write madly

What do Lady Gaga and 2002 Nobel Prize winner in economic science Daniel Kahneman have in common?

An appreciation for the heat of emotion.

In his research, psychologist Kahneman has explored “hedonic psychology”: the science of happiness. His book, Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow, describes two systems of information processing: emotional/intuitive (fast) and rational/deliberative (slow). Kahneman suggests that of the two, emotionally derived knowledge is a more effective influence on behavior.

Perhaps this explains why there are times when our choices and decisions seem to have been confounded by the ‘heat of emotion’. Have you ever looked back and wondered how you could have made such an irrational decision with the conviction that it was absolutely necessary and right?

Lady Gaga has made her music, her life, her career an emblem of hedonic psychology – her art and work are powered by the heat of emotion. Whether you love it or hate it, her seeming fearlessness in the face of rational information processing has made her astonishing and memorable.

Like Kahneman, Lady Gaga is a pioneer.

If you need a reminder to write from your beating heart, put this on a post-it and stick it to your monitor:

Dear (your name here):

“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time. ”  Lady Gaga

Writing can transform us, and others. It can help change how others feel and think about important issues, one person at a time. But only if we write madly, with focus and intention from the heart, not the head. In the heat of emotion.

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