Over the past two articles we’ve been discussing that, as human beings, we tend to make decisions (even – and perhaps, especially – major ones) emotionally. We then support those emotional decisions with logic or rationalization. In the previous article, I told a story on myself that – while it happened a long time ago – followed the same basic principles of decision these things most likely always have and always will follow.
Much of the feedback and questions came to me via email and Facebook. Today, I’d like to discuss one letter I received because I believe the very thought brings up an important question.
“Does that mean I shouldn’t have bought my new car? LOL! Just kidding! If you are going to drive you might as well enjoy it! 🙂 … or is that more of… oh well!”
While I think Jean meant that at least somewhat “tongue-in-cheek” I’m bringing it up here because several people wrote with a variation of that question and were completely serious.
Not at all, Jean. As mentioned in the article, the fact that we buy emotionally isn’t necessarily good or bad; it just is. As long as we’re on top of it, recognize it, and are ultimately in control of our emotions, it’s fine. If you can afford it and you want it, if it will bring you joy, and its purchase won’t infringe upon the rights of anyone else, why shouldn’t you have it?
My friend, Randy Gage, who publishes the Success & Prosperity Blog, covered something similar in two of his recent posts, discussing the fact that there is a difference between spending money you don’t have in a way that will be counter-productive to your financial health and well-being…and enjoying the fruits of your labor, treating yourself as you should be treated and enjoying your life to the fullest.
That was very much a paraphrase of Randy’s excellent advice. The point, though, is that the fact that your decision to do or not to do something was based on emotion is not – in and of itself – a negative thing. Nor is it a positive thing. It just is what it is; a natural part of the human decision-making process.
I’m more concerned about the emotional decisions we make that we don’t recognize and/or acknowledge are emotional and happen to not be in our best interests. As adult individuals we are responsible for our decisions and the positive or negative results they bring. Thus, it is imperative that, while we act out of emotion, we don’t use that as an excuse for doing something that might feel good now and come back to haunt us later. And, saying that “it seemed logical at the time” – while it might allow us to feel like a victim, it sure won’t allow us to come away feeling like a winner.
In the next article, we’ll continue along this line and look at it from a seller’s perspective.
Now, I’ll take that Banana Split please…with a Diet Coke on the side. 🙂