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Just returned home from Los Angeles and unfortunately I’m a bit under the weather but I still have enough energy to write this email and send you this video.
During the first module of the Practitioner Training two weeks ago we veered off topic a bit when someone mentioned intuition; a way overrated concept if you ask me.
People often make a lot of assumptions about intuition like intuitions are always correct and intuition is based on a 6th sense. Not only do a I disagree with these assumptions they can get you into a lot of trouble if you’re not careful.
Google defines intuition as: “the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.”
That’s really all there is to it so why do we load it with more meaning?
I think it’s because we like to be right when we’re right and we like to forget quickly when we’re wrong. Also it feels good to understand something and when we understand something without having to put in effort and time we like to think that means something very positive about who we are.
And there’s nothing wrong with that and quite likely it’s true. A correct intuition probably says something about the wisdom you’ve acquired over the years. Definitely listen to your intuition but don’t always obey it.
NLP helped me to understand intuition better and to understand that just because you’re unaware of how you arrived at an intuition doesn’t mean it’s a psychic ability or that it comes from a divine source. Intuitions can be wrong and they often are about 50% of the time.
I had an intuition that my first child was going to be a boy. That intuition was wrong.
Just prior to this last presidential election I was speaking to my cousin who is very apolitical, doesn’t follow politics at all in other words and rarely has a political opinion because he’s unaware of what’s going on. However, he told me he hated Hillary Clinton.
“What specifically do you not like about her?” I asked whipping out the Meta Model.
He thought about it for several moments trying to know why he disliked her so much and finally said “I just don’t like her.”
“People don’t just not like other people,” I said. “There must be a reason.”
He thought about it some more and finally said “Intuition”.
What he was calling intuition was the result of living in a very politically conservative environment where even though he did not consciously pay attention to the media and to political discussions he overheard, he received enough negative messages about Hillary Clinton that he formed an opinion without using conscious reasoning.
I questioned his “intuition” an picked it apart until he realized he had no idea why he had such strong feelings about someone he really knew nothing about.
What about when your intuitions are correct?
Malcolm Gladwell wrote a great book called ‘Tipping Point’ where he unpacks the phenomena of when people make immediate judgements that turn out to be correct. His take on it is that when you study and practice something enough, your unconscious reasoning can become so sharp and acute that you can make such quick judgments in your area of study and often be correct.
Next time you have an intuition or you can take a time when you had an intuition whether that was buying a new car that you just knew was the right one or you made a split second decision that turned out to be right, and unpack it.
Work backwards. What did you see, hear, and feel unconsciously that led you to that understanding?
It’s all there in your unconscious. No divine source piped it into your head. It wasn’t psychic ability. It’s not magic, but that doesn’t make the process of intuition any less extraordinary.
Just because we don’t believe in the Greek gods who supposedly ran the universe and all of its cosmic processes anymore doesn’t make the universe any less extraordinary and mysterious.
The truth can be just as fascinating if not more fascinating than the stories people create about it when they don’t understand it.