Why I’ve decided to be less rational

Being rational is not the endgame. It’s simply a means to an end.

Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

A book rarely leaves me this pensive. But thinking fast and Slow did just that. The author teaches us that we’ve got two primary systems. One is automatic and the other deliberate. The automatic system is fast. It’s sometimes called our intuition. The deliberate system is much slower and takes a lot more effort to use. As I learned how prone we are to mistakes I had to re-think how seriously I take myself.

As I went through the book I realized how irrational I’ve been during my lifetime. That is hard to admit since I try my best to be as rational as possible. I also try to encourage people to be rational at all times. But my understanding of rationality has recently changed drastically. That makes me think, what standard of rationality have I been reaching out for all this time?

I got exactly what I wanted from the book. I know how to be more rational. I know how to help people be more rational. I know how to avoid common thinking patterns that lead to mistakes. But towards the end of the book, I started to realize that they are times where rationality conflicts with more important matters.

Are love or peace always rational?

Is it rational to deal with the same problem time and time and time again? What if it’s something someone can change if they try hard to change it? That’s not rational but it’s peaceable.

Being more rational helps you be more efficient. But, it doesn’t make us feel whole. It doesn’t draw us closer to people. It doesn’t make us happier.

Our relationships aren’t built on calculations and estimations. Feelings bring us together. Feelings are what keep us together. When we understand what feelings are the most important to us we can then use rationality to guide our efforts. We want to be loving so we do our best to do loving things.

Letting feelings lead is something I would never think I would try to do. The more I’ve grown, the more seriously I’ve taken myself. I’m an “adult”. I’m a “professional”… Whatever those words mean. The most important thing is that I am human. And so are other people. We’re just people at the end of the day. People have feelings. Those feelings matter.

Being rational is a noble goal but not the endgame. It’s simply a means to an end.

What qualities do you think are more important than being rational?



Developer. Dabbler in design, writing, and all things creative.

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Limichilwe Simwanza

Limichilwe Simwanza

Developer. Dabbler in design, writing, and all things creative.