By Younas Chaudhary
In the 1990’s, I purchased ten acres of land around Rankin Road and I-45 in Houston for investment purposes. I knew it would yield profits a few years later. Along the same time, my local community started to grow in Houston, and they were looking for a larger space to expand. We were gathering at a rather dilapidated space at that time and wanted to find a better location to gather and worship. I had just purchased this tract of land next to the freeway and my mind was telling me to keep it while my heart was telling me to donate part of the land to the community so that they could build a mosque on it.
As time passed, I was torn and I could not decide. I did not know whether to listen to my heart or my mind. Should I do what my heart was telling me to do and donate the land or do what my mind that was telling me and keep the land. So, I asked my wife, and she gave a clear answer: ” Donate it to the community since it is for a good cause.”
I donated five acres of land to the community in the 1990’s hoping that they would build a mosque. Couple of years passed and they could not raise any funds to build the mosque. So, I went a step further and promised them that I would also build a new mosque on that land.
I did not have spare cash money at the time but since I made the promise, I wanted to fulfill it and thought of taking a second mortgage on our home to keep my word. However, I did not have to do anything as my energy business started flourishing and I was able to build the mosque in 2004 without taking any debt.
Interestingly, around the same time when I donated the land and built a mosque on it, I purchased an oil producing lease with several shut-in wells in West Texas. The wells on this lease were running at a loss. My engineer reviewed the well files, logs, completion reports, and I visited the lease. The engineer suggested that I re-complete one of the down wells. Based on the log review, he felt that it would yield some untapped oil in one of the local known oil producing formations. Alongside, he tried to dissuade me saying that it would be expensive and a risky task to do. I knew he was trying to defend himself from any future blame for his suggestion in case the well recompletion failed. My heart told me to go ahead re-complete the well and shoot the upper oil zone in that well. Despite the heavy upfront investment, I did exactly that. As soon as that well was shot, perforated and treated, the well started flowing oil at 1,200 barrels of oil a day.
Bottom line, listen to your heart especially whenever you are given an opportunity to perform good for others!
My inner craving to take purely rational decisions has bitten me more than once. About two decades ago, a lucrative energy deal fell on my lap, but my accountant talked about the risks associated with that deal. My heart was telling me to take the deal, but I passed on it. The one who eventually got that deal made huge profits! My accountant explained several red flags in the deal, and I was believing more in the numbers than what my heart was telling me to go for it. I was upset for a while, but I have no regrets.
A heart-centered decision can go a long way when you are at odds with the advice that you get from other professionals around you. It is also good to wait and sleep on it, whenever faced with a conflict between the heart and the mind in taking a decision. Use commonsense and try to give more compassion to your heart!
As I have grown older, I take more heart-centered decisions rather than jump into conclusions purely by crunching numbers. I do not discount the fact that I carefully analyze the numbers, risks, and the effect of wrong/right decisions.
Another instance, around two decades ago, I started purchasing real-estate properties in Vancouver area Canada and the local banks were telling me that the real-estate prices were very high, and my investments would run into losses. But I listened to my heart and purchased the properties. Now they have quadrupled in value.
Long story short, I feel trusting my instincts helps me more than taking purely logical decisions. I am not discounting the importance of taking calculated risks, however, often whenever I have trusted my heart, things have worked out much better for me.
We know that numbers do not lie. Though I feel a mix of rational decision-making along with listening to your heart is the way to go. The heart will often guide you to the right place! Blessings.
The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.