We make our best decisions in life when we balance our emotions with rational thinking
Imagine a man who feels nervous about social situations. To minimize his anxiety, he avoids starting conversations with his coworkers. The less he speaks with his coworkers, the less they initiate conversation with him. When he enters the break room and passes people in the hallway without anyone speaking to him, he thinks, I must be socially awkward. The more he thinks about how awkward he is, the more nervous he feels about starting conversations. As his anxiety increases, his desire to avoid his coworkers also increases. This results in a self-perpetuating cycle. To understand mental strength, you have to learn how your thoughts, behaviors, and feelings are all intertwined, often working together to create a dangerous downward spiral as in the preceding example.
I'm terrified of snakes. Yet my fear is completely irrational. I live in Maine. We don't have a single poisonous snake in the wild. I don't see snakes very often, but when I do, my heart leaps into my throat and I'm tempted to run as fast as I can in the other direction. Usually, before I run away, I'm able to balance my sheer panic with rational thoughts that remind me that there's no logical reason to feel afraid. Once my rational thinking kicks in, I can walk by the snake—as long as he's a safe distance away. I still don't want to pick him up or pet him, but I can continue past him without letting my irrational fear interfere with my day. We make our best decisions in life when we balance our emotions with rational thinking.
Stop and think for a minute about how you behave when you're really angry. It's likely that you've said and done some things that you regretted later, because you were basing your actions on your emotions, not logic But making choices based on rational thinking alone also doesn't make for good decisions. We are human beings, not robots. Our hearts and our heads need to work together to control our bodies.
Yet, certainly, the wise learn many things from their enemies; for caution preserves all things. From a friend you could not learn this, but your foe immediately obliges you to learn it. For example, the states have learned from enemies, and not from friends, to build lofty walls, and to possess ships of war. And this lesson preserves children, house, and possessions.
The present theory then must be considered to be a suggested program or framework for future research and must stand ...
It’s saying no.
That’s your first hint that something’s alive. It says no. That’s how you know a baby is starting to turn into a person. They run around saying no all day, throwing their aliveness at everything to see what it’ll stick to. You can’t say no if you don’t have desires and opinions and wants of your own. You wouldn’t even want to.
No is the heart of thinking.