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The Importance of Intuition: Going with Your Gut

August 31, 2017 by pgd1

Intuition can make you a much more effective decision maker.

The main alternative to the intuition-based approach is rational thinking.  The rational decision making process relies mostly on logic and quantitative analysis.

Nearly every individual can recall a time when he or she felt propelled by an inner sense of knowing, an unabating sense of intuition which leads us in the right direction in times of uncertainty.

Sophy Burnham, author of the bestselling book “Art of Intuition”, articulately describes this phenomenon as “a knowing without knowing,” separate from thinking, logic or analysis.

Scientists have spent endless decades attempting to decode the secrets of the intuitive mind.  Their findings?  When it comes to decision-making, going with your gut often leads to more favorable outcomes than protracted, logical reasoning does.

Researchers have identified two diametric “operating systems” that invariably influence human functioning.  The first system is defined by a “quick, instinctual and often subconscious way of operating.”  This process of reasoning is controlled by our right brain and other areas of the cerebellum, referred to as the limbic and reptilian aspects of the brain.

The second system, however, is defined by a “slower, more analytical and conscious way of operating.”  Intuition is an innate part of System 1, which explains why these rapid sensations arise so suddenly from our instincts.  Nobel laureate, Princeton University professor of psychology and acclaimed author Daniel Kahneman explores the nature of insight derived from this interaction even further in his bestselling book “Thinking Fast and Slow”.

According to the results acquired from countless studies, researchers have realized that decisions prompted by System 1 reactions often result in more favorable outcomes than those ascertained by System 2.1

Also, according to Arianna Huffington, author of the seminal self-improvement book “Thrive”, mindfulness can be a great mode of strengthening one’s intuition.  When we are mindful, we can tap into the signals our body is sending us in any given moment.

As a person who works professionally to help people solve their problems, I have found that intuition and the practice of mindfulness are powerful tools.

by Patrick Gaffney

by Patrick Gaffney


1 Portions of this blog were taken from:  Williams, Alexa, “The Importance of going with your gut: why intuition trumps logic”.  Collegiate Times. April 30, 2017.  Retrieved from:  http://www.collegiatetimes.com/opinion/the-importance-of-going-with-your-gut-why-intuition-trumps/article_ee6e442c-2ddf-11e7-b03a-3fd63198affb.html.

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