Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Using Intuition

As a philosopher, I trust rationality.  Making logical decisions is a necessary step to living a successful life, and rationality is an important tool for achieving your goals.  As much as I trust and promote logic as a necessary and useful tool, I declare that intuition is more important. 

Intuition is more important because the human is an amazing machine with incredible capabilities.  While we can think through a problem logically, we often miss key premises, or use faulty logic, but our intuition quickly analyzes the situation and already has the answers we seek.  It is a guiding force that has been developed and perfected through milennia of evolution to allow us to process the complex patterns of life before our consciousness even becomes fully aware of them.  A well-developed intuition is never wrong.  This is a key point which I will address later.

While modern science cannot yet point to the area of the brain responsible for intution, I can tell you it is different from the area used in conscious thought and rationality.  It uses a more basic, primitve part of the brain which is why it is associated more with a 'feeling' than a linguistic reasoning.  It is something innate in every human, that has a close connection to the essence of the way things are.  Its your connection to God, or Nature, or the Great Equation, if you will.  It does not matter what you call it, but your intuition has the answers and it knows what to do.  And it is right.  Using intuition comes with the benefit of complete confidence.

The problem is, that we also have an aspect of ourselves that competes with our intutition.  It is our consciousness, our language, and our fears that continually work to repsectively challenge, silence, and change our intuition's message.  These are the checks and balances of our human system.  While consiousness, language, and fears play an important role in our lives, they interfere with our abilities to utilize the full potential of our intuition.  This is why it is so important to practice utilizing intuition, exercising this capacity until it is well developed and one is familiar enough with it to get the right message out of it. 

Everybody has had the experience of listening to their intutition.  Think of the scenario when something just didn't feel right, so you avoided it to find out there would have been a personal disaster.  Or the scenario when you decided to jump in and 'go for it anyway' beating the odds to be successful.  One's intuition is more often ignored however, and often to one's peril.  There have beens everal examples I could share where the little subconscious voice in my head told me to do, or not do something, but ignoring the warning signs, I continued anyway, leading to a difficult situation. 

The most recent personal experience I've had with intuition was when I was driving in a new neighborhood, and I did not know the speed limit.  Mindlessly driving along, I had the thought out of the blue that I should immediately slow down, and hitting the brakes I dropped my speed by 15 mph.  Not a block later, there was a police officer with a radar gun hidden around the corner checking for speeders.  As the next speed limit sign came up, realized that my reduction in speed put me only at 3 mph over the limit instead of 18, thus avoiding a ticket.  My intuition led me to the right action.

This is a small example, but if you think back to your life, I'm sure you can identify many examples.  But the key to developing your intuition and using it effectively, is to constantly be in tune with it rather than only listen to it in the few moments it screams at you (as in the speeding example above).  It has much to give you if you listen.  There are many exercises which can work toward this, but ultimately, it involves remaining relaxed, self-aware, and having the will-power to lucidly control your actions rather than spontaneously react to life.  Let your intuition be a guiding force in your life.  Using intuition as your guiding force will quickly lead you to your success as it is always right.

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