Emotions are best when they are left "out" of the decision making process. Due to the fact that humans are emotional creatures, it would be foolish and unwise to advocate people to "get rid of their emotions". This is both unnecessary and unhealthy, for we all have emotions for a reason.
However, there are times when our emotions must be keep in balance. One such example of this is when we have to make decisions, particularly critical decisions. History shows that when people mix their emotions with decision making, they tend to make bad decisions, which in turn lead to severe consequences.
Let us study an example of a situation where deciding with your emotions can be dangerous, perhaps even fatal. Lets say you are walking along a crowded street, and all of a sudden, you mistakenly step on the shoes of another person. You apologize quickly, but the person you apologized to is still angry. They yell at you, make a big scene, and are even ready to fight.
At this point, if you are like most people, your emotions are beginning to bottle up inside, particularly anger. You have already told this person you apologized for stepping on their shoe, and it angers you that they are still raising their voice and trying to start a fight. At this point, you also have a decision to make. You can ignore the person, walking away from them, or you can escalate the situation by yelling back or shoving them.
A person who decides with their emotions will likely decide with the emotion they are feeling at that moment, which is anger. This means that in all likelihood the situation will be escalated. A wiser person would recognize that deciding with their emotions is not smart, and would instead walk away.
In general, when you have a decision to make, and you’re emotional about it, it is best not to make the decision based on the dominant emotion you have at that moment, because this will generally lead to you making a decision that ends up hurting you in the long run. There is a time for emotions, but emotions should never play a factor in the decisions you make in life, for disaster usually follows.
Warren Buffet, one of the top investors in the world, is famous for saying that "emotions should be left out of the investing process." He feels that if you are going to be emotional when it comes to investing in the stock market, you should not be putting your money in it. Why does he feel this way? The answer to this question is the same for why you should not be emotional when making any kind of critical decision.
Any decision you make in life should be based on "logic" not "emotion." Decisions made based on logic are decisions that are often right, though not always. They tend to be right because they are based on all available data, not your "perception" of this data.
For example, lets say you have two investors, Bob and Jane. Jane decides to buy 100 shares of a company, not because she has any emotional feelings towards it, but because she has done research and the data shows that this company is undervalued, and is therefore a good buy.
In contrast, Bob is an emotional investor. He buys 100 shares of a company because he used their product when he was a youth, and he remembers the many good times and bad times that he had when he used this product. He doesn’t bother to do much research or read financial reports, he just makes his decision based on pure emotion. Which investor do you think will succeed over the long run?
Think Like a Computer
A computer is an almost perfect decision maker. The reason why it is perfect is because the decisions it makes are based 100% on logic. The computer is not emotional about the decisions it makes. It does not worry about what others may think. When it is given an instruction to do something, it figures out the most efficient way to do so.
To become a master decision maker, and increase the correctness of your decisions, you must think logically. Define what your goals are, and then take the most logical plan to achieve them. While you will not always be right, you will be right a lot more than those who allow their emotions to do their decision making.