely life-changing. Regardless of the intensity of the impact, each choice is extremely significant and, the majority of the time, it is very difficult to make.
Since we were little, we were forced to make various choices. Some were impeccably difficult, while others were extremely easy, requiring little or no thought at all. Most of the time, we do not make our decisions alone.
We often seek advice from family, friends and sometimes, acquaintances. However, the reality of the situation is that our choices transpire in one of two ways: by our thought-inducing, rational heads or our emotion-filled hearts.
It's the ultimate internal struggle: Do I follow my head or heart?
In almost any situation, the head is the voice of reason, as it tells us to make the most logical decision. However, as human beings, we're often more inclined to follow our hearts, even though they may not lead us down the "right" path. As emotional beings, we tend to listen to our feelings and make rash decisions in the moment because of them.
The heart wants what it wants, right?
There are so many decisions we have to make in life, and each one leads us to individual paths in our lives. Here are just a few of the choices we make using either our head or heart:
He Cheated, Now What?
Being cheated on is never something any girl wants to experience. Unfortunately, it happens more often than it should. Some would say there isn't even a decision to make in this case because "once a cheater, always a cheater."
However, his constant apologies, flower deliveries and attempts to make it right are tugging at your heartstrings. So, what do you do?
Your head tells you absolutely not. Why would you want to be with someone who failed to be faithful and respectful to you? How could you possibly live with and marry a man who cheated on you?
You cannot trust him anymore, and while you may love him, there are so many fish in the sea. The options are endless and you deserve much better than some idiot who can't realize how good he has it with you.
On the other hand, your heart is saying you should maybe give him a second chance. Everyone makes mistakes and he won't do it again, right?
He's been trying to redeem himself by taking you out on super fancy dates to the most expensive restaurants, offering continual apologies and displaying random acts of kindness — and love.
Your heart reminds you that you love him and don't know what you would do without him. It pressures your feelings and makes you more accepting of his poor choices.
Ultimately, the decision you make will be based on your own heart and your own head. Each individual case is different and will have a particular outcome. In this case, it's best to follow your head.
It's better to have lost and loved than to be with someone who doesn't have respect or consideration for your feelings.
The Next Four Years
In high school, our lives are consumed with wondering how we will spend the next four years and where. Choosing a university is one of the biggest decisions many of us will make.
Should the decision prioritize location or field of study? The options are endless, and there are a million locations from which to choose. So, how do you decide?
Your head says to be smart about your choice. Don't limit yourself by going to strictly one "type" of school, but somewhere well-rounded with different options for you, should you change your mind regarding your major. Pick a university that makes sense; don't just go to a school in the South because you like that it's always warm.
Don't attend a school that specializes in nursing, only to learn that you hate it and have to transfer after the first semester. Your head tells you to pick the place that is best for your future occupation and your overall well being.
However, sometimes you truly need to follow your heart. Your heart tells you that if you love fashion, major in visual merchandising or design from FIT or FIDM. If you have always wanted to be a doctor, go somewhere that has a great pre-med program.
Yeah, you may change your mind down the road, but following your heart could lead you to fall in love with an area and remain there for the rest of your life. Your heart wants you to follow your gut instinct, not to just choose a school because you think it will "look good."
In my case, I chose to follow my head. I pick the school I assumed would look best on paper and would give me the better education in the field I desired. I go back and forth with my choice constantly, even though I'm approaching the spring semester of my junior year.
Ultimately, I'm happy with my decision, but often I wonder what would have happened if I had chosen to go down South as opposed to Boston. However, I have the rest of my post-grad life to pick and choose where I want to be and what I want to do.
For this decision, many factors are involved. Both your head and your heart could take you down the right path — what you do depends on the person who makes the decision. If all else fails, make a pro and con list!
The Job Search
Another major life decision is discovering the right job for you. I've heard it countless times; people say, "I hate my job, but it pays well." This is the ultimate head-versus-heart dilemma.
Choosing what you want to do for the rest of your life is difficult, especially because, as humans, we're inclined to change our minds -- a lot. We often doubt ourselves and are weary of our choices. So, how do we decide what we want to do?
Your head will tell you to use your degree. Take the job that pays a sufficient amount and allows you to pay your bills. While you may sometimes be unhappy or dislike the company, ultimately it enables you to have the big, cozy apartment you always wanted, with a Yorkie puppy and a fully-furnished living room.
Your heart wants you to follow your passions and dreams. If you've always wanted to be a journalist, go out and do it. Compensation shouldn't be the motivation behind an occupation choice. Instead, you should focus on your wants and desires.
Being happy is the ultimate goal in life and being stuck in a lonely cubicle all day won't make you jump for joy. Do you love fashion? Go out there and work for a fashion magazine! Love writing? Become a writer for a publication you love.
If you have ambition and drive, you can get what you want. It may take time, and you may be living on your friend's couch, eating leftover pizza, but who cares? You followed your heart and are enjoying every minute of your job.
Many of my friends say they hate their majors and don't really want a job in their field of study. Their motivation, however, is money. In response, I ask them what they want to do and tell them to go for it. The worst thing in life is to regret a decision you make.
The Little Things
Yes, there are many choices that are potentially life-changing, but there are also decisions that can make an impact, as well. Every decision is meaningful. It doesn't matter whether you're deciding what to order for dinner or if you should buy the cutest leather jacket from an overpriced boutique.
In cases such as these, either option could work. Your head will keep you from buying the most expensive meal, but your heart will internally persuade you to buy that must-have jacket.
Every single choice we make boils down to the head versus the heart.
So, the next time you make a decision, which do you plan to follow?