Intuition

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Einstein

Albert would have probably agreed with a lot of what Carolyn Gregoire had to say in her HuffPo article, “10 Things Highly Intuitive People Do Differently.” I disagree with both of them.  Or at least, I’d frame the discussion a bit differently. The difference begins with how we define intuition. In the article, Sophie Burnham claims intuition is, “different from thinking, it’s different from logic or analysis…It’s a knowing without knowing.” Discussing intuition in that light conjures images of crystal balls and mystical arts.

We can separate two distinct processes that happen in our brains:  Conscious and Subconscious. Your conscious mind is reading this sentence. At the same time, somewhere in the background, your subconscious mind is constantly taking in and processing information, and then doing things with that information that you’re likely not even aware of. For example, you (hopefully) don’t fall out of bed when you’re asleep. Why not? Even though your fast asleep, your subconscious mind will allow you to roll all over the bed, but keeps you from falling off the edge.

I don’t think intuition is mystical or magical at all. I think it’s perfectly real and scientific, and amounts to your subconscious processing huge amounts of information behind the scenes. The “highly intuitive” people mentioned in Gregoire’s article are unique because they have learned how to trust and tap into this enormous power. Everybody’s subconscious is working all the time. But those that are more effective in tapping into it are, in a way, using more brain power than those that haven’t figured it out. The playing field is tilted to their advantage.

So how do you heighten your intuitiveness? First, understand it’s not about hocus-pocus, it’s about using more of your natural brain power. Next, read the article. To me, it’s not about a list of “ten things.” Better, it’ll will give you a place to start figuring out how it all works. Some of my favorite thoughts from the article:

  1. “In the middle of craziness, you can’t recognize intuition above all the noise of everyday life.”
  2. “Creativity does it’s best work when it functions intuitively.”
  3. “Social emotions like guilt, shame, pride, and disgust can be experienced by watching others.” (think about that one)
  4. “Few things stifle intuitiveness as easily as constant busyness, multitasking, connectivity to digital devices, stress, and burnout.”
  5. “Strong emotions–particularly negative ones–can cloud our intuition.”

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