Just be rational

The common them of a lot of “experts” about money is that you should be logical, rational, unemotional.  You should rely entirely on your “thinking” and eliminate emotion.   The theory is that this will avoid “emotional errors” and lead to better decisions.

I’ve said before that it isn’t possible, humans didn’t evolve to do it, we don’t really know what “reality” is we only know the “reality” that our brains tell us is there and that logic without intuition and emotion is not particularly useful. 

In a great series, Dr Michael Mosley looked at how psychology has begun to understand the brain. Unfortunately, they haven’t made the whole series of three programmes available to view again.  They haven’t even made the whole of the second programme, on emotions, available – but there are some clips including this one.   

If you can get a copy of the programme, if you watch nothing else, look at the last 15 or 20 minutes.  I’ve referred in resources to the book Descartes’ Error, by Damasio.  In the programme, Dr Mosley shows the consequences of a “totally logical” brain, one that has lost its capacity for emotion – in an interview with a former student of Damasio who is continuing with experiments to try to understand how we really think. 

We don’t know all the answers, maybe we never will.  But what is absolutely certain is that trying to think “logically” about money and ignoring your human emotions, intuitions, feelings etc. is impossible, if you could do it, it would not be an effective way to think and if you did do it would mean that you cease to function as a human being. 

Work with your brain, not against it.

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