Winning Hearts and Minds
From Wikipedia: “Winning hearts and minds is a concept occasionally expressed in the resolution of war, in which one side seeks to prevail not by the use of superior force, but by making emotional or intellectual appeals to sway supporters of the other side.”
Why do you need to win BOTH hearts and minds? Why not only hearts, or only minds?
Humans are complex beings. We are driven by many forces to act. When you buy a new car, you may be swayed by the cost of fuel, or cost of electricity for an electric car. You may be considering the size of the car, and your needs to fit your family and friends. You may compelled to buy a certain car because you want to reduce emissions, as you are worried about climate change.
Your mind me be very cerebral through this process, and may lead you to lay out all the pros and cons. Compare prices, dealerships, tax rebates and all the logical aspects of the decision.
At the same time, your heart is set on driving a cool red shiny car – so your friends will ooh and aah.
You can justify the purchase of the red shiny car, by saying you care about the environment. That sounds logical, right?
Often times we cite logical reasons when we do something, yet the real reason is emotional. We have grown to believe that if you say “I bought this car because it brings me joy, it makes my heart sing, it makes me feel alive” – its not good enough. Its an emotional purchase…
To mask that, many of us cite logical reasons for doing something, as it sounds better, more mature, intelligent etc.
But is it?
Long time ago, before we were human, before we had legs and arm, and eyes and a cerebral brain… we had something else to help us make decisions.
In tiny organisms, before they develop a big brain, they use their gut. They are mostly a gut come to think of it, and a heart to pump blood. Before any limbs, eyes, brain, hair and nose… you still have these primal organs.
Could that be why we have “gut feelings”, or why we say “my heart tells me” its not right?
After all, the brain developed much later with its ability to have abstract thoughts. Yet, these older organs, who have been around for millions of years before the brain – are also telling us something. Do we listen?
Imagine for a moment, that millions of years before we had a brain, we could “sense” danger somehow with other organs. It was our key to survival. As the brain developed, these organs kept sending it signals of danger. However, as the brain became the central intelligence unit – our command center.
This command center, over time, reduced the amount of credibility it gives those “other” organs like the gut or heart. After all, what do they know? They are not a thinking brain.
By doing so, we limited our decision-making abilities to ONLY consider logic, or logic mostly. If we do listen to the other organs, we then need to justify it, or make up some story about why we are listening to them.
Here is the lesson in all this: Let your heart and gut tell you what to do, and let the brain tell you how to do it – not the reverse.
To illustrate, imagine a movie set. Each person on the set is an organ in the body, with a specific job. One is an actor, the other a cameraman.
Do you agree that the actor can do “some” camera work, but it is not their role?
Do you agree that the cameraman can do “some” acting, but it is not their role?
It would not be productive to let the actor be the cameraman and vice versa, right?
Your brain is using logic, and may not be sensing danger like your gut, or your heart. Your heart may sense danger but may not have the best plans to avoid it other than fight or flight.
Let your feeling organs guide you on what to do, as they always know what is good for you, and let your brain carve the path on how to do it.
References and Quotes:
Wikipedia definition – Winning Hearts and Minds
“Many people are so poor that the only thing they have is money. Cultivate your spiritual growth.” – Rodolfo Costa
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