The Hell with Logic.
Yep, I was once one of those people you see out there, in the office, at the bar, in the street or during an argument; someone who actually thought that there was one logic to rule them all and that, for any type of situation. But about 15 years ago I realized that logic has its limits, major limits.
But why I’m I saying this? Simple really.
As far as I can remember we’ve all, at some point in our lives, been taught that being logical has importance in our society. From following rules, even if they’re ridiculous, to having respect for a teacher that clearly had no skills, we were constantly told to oblige to submit, to be logical about a situation.
But when we start reading about successful people in general, many things stand out…
- Most refused the understood logic.
- Most of them broke the rules.
- Most of them took a different path.
And to this I say yes. But yes to what exactly?
Yes to the fact that what truly surrounds us in society are people, emotions, preconceptions, rules, racism, sexism, political agendas and much more. So you see where I’m going with this… we are not surrounded by logic, but fundamental unpredictability of the human spirit, mother nature and many other situations and images if that helps you.
The bottom line is that if you continuously approach life and its challenges with logic, you will hit a wall and most usually you won’t even know you did.
But why’s that exactly? Well, it’s really simple when you start thinking about it.
Trying to reason with emotions or nature is most usually a waste of time.
As I hate wasting my time, and so should you, the sooner you realized this, the happier you'll be. So read on!
The simple fact is that reason goes against emotions, that’s it. As such, we shouldn’t really on logic when dealing with an emotional world, office, friend or situation. Instead, we should always work to find out what’s really going on with the people we face.
Here are a few ideas and pointers for you when trying to move forward in a situation. As many challenges are based on human nature, let’s try to find basic information about an imaginary person:
- Who is that person in front of me?
- What do they like or don’t like?
- What are responsibilities held by that person?
- What are their goals or motivation for the present for the future?
- What frustrations are apparent and not so apparent?
- Who is that person friends with or what social circle are they part of?
- What has happened in their life’s recently, what about back then?
- How do they get paid or rewarded in this situation? And so on.
You can find many others, but the basic idea is that people and nature don’t oblige by predefined rules; very rarely I find. Sometimes that's how it starts, but most usually when the day-to-day starts kicking-in, emotional elements, politics, power plays, fears, rejection and so on gradually start taking over.
To many readers, these types of questions may seem like logic, but they are truly not!
These questions are about helping you understand the challenge and the person in front of you. They will give you information about the person and help you out to better read where they’re coming from, what are their goals, what they are looking for, what they are trying to achieve at some point or in the end...
Once you start asking these types of questions and listen to them and the responses, most of the time people will outright tell you, even without knowing it. Some may be more direct than others, but in general, if you just talk to people and find what they want, what are their concerns or what challenges they are facing, they will tell you about them and that will ultimately help you move forward.
Another important point here. This post has nothing to do about being manipulative or controlling, but strictly about showing you that many decisions based on logic will give you the wrong outcome; because people are not fundamentally logical beings, but emotional.
So before taking a decision, always make sure you understand the underlying current of information, feelings, emotions, potential frustrations and work with them, and sometimes, yes, work around them.
NEVER face emotions with logic as this will become very ineffective in many situations. Because remember that emotions are sometimes absolutely invalid. They trick our minds, play with us and our emotions. That’s why bringing pure logic in our decisions will most usually fail us in the end.
Remember that last commercial or magazine ad you saw? When viewing it or them, did you first think about your emotions or your first reaction was logic? We can all lie to ourselves, but for many, our emotions are the undercurrent, our internal tsunami, our wave of creativity.
So in the context of business, you may get the first or second answer with clients, teams, partners and employees using logic, but in time, you’ll find that something was and is missing, incomplete, not addressed. That’s when you usually know that you missed something.
I’ll go further, be bolder and say that if someone made a bet with me over let's say 100 decision to take, I’d say around 80 of them would be emotionally driven, another 15 would be based on some kind logic and, of course, let’s always keep a 5 in there just for the sake of saying these decisions were absolutely rubbish; in every sense of the term.
I’m not a gambling man, but when you take a look at this (totally unscientific and truly based on my experience and some of my peers I really respect) , what would you bet for? Where would you put your time, efforts, your money?
And even if those numbers on totally ridiculous, wrong, distorted or ludicrous, would you be willing to say the contrary? Would you actually be able to rationalize that "no, no, no boomseb, we humans are and take totally logical decisions most of the time; we’re not emotional beings". Can you really say that?
And you know what, I believe some of you and your convictions, it’s very tempting to sell us the idea that we’re logical beings; but when you’ll start thinking about concrete examples, I’m pretty sure you’ll start to reconsider. How?
Well, when you went on vacation, broke some rules, bought a house, went to the grocery, fired someone, invested in a new company, bought shares of a startup, purchased a new car, a motorcycle, started a new hobby, changed jobs or boyfriend or girlfriend… Were most of these decisions based on logic or emotions?