Abundant Living Vol. X, Issue 39

“Every prudent man acts out of knowledge . . .” – Proverbs 13:16 

For a professional bond trader, which I was for many years, there is very little time for in depth statistical analysis before making a decision, decisions that involve large sums of money, often millions of dollars. Instead the fast pace of the financial markets require that decisions be made on the fly.  There are, though, people who are better equipped than others to quickly analyze.  Such was the case with my former boss from many years ago.  He was much more adept at analyzing potential market opportunities than me, my own style being more that of gut instinct.  Once I recall he asked my opinion about investing in a substantial position for which he made a very logical analytical argument.  While I was convinced by his logic, something deep down inside just didn’t feel right, yet being unable to articulate a reason for my feelings I went along.  Turns out – in this instance!! – my gut instinct was correct; for shortly after taking on the position the market took a downward turn resulting in a hefty loss in the position.

For those familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) you’ll recall that one of the four indexes measures a person’s preference in how one makes decisions. Some are “thinkers” (objective, analytical) while others are “feelers” (from the heart or “gut”).  In the story I just described it’s pretty obvious that my old friend is a “thinker” and I’m a “feeler”, as indeed we are.  And in that instance had we followed my gut “feeler” instinct instead of his “thinker” logic we would have been much better off – but not always.  Studies, in fact, have proven comparable results from both styles of decision making.  Thus, our differences actually made us a great team that produced great results.

“Every prudent man acts out of knowledge,” so the Proverb says.  Yet a subsequent Proverb states that, “In his heart a man plans his course,” (Proverbs 16:9).  One seems to favor the “thinker”, the other the “feeler”.  But this is not a contradiction.  God created us with brains as well as hearts that we should use both.  Still, as the MBTI® points out, we each lean toward one preference or the other.  That’s why “feelers” need “thinkers” and “thinkers” need “feelers”, because the best decisions are made when we put our heads (and our hearts) together.

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