This article was inspired by one published in Forbes with the same title. Who would have ever expected to see Forbes, a finance publication, post something about intuition? This is a surefire sign that times really are changing.
So, if you’re thinking, intuition has nothing to do with intelligence, then you’re not alone. Because intuition is so difficult to measure and observe. The dictionary definition of intuition is as follows:
“The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.”
Intuition is our first instinct; it’s what we feel right away before the mind has time to come in and consciously analyze. Often times we hear of people who are near death, and everything becomes clear and they just instinctively know exactly what needs to be done to get themselves out of the situation; there is no time to hum and haw and weigh options, and intuition takes over, if we let it.
Where Does Intuition Come From?
You know when you get that “gut feeling” that maybe something isn’t right? That is your intuition, and while we feel it in our gut or stomach area, many people often argue it comes from the heart. I recently watched an incredible documentary called The Power Of The Heart that explained how this feeling is actually coming from the heart, and the heart is always the first to react to any given situation. The heart intuitively knows what’s up.
Why Does Forbes Call Intuition the Highest Form of Intelligence?
Gerd Gigerenzer, a director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and author of the book Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, claimsto be both intuitive and rational:
In my scientific work, I have hunches. I can’t explain always why I think a certain path is the right way, but I need to trust it and go ahead. I also have the ability to check these hunches and find out what they are about. That’s the science part. Now, in private life, I rely on instinct. For instance, when I first met my wife, I didn’t do computations. Nor did she.
Intuition itself doesn’t equal intelligence, but intuition with action most certainly can be intelligent. You’ve probably said it to yourself before, I knew that was the answer; I should have went with my first instinct. You see, this is an example of how your intuition often knows what your conscious mind does not. But just as Gigerenzer says, he tests his first instinct to see if it was correct and often time it is. So, intuition does hold some form of intelligence.
Below is a nice little bit from Dean Radin, Chief scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences
Trusting Your Intuition
So, despite often having that great idea, do you find that you have a difficult time trusting this answer or path is correct? The amazing thing about intuition is that it can be thought of as a muscle. Every time you use it and trust it, it becomes stronger. So, if you feel your intuition isn’t very clear, try strengthening this muscle. Next time, act on the first idea that comes your way. For example, I had plans to meet a friend, but her phone died, and I had to go home to grab something before I picked her up. I was circling the area in which I was supposed to meet her, but she was nowhere to be found. My intuition kept saying, Go to Green Cuisine, she’ll be there, but my mind was telling me, Don’t go there, it’ll be a hassle to find parking, and it’s doubtful she’ll even be there. By the time she got her phone charged and gave me a call, I found out that she too had an intuitive feeling to go to the restaurant and that’s where she had been waiting. Had I trusted this feeling right off the bat, I could have saved myself a lot of time and stress.
Try acting on the first thought you have, and see how often it leads you where you need to go, or gives you the right answer. You may be pleasantly surprised.