Do You Lead With the Mind or the Heart?
We often find ourselves wrestling between our mind and heart. However, a balance can be found that can lead to a happier life. Find out what that is.
The question of leading with the mind or the heart is not a recent one. Long before scientists understood the complexity of emotions, people were asking this question.
Many philosophers would constantly argue that leading with our minds was the best way to go. It was the best way to remain rational and navigate our complex lives. However, several thinkers on the other side sought to encourage people to lead with their hearts.
When we get our hearts broken, we tend to neglect our hearts and turn to lead with our minds. After all, heartbreak is hard, and our mind does a good job of protecting it.
However, as soon as we learn that our ideologies or beliefs are wrong, we go straight back to the heart. We argue with an emotional passion and resist change to make ourselves feel better.
In many cases, it can sometimes feel like our hearts and minds are against one another. They often seek to go in different directions and can leave us feeling confused about what the right thing to do is.
In this article, I hope to explore the different methods of leading one’s life and how a balance is needed to achieve happiness. The question is not so much which one is right, but more how we find a balance between the two.
Leading With the Mind
Being an INTJ myself, I am familiar with what this looks like. So, before you think I am over criticising or being harsh, I would put myself in this bracket. Before I get into why we should not be too keen on doing this, there are major benefits.
Being analytical and choosing to remove emotions from situations can help you think practically. Many things sound nice in theory. For example, becoming a millionaire overnight or eradicating poverty.
All of these things are great in theory and are wonderful thoughts to have. But leading with the mind gives you a mental edge because you can see all the holes in each one. That is not to say that you are not optimistic about the future, but it is to say that you can take practical steps towards it.
A lot of the time, our emotions can cloud our judgement. We want to believe something is right for us, even if our minds can see that it is not.
Navigating the world with your critical thinking brain all the time does come with benefits. However, it has implications in the long run. One of the main ones is living in your head.
As an INTJ myself, I can absorb tonnes of information and create things from it. However, I can sometimes find myself believing that my experience and interpretation is the only one. I do not do this purposely, but when you lead with the mind, this often happens.
We often form beliefs and theories that suit our way of living as an individual. We tend to neglect the feelings and beliefs of others, and often forget that we are dependent on more than ourselves. So, what can leading with the heart offer us?
Leading With the Heart
Our hearts are great navigators. In fact, I would argue that our hearts are better at leading us than our minds in most cases. Of course, the mind has its strengths. But when it comes to our happiness, the heart wins.
Although we struggle to know what we want, our hearts tend to guide us towards it naturally. Many who have lives of abundance and joy have followed their heart to that destination. They have picked a job they would love, a partner that treats them with care, and they fill their lives with pleasurable experiences.
A lot of the time, our minds get in the way of what we truly want. I always had the dream to become a writer from a young age. However, I did not start to write until I was 18, thanks to my mind telling me I would be broke. It was not until I saw that my passion was greater than my income that I turned that thinking around.
Our hearts also have the power to touch others. The golden rule, “treat others the way you would like to be treated”, is an example of this. Although we can rationalise with our minds why this is a sensible thing to do, the rule comes from emotion. It comes from the feelings of empathy and sympathy.
However, without the mind, the heart is also a lost soul. It can lead us to become pleasure seekers and not allow us to see the bigger picture. Just because something feels right now does not mean it will stay right in the future.
Our hearts can also lead us blindly. It is good having a passion or a desire to change the world. But without a plan, you are just a child with big dreams that everyone loves to admire.
The Balance We Need
We are not all mind. Nor are we all heart. We are both, and we must learn to embrace the two. As an INTJ, I have been wrestling with this for the past year and will continue to do so. However, the balance we need for happiness is found in the conflict between our mind and heart.
We are divided, as we both want to feel and know we are correct. We want to both feel and know we are loved. And the one we often struggle with is, we want to know and feel that we are living a meaningful life.
Ofcourse, what we know or what we feel is not always true, and it is up to us to determine that through our experience. Therefore, we can only find this balance through the validation of others. By validation, I do not mean to seek approval. Instead, it is to use our hearts to connect with others and embrace their stories to validate our own.
It is through reading and speaking to others we can both grow in empathy and knowledge. Through leading with others at heart, we can ensure that our mind is constantly left open and curious.
I have found that reading, writing and constantly connecting with others has helped me find this balance. I now lead with both my mind and heart. My heart keeps in it all my passions, feelings, but also the feelings and experiences of others. And my mind navigates these experiences and causes me to act based on them.
We do not need to choose one or the other. Instead, we need to begin considering the feelings and minds of others. When we do this, we can act morally and live a life that is both happy and meaningful.
I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.