Integrating Head, Heart & Gut

By: Dr. Granville D’Souza, DBA

Integrating the head, heart, and gut is crucial for making well-rounded and insightful decisions. Here is a concise guide on how to harness the wisdom of each:

  • Engage the Head (Logic):

Start by gathering relevant information and analysing the facts logically. Consider the practical implications and potential outcomes of your decision. This analytical approach provides a rational framework to assess the situation.

  • Listen to the Heart (Emotion):

Tune into your emotions and feelings about the decision. Pay attention to what resonates with your values, passions, and desires. Emotions offer valuable insights into what truly matters to you, and can guide you towards choices that align with your authentic self.

  • Trust the Gut (Intuition):

Honour your intuition, the instinctive feeling that arises from deep within. Gut feelings often signal subconscious knowledge and wisdom that logic alone may not grasp. Trust your instincts to guide you towards the path that feels most right, even if it defies rational explanation.

  • Seek Balance and Alignment:

Integrate insights from all three sources—head, heart, and gut—to form a holistic perspective. Strive for coherence and alignment among these aspects, ensuring that your decision is both rational and emotionally fulfilling.

Consequences of not integrating the Centres of Intelligence

So, what happens when we use just one Centre of Intelligence (COI) and not involve/integrate the other two? For e.g. using the head alone and not the heart can come across as cold, mechanical and logical. Think of a doctor who may diagnose a critical illness but delivers it in a cold manner, devoid of empathy, care and concern about the consequences on the patient’s impending lifestyle and family matters. Or a banker who wants you to invest your money but does not consider your financial position and have careful consideration of your monthly expenses. These 2 examples can be a total put off and prevent a customer from wanting another encounter.

How to involve all 3 centres

We usually run on auto-pilot, meaning the manner in which we process and make decisions happens so unconsciously that it functions much like breathing. All patterns can be broken but first, I’d like to state how and why this is important.

By integrating the head, heart, and gut, you can make decisions that are not only sound and rational but also deeply meaningful and intuitive, leading to greater clarity, confidence, and satisfaction in your choices. So, here are some questions that we can ask to disrupt our patterns and integrate some healthy new ones:

Ask yourself these questions

Catch yourself when processing and making decisions. Just pause and literally ask these question,


    • “Is this my head, heart or gut deciding?”

    • “If it is my head, what does my heart feel about this thought?”

    • “What emotion(s) do I feel?” … if it is an uncomfortable emotion, then maybe, the thinking is causing it.

    • If it is the heart that feel strongly about something, ask “What thoughts underpin this feeling?” or “Do I have to tweak or change my thinking about this?”

    • “What is my gut telling me?” … For those who do not use or cannot sense the gut, it is an overall sense of ‘knowing’ or ‘feeling’ if something feels or does not feel right. It’s likened to just having an overall sense of ease or unease with the decision. It’s like a radar for the head and heart to observe and give a quick go ahead to take further action or deliberate.

The starting point is to observe all 3 COIs until you know you are consciously aware of them and how they are intertwined. Doing this would surely result in a much more conscious and grounded decision making.

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