If you’ve spent any time at all around here, you know that I always advocate a whole-brain approach to spirituality.
You have to hone your feelings and intuition. And listen to your heart.
But you also have to think critically. Ask tough questions. And accept some difficult answers.
New Age culture promotes an over-reliance on intuition.
The popular doctrine is that your feelings are more reliable than your thoughts.
That if something feels good, then it is good.
And if it feels bad—it probably feels bad for a reason.
Therefore, you should focus your life on the things that feel good to you…
“Follow your bliss.”
Setting aside the fact that not everything that’s good for you actually feels good. (And vice versa.)
There’s another problem with this approach to life…
If you weigh all of your feelings equally, it makes it almost impossible to see anything through to completion.
And predisposes your life to failure.
And that’s probably not the outcome you were hoping for…
From Feeling to Flaky to Failure
Not every decision that you make carries equal weight.
Some decisions have long term consequences. Others are fairly temporary.
But if you weight your intuitions equally…
If you go for it when it feels good… Let things go when they don’t…
Then you’re are all but guaranteed to fail at everything you do.
Because the decision to quit is always more enduring than the decision to persevere and see something through.
For example, let’s say that you take on a new project. Or new job. Or new relationship.
At first it feels really good.
It feels right.
So you throw yourself in and move forward.
And for every day that it feels good, your intuition tells you to keep on going…
So you do.
But sooner or later, you’re going to hit a bad day. Or even a whole string of them.
Suddenly things don’t feel so good anymore.
Your intuition starts telling you that it’s no longer a good fit.
That maybe it’s time to move on…
And who knows? Maybe it is.
But the decision to quit is a lot more enduring than the decision to continue.
And so one bad vibe can undo everything that came before.
And shut the door on every future possibility.
When you faithfully follow your feelings, it doesn’t matter that there were a hundred good vibes and a single bad one…
New Age doctrine doesn’t say, “weigh the quantity of good feelings against the quantity of the bad. Think critically. And override your feelings if you have to.”
It just says, “if it feels good, then your life is in alignment. If it doesn’t feel good, then you’re no longer where you need to be.”
But intuition is fickle. It doesn’t see contrast.
It doesn’t reflect.
It doesn’t see a hundred good days against a couple bad.
It only sees the moment…
It only sees the time to move on.
And so following your intuition, without measured reflection, is almost always a path to failure.
To aborting prematurely…
Worse, the more sensitive you get—the more in-tune you are with your intuition—the more failure you’ll invite.
Through sheer fucking statistics!
It actually makes me wonder if flaky people are naturally drawn to New Ageism? Or if following New Age doctrine just naturally makes people more flaky?
So what’s the answer?
You have to listen to, and follow your intuition…
But you also have to consider the consequences of your actions.
Feelings are fluid. They change from day to day.
Just because your intuition tells you something one day, doesn’t mean that you’ll feel the same way tomorrow.
And so following your intuition becomes a balancing act…
Where you weigh the feeling in your heart against the long-term repercussions of your decisions.
In general, that means giving your positive vibes more weight than the negative.
Not because you need to be a hopeful and optimistic person…
(Though that’s not a bad side-effect!)
But simply because choosing to move forward is always more temporary than choosing to quit.
It’s not even really a matter of positive versus negative.
It’s more, long-term vibes get less weight than short-term vibes.
That’s really all you have to do to stop stacking the deck against yourself…
It doesn’t even have to be equal.
You don’t have to suffer through as many bad days as good.
Or wait it out until the scale tips the other way…
But you do need to consciously reflect. And be ready to make some tough decisions.
Because even though you have to decide based on long or short-term consequences… You still feel based on positive and negative…
And none of us like to feel shitty…
So what’s the ratio of good to bad that you can accept?
When is it really time to quit? 10% bad? 30%? 60?
There’s no hard and fast rule.
Different situations carry different expectations.
Maybe a first date is only worth 15% bad vibes?
Maybe a new project is really going to suck in the short term—100% suck!—but if you make it, it will pay off big later on?
You have to balance your intuition against the reality of the situation.
Some choices can’t be unmade.
And it’s not always about quitting too soon.
Some people have the opposite problem…
I tend to focus too much on the good, and overlook the bad. And so sometimes I suffer through way more than I really should before I finally punch out of a bad situation.
But I’d still rather endure a bit of extra hardship in order to provide space for something good to happen.
(Which, ironically, opens the door to the deadly promise of potential…)
Nothing is ever easy.
Feelings and intuition least of all.
And the more sensitive you get, the more difficult the choices become.
I know that’s not what most people want to hear, but it’s the truth.
Though there are two more happy consequences of differentially weighting your intuitions…
When you allow greater influence to your short-term intuitions, it will naturally make you more spontaneous!
And open you up to all kinds of new experiences.
Because if the consequences of your decisions are truly short-term…then what’s the worst that can happen?
Follow your heart and see where it leads!
At the same time, in the long run, you become more reliable.
Because if your decisions are going to stick with you—or even last forever—then you take intuition under advisement, and get your head in the game.
And stick through the tough times, where other people would quit.
Still following your intuition…
Just without the flakiness or being predisposed to failure.
Anyway, I know that all this doesn’t exactly rise to the level of earth-shattering revelation…
But with all the frivolous, follow your feelings stuff floating around out there, I thought it might make for an interesting counter perspective.
If you liked this post, please consider sharing, along with a brief comment of what you thought… It doesn’t sound like much. But these small gestures make a tremendous impact on building our community, and helping other wayward rebels find a perspective that they can resonate with.
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In any case, thanks so much for stopping by! – \m/ – Z
About Zach Herbert
I teach people to do cool things with their consciousness, and break their brains with beautiful ideas.
Professional heretic. Unlikely mystic. Host to rebels, misfits and independent thinkers.
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