Success = Be Prudent or Follow Instinct?


What comes in our mind when we hear the word “prudent”? We imagine a person who is calm, composed, farsighted – who takes decisions after repeated analysis of every possible outcome. This word was vastly used in late middle English in the 19th century but not popularly used now in everyday communications. But this is not the point I want to discuss.

If we go by logic, there can be no two opinion about the fact that the more prudent a person is, the more are the chances of accurate decision making. Be it a desk job, or the post of CEO of a company, a government official or a homemaker – irrespective of the work, well – calculated and experienced decisions become the driving force of success.

But, what happens to “instinct”? We all know and have experienced at some point of time that when we are in a situation, sometimes a possible solution comes in our mind like a flash. Most of the time these ideas are crazy, pretty risky. If we go by logic, we are unable to justify them – as there are other options as well which is better suitable by calculation and experience.

So, “prudence” is all we need for success and just discard this crazy “instinct”? No, never. It sounds strange but the fact is creativity never comes out of too much analysed and calculated decisions. May be they are logically the best possible ones, but to be successful we have to think out of the box, which is primarily guided by our instinct. Ideas which changed the world were all crazy. Think of the famous scientists – Newton – he had a wild question that why apples fall down. Einstein – he thought what happens if we travel in a speed of light. Take Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi (who introduced a completely new and revolutionary concept – non-violence). There are so many great persons who became successful following their hearts, their instincts to try something new.

Does that mean “prudence” becomes meaningless before “instinct”? No. Instinct gives us the idea – we have to take risk with that idea. Prudence helps us to decide how to implement the idea. Our experiences, our foresight help us to decide the right way of implementing the idea. We have to take risks, without taking risk no one can change the world. But we can’t take it on the basis of spontaneous reaction – it will be shear madness then. We have to ask questions, follow our “instinct”, implement it with “prudence”. Then we can change the world.



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