“I believe in intuition and inspiration. At times I feel certain I am right while not knowing the reason why.” Do you know who said that? It was none other than Albert Einstein.
“Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect.” Any guesses? It was Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs.
Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs both attributed their extraordinary success to this personality trait….listening to their intuition. They have both been stated saying “it has never let me down.”
Intuition is a noun whose definition means that someone uses quick understanding to interpret but without using reason, logic, evidence or perception. Basically, it’s a snap judgment, or a quick and ready insight. Intuition is a gut reaction that only has your best interest at heart and comes from the Latin word tueri which means "look at, guard, protect, watch over."
Intuitive decisions are often a product of previous intense and/or extensive thinking on a specific subject. These decisions may appear fast and effortless. It ensures we respond in the moment, freeing up our brains to tackle new experiences.
Now let’s look at examples of intuition, but not from a creative or business view like Einstein or Jobs, but from the aspect of self preservation.
- You are one of the last people to leave work, you are in the parking lot walking towards your car and it is getting dark. You have worked in this building for 10 years and have always felt safe…..until tonight. Every part of your mind, body and soul is screaming at you to LEAVE. GO BACK. SOMEONE IS WATCHING ME.
- You and your family are heading out on vacation early one the morning. You usually turn left to get to the interstate but for some reason you turned right. You didn’t make a conscious decision; it was just a gut feeling telling you to go the other way. Your wife questions your actions and asks that you turn around because the route you are on is going to take 20 minutes longer. You explain to her that there is a dark feeling in the pit of your stomach and it is saying DON’T GO THAT WAY. She is a bit perturbed but dismisses it because of your deep seated hatred of traffic and your desire to avoid it at all costs. After a few minutes, you both even laughed about it. Later that night, you hear on the news that a bridge collapsed that morning and many were killed. If you turned left, your family would have been on that bridge.
- You are on a business trip and call an Uber to pick you up from your hotel. You walk out about 10 minutes early, just to be sure not to miss him. A car is already there. A man gets out, says nothing, opens the car door, and waits for you to get in. Intuition kicks in and tells you to GET AWAY FROM HIM QUICKLY.
I can say the same for each one of these stories, this is not logic; it is your intuitive WEAPON naturally guiding you to NOT DISMISS THIS GUT FEELING and to respond with a good decision.
An expert in decision-making and Nobel Memorial Prize winner, Herbert A. Simon’s view is that “intuition is recognition.” Simon based his work on the performance of chess grandmasters and their ability to move very quickly. That ability is called immediate “pattern matching” due to their outstanding memory of “previous moves” and playing thousands of games. Research Psychologist, Gary A. Klein developed a recognition-primed decision making model in 1985 to describe how people actually make decisions. Klein agrees that people can make rapid intuitive decisions by accessing “files in your brain” of similar experiences and running mental simulations of potential outcomes.
Everyone is born with this magnificent inner compass whether they realize it or not, even those with a more analytical mind. When you have a logical brain, it is often better to work with physical evidence, like recognizable pre-assault indicators, and your intuition paired together to know that it is ACTION time. No matter if you are a creative right brained person or an analytical left brained person, if intuitions role is decision making, while not infallible but invaluable, then let’s give ourselves permission to listen to it.
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society the honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” - Albert Einstein