TED Conversations

Puneet Rakheja

Director, WHITEandBLACKandRED

TEDCRED 50+

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Risks are important. But how do you decide which ones are worth taking and when to be more calculative.

Risks are at the end just that... risks.. with a substancial probability of failure. Mostly everyone likes to believe they take risks in their own lives.. but we all have a degree of what we consider risks.. 'calculative risks' and a degree of intuition. Like i could take risks in careers and lifestyles, but not physical risks.
What process do you use to figure when to follow your heart and when to follow your brain and how to balance the two..

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  • Apr 20 2011: I think we can all agree that in moments of doubt, we can turn to that 'gut feeling' to alleviate any ambivalence we're feeling, and point us in the right direction. Well, I do, at least. Why? I think it's because I have been lucky enough to understand why that gut feeling is so trustworthy. When you say 'follow your heart', I assume your talking about following our instincts; following, what we think, to be a completely uninformed decision. But let's think for a moment. How did we come to acquire some sort of 'gut feeling' in the first place? I believe that this feeling is in fact our subconscious speaking to us. Not in some philosophical, obscure sort of way! From a purely scientific point of view, we have our conscious mind, and our subconscious mind. According to some very intelligent scientists, our conscious brain can only handle up to 8 or 9 pieces of information at one time. For example, we consciously talk to our mate about his day in a cafe. However, it is our unconscious (or subconscious) mind that takes in all the detail around us: it is like a sponge. That can process billions of pieces of information each second. Our subconscious mind processes the body language of our friend, his reaction to his day so far, and his mood. When people say 'first impressions are formed within the first five seconds of meeting someone', our subconscious mind is on full processing speed at that time, deciding for us what this new person is like. But I still have not answered the questions: why trust our 'heart', or our 'gut feeling'? It turns out that our subconscious soaks in all the seemingly unimportant information, and it has an overriding influence on our actions. Your 'gut feeling' isn't actually an uninformed feeling at all: it is comprised of the myriad pieces of information that our subconscious mind has observed, and is, in most cases, the more informed decision! This is why if I ever have a conflict between 'heart' and 'mind', I always listen to my 'heart'!
    • Apr 25 2011: Julian, I know this is 4 days late but hope you don't mind. You might be closer than you know. There have been lots of scientific studies, tests, experiments and so on done around the concepts of deception, self-deception and warfare. As I understand it, what has been discovered is that the left side of the brain is the logical, rational side but the right challenges and questions the logic or arithmetic, if you will, of the left.
      Now, humans have or hold true and false, simultaneously. However, this was a surprise to the researchers.
      The Truth, is held or stored in the unconscious while the false is kept in the conscious mind. They thought it would be the other way around in order to deal with serious situations, but it isn't. (you got it)
      This is counter-intuitive and intuitive is what we need to hear trust, and act upon. Hmmm. It is biased for "the," or "an", observer. Self-deception is the active misrepresentation of reality to the conscious mind and deception, is the active misrepresentation of reality to another conscious mind. The self-deception leads to creating a better deceiver of others but creates an inner turmoil because the Truth is trying to get out and challenge the false. Interesting as it applies to warfare and fooling oneself, then a nation, then a world but the warfare is also inner to individuals and between them as a populace. If there is control by some, a few or many, then havoc happens, tragedies and horrible things take place. Sound familiar?
      I agree with you except I believe there is a part of our psyches that has an operating system in birth-place with certain data (truths) and to some degree they have been buried under lots of lies but still call out (glad they do) to us humans to free them. Otherwise, I cannot figure out why humans continue to seek the truth in all things if, according to those in power, we have been told the truth. Then why do we actively seek it? Because it calls to us and many can barely or not even hear it. Gud 4 U
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        Apr 26 2011: eloquent y yolanda thank you

        " according to those in power, we have been told the truth. Then why do we actively seek it? Because it calls to us and many can barely or not even hear it.".

        .I also believe the truth is there inside and wants to speak through us and to us.

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