Blog like a Buddhist

The Wise Mind theory

There is a Buddhist line of thought called The Wise Mind.  The idea is that our thinking falls into two states.  Think of a Venn diagram (two overlapping circles) with one circle representing rational thought and the other circle representing emotional thought.  On the rational side, thought is based on facts.  It’s intellectual.  On the emotional side, thought is based on feelings.  Where the circles overlap is the area that represents The Wise Mind.  This is where there is the ideal balance between rational and emotional thinking.  The belief is that when we can get ourselves to this state, we tend to make wiser decisions.

The application for content marketing

Content marketing can take a lesson from The Wise Mind theory.  Here’s how.

We can run the risk of focusing so much on the facts and figures that we end up failing to communicate what all those facts and figures mean to our audience’s life.  This is content that falls too far to the rational side.

At the same time, we can find ourselves producing content that is overloaded with thinly-supported opinion.  This is content that falls too far to the emotional side.

Many times, we see content that lands in one of these camps because the author feels the pressure to, “get something published”.  It’s content for content’s sake.  And honestly, it’s worse than not publishing at all.  Because readers see through it.  Publishing this “filler” erodes credibility.

Our content needs to find balance between the rational and emotional.  It takes more work.  But it is worth it.  Because out of the effort emerges credible insight.  Notice I used two words here – “credible insight”.  “Credible” because you’ve used the rational side to identify relevant facts and figures.  “Insight” because you’ve used the emotional side to connect the dots.  To provide meaning to your readers.  This is content that resides in the illusive Wise Mind territory of our illustration.

Readers are looking for this kind of content. And they’re having to wade through a morass of filler masquerading as something valuable.  Take a hard look at your content marketing.  Are you balancing the rational and emotional to arrive a real insight that can make a difference for your reader?  It would be wise to do so.

Key Takeaways

  • The Buddhist Wise Mind Theory leads us to the ideal balance between rational and emotional thinking
  • Under the pressure to, "get something published" it's easy for our content to end up feeling unbalanced and less valuable
  • By balancing the rational and emotional, we create content that delivers credible insight