IIT Delhi: The importance of rationality in decision-making

Acharya Prashant
10 min readMay 26, 2022

The following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner (Q): I would like to ask your advice regarding decision-making. How rational should we be and how to weigh the consequences of our actions when we need to make important decisions in our life, like those related to work-life balance? How much importance should we give to our career or financial stability in comparison to, let’s say, family and relationships? So, could you give some advice on this?

Acharya Prashant (AP): How important is it to be rational while making decisions? There is no other way. I am assuming that when you say that we need to be rational, you are emphasizing the role of discretion over instinct, reason over emotion. Is that what we broadly mean by rationality?

Reason over emotion and discretion over instinct — there is no other way to decide. One has to be not quite rational but completely rational. Let the intellect go all the distance. Let the mind exercise itself to its fullest potential when you are deciding. Let no decision come from the blind wave and the primitive momentum of physical and mental tendencies, intuitions, instincts, etc. It is just that the reasonability has to be honest, and if one is honest, honestly intellectual, then the intellect will come to see its…