Instincts or Intelligence?


My cousin enterd our home with tears in his eyes. We knew that he was expecting his results, and hence on seeing him in that state, we understood that he didn’t pass his exams. The result was a shock for us all as we have personally seen him chalk out his schedule, plan his studies and so on… Where did it go wrong…?

When asked, he said that though he had made study schedules, he couldn’t resist watching cricket. In the war between cricket and studies, he found watching cricket more appealing and pleasurable and chose it. The result was obvious.

Instincts won over intelligence.

We often take decisions based on our instincts, instead of using our intelligence. Instincts refer to the inherited tendency of an organism to behave in a certain way, usually in reaction to its environment. It basically implies avoiding pain and embracing pleasure even if it is not right. Intelligence means choosing what is right, even if it is not pleasurable and painful for the moment…

As I thought more about it, I realized I could see instincts winning over intelligence all around me… and to that, I too am not an exemption… 😦

An uncle of mine often has health problems. When I asked him if he was regular with his morning walks and diet, he promptly replied saying “Every evening I decide to start walking from the next morning. But, when I wake up, the cold weather makes lying under the blanket more pleasurable than going for a walk”. So, though he knows exercise is very much essential for him, he follows his instincts and is ultimately suffering in the process. If he were to direct his intelligence and exercise regularly, he would surely enjoy a better state of health…

If a person is shouting, threatening or hits me, my instincts tell me to punch that person to defend myself. My intelligence, on the other hand, will tell me why that person is mad at me…

Intellectually, a businessman knows that well laid systems and processes will take his business to the next level, and yet he drowns himself in the routine fire-fighting activities. If he were to heed to his intelligence and not his instincts to immediate solutions for crisis, he will surely achieve greater success…

There will always be a war between the heart and the mind, instincts and intelligence. But, we have to choose what is right and what is wrong must be avoided. That must be done.

If we succeed in choosing intelligence over instincts, we can surely enjoy a healthy, wealthy and happy life…! 🙂

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