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To Express or to Contemplate?

Quoting famous lines from Shakespeare's Hamlet “To be or not to be”, this article would try explaining the conundrum of choosing the conventional choice or the forsaken one. We always find ourselves in the dilemma between choosing to be free and choosing the fear of abandonment. It’s always easier to side with that fear of disapproval, and gulp down our deepest desires, just to achieve “conventional peace”. But is suppressing always the way to peace? Or does letting your heart out always lead to chaotic situations? This article is an attempt to deep dive into these two major life changing decisions.

Our Minds:

The human brain is driven by two major decision-making processes: the Logical side known as Intelligent Quotient (IQ) and the emotional side, the Emotional Quotient (EQ). Most of the decisions we take would broadly fall into these 2 buckets. The fast thinking, impulsive decisions following no logic, relating to our inherent nature belong to the emotional part. And the carefully crafted, slow thinking, reasonable decisions taken belong to the logical side. Most of the EQ based decisions are targeted for a stress-free outcome, where our brain simply just takes a call, based on our deep-rooted past learnings and our nature in general. While taking tough calls, considering pros and cons of the present situation in planning the future falls under the logical thinking category.

Mostly the EQ based decisions are usually spontaneous, and situations based, or maybe coming from the deep-rooted logical thought our brain is trying to hold on to. So the decision of expressing or contemplating is mainly driven by these two sides of thinking. And we humans usually side with the EQ based decisions and later come up with a logical explanation to our impulsive choices, trying to paint a pretty story.

To Contemplate:

Most problems or issues stay within our heads, before it tries to find a way to come out in any form. Clearly before trying to find an answer to any situation, some thoughts definitely arise, and we imagine ourselves taking some actions to resolve that issue. But most of the time, it stays in the head, without anything being done. There are pros and cons to contemplation. Clearly the very thought of choosing to contemplate rather than letting out is the logical side of your brain in action, carefully weighing the consequences of the actions. And usually, smart decisions weigh in suppressing that EQ’s calls, trying to find peace. This carefully thought-out contemplation most of the time results in saving a disaster, and the good of all. But usually, the contemplating person surely sacrifices some part of his happiness for the greater good, maybe for reputation’s sake or mostly trying to protect his interests.

This works up to a certain level, till the point the emotional side strongly tries to weigh in and the bottled-up thoughts start to make the person suffocated. It is exactly the point when long kept unresolved, lingering thoughts start popping out at random intervals disrupting the entire peace which the person had aimed for originally. And the “Express” balloon now starts pumping up and showing itself but mostly in harming, self-destructive ways taking the shape of anxiety, depression, insomnia, etc.

To Express:

Well the “heart wants what the heart wants”, and we humans eventually find ways of expressing ourselves be it in good or bad ways. Cause those thoughts would eventually take up some form some time. Like contemplation, expressing also has got its own pros and cons. The root cause of expressing comes from the feeling of being trapped. Most of the time, it's a decision taken, when the person doesn’t want to pretend and carry on, and finally gets the courage to speak up or let his views out taking some action. Usually expressing all our thoughts all the time would be straight away categorized as “neurotic”, and of course may also disrupt families, societies and worlds. Sadly, this is the world we live, where being honest all the time comes with a price and an act of pretense is usually acknowledged.

Entirely letting the heart out break ties, but of course the person letting it out might be at peace maybe initially or eventually, so at least it goes for a personal win. The only pro here is the person finally letting out his thoughts, achieves some relief, and finally feels free, because now he has nothing to hide and hence no burden of reputation or interests to protect. The EQ side of our brain plays a major role here, expressing completely, after finally canceling out the IQ side’s carefully thought-out plans and sensible ideas.

The Choice:

Well, the tough part is always taking a call on whose side to take, whether belong to team EQ or team IQ. But instead of more complicating this puzzle, we can try to simplify it. Well, the answer lies in balance. Like a balanced diet is imperative for a healthy body, similarly a balanced play between the IQ and EQ goes a long way for a healthy mindset and peaceful life.

Always acting on impulse might do more harm than good, and may not be for our own good always. Whereas just consuming all the thoughts under blankets of distraction would someday see it’s outburst in unimaginable ways. But mostly taking some action of any kind is usually a win. Because mostly no matter how much world peace we might opt for, we’ll always have a good night’s sleep if our voice is somehow justified. For instance, if the situation demands to keep our thoughts at bay, for greater good or even our own, then one must definitely find a way, to answer that EQ side of the brain demanding freedom.

So, if not exactly expressing in the truest conventional way like we desire, we can find some other way to express ourselves, and process our concerns which is not self-destructive. Like for example, if we’re stuck in a hopeless situation, which is not under our control, and there are a lot of piled up impulsive thoughts waiting to fire up, then for starters surely the IQ can save the disaster by not acting spontaneously, but for handling this EQ’s suppressed emotions some way of expression is very much needed.

Being involved in things that bring joy and happiness can be surely a good distraction to try for but sometimes sitting down processing those emotions, letting out all the feelings really helps to calm the burning rage of EQ. And of course, continuing doing things that bring happiness would complement those processed issues better. If not by using conventional medium of expression which is “words” there are multiple constructive ways where one can find to express oneself and give those voices some justice if not entirely.


We humans always tend to always choose the emotional side of the brain, cause that’s what brings peace. It’s our basic tendency to always avoid pain and seek pleasure and the EQ part of our brain always plays a major part in gaining this. So, no matter how logical a person one might be, at some point he might choose the EQ’s side, the one that makes no sense to others but only to him.

So, one will usually always tend to side with team “Express” driven by EQ at some point or the other. But the only thing which can help somewhat solve this complexity is balance, by using the IQ side to give voice to the EQ side’s concerns. To put in simpler words using the logical part of brain not just to contemplate but express in effective ways not leading to any disaster and also bringing peace at the same time. Basically, a win-win for all. So, when IQ and EQ start teaming up, giving way to each other then that saves a crisis and also brings some inner peace to the distressed soul.

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