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Fast and Slow Thinking: Navigating Our Brain’s Dual Processes

A man looking out the window thinking

Let’s get straight to the point. We’ve got two modes of thinking & both are crucial.

System 1 (Thinking Fast) and System 2 (Thinking Slow).

System 1 is the part of the brain that handles the simple things: sensory input, automatic and unimportant decisions, casual social interactions, and other inbound signals that can be processed rapidly and rather easily.

System 1 is rapid and instinctive. It does not involve what we usually associate with ‘thinking’. When you duck unexpectedly because a ball is thrown at you, or get nervous when you look down from the rooftop of a skyscraper you are using System 1. These activities are associated with the most primitive parts of the brain.

System 2 is the higher-order, logical part of the brain. It’s the part that thinks at the speed of the voice in your head. It brings processing power for decisions and problems that require deeper thought.  System 2 is more deliberate and self-conscious. We use it while learning to drive, when deciding which flight to take to London, and whether to become an engineer or a doctor.

Simply put SYSTEM 1 is your gut reaction and SYSTEM 2 is your conscious thought.

The best thinking is obviously a combination of both systems, however learning to trust and integrate both takes knowledge of “how to” and practice of “when to”.

This is one of the many reason’s clients come to see me……..they desperately want to feel really, really good about the decisions they make

Whether it is deciding to get married, or to end a relationship OR whether to stay in a career they feel is unfulfilling or to move on and try something different. They all inherently know indecision is a killer and wreaks havoc on their nervous system.

From my own experience, I can irrefutably tell you almost nothing feels as good as making a SOLID and CONFIDENT decision! 

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