Why intuitions that important?
As a leader or senior management, there is always a question of whether believing in his intuition or applying data analytics in a decision-making process.
According to the International Journal of Business and Economic Development in 2015, it is found that:
- managers equally use their intuitive and analytical abilities
- managers attribute up to 80% of success to intuition
- intuition helps managers making their final choices
Research also found that 65% of managers agree to incorporate intuition training in schools.
What is threatening our intuitiveness nowadays?
The advancement of technology and high reliance on electronic and digital products have been destroying our intuitional instinct.
In addition, along with tons of data found and used on the internet, we tend more to look for an “answer” in the internet world instead of looking for answers from ourselves. The more we rely on an answer externally, the weaker will be the ability to generate our own ideas, knowledge, and experiences internally.
How to regain our precise intuition?
Intuition is a process of an unconscious combination of past knowledge. I am going to share 10 effective ways to develop or re-gain our precise intuitional instinct.
- Immersion. Immerse ourselves in related information. If we need to make a presentation on a topic of “how to increase sales in a month” or if we want to “lose 10 pounds within 3 months”, try to keep our mind immersing in related information until we come up with an idea. It does not matter whether this information comes from books, news or the internet. Research found that our subconscious mind will work for us if we put it in a related informative environment. Intuitions need time to incubate, we may require a few hours, days or weeks to let them come out.
- Benchmark. Imagine what will a skillful man or lady react in a similar situation. Try to recall a memory that any great person we know has come across with a similar problem before and ask ourselves “what will he/she do in this situation?”. Learn to get a benchmark of success from great persons.
- Questioning. Keep asking self-questions. When we have a problem, try to keep asking ourselves for answers. The purpose is to search the information we need in our subconscious mind. It is somewhat like a process of fishing. We can catch the hidden information in the memory of the past. We may not complete this step in a moment, but we will definitely gain insight and inspiration from asking ourselves questions.
- Contrary. Think of the other side of things. Everything in the world has two sides, positive and negative. Positive thinking is not bad, but over-emphasizing on positive things stops us from noticing hidden dangers within. Learning to think in reverse side is beneficial to us. For example, a friend blames severely about our fault to him. Instead of confronting him back, we better think it reversely: Is he going to remind me of something? Is there anything I must improve?
- Confusion. Allow ourselves to halt in a state of chaos. Everything would be chaotic and unorganized at the beginning, and so does our mood. However, enlightenment begins with chaos. Allow ourselves to stay at this stage for some time and do not jump to a conclusion immediately. Through experiencing chaos and uncertainties, we will be rewarded with clear and insightful ideas at the end of the day.
- Record. Keep a record for all of our ideas and insights in whatever ways. Intuition happens for one fleeting moment. Young people’s intuition can stay in mind for about 20 seconds to ten minutes; older people are about 37 to 47 seconds. These are also called short-term memories. There are three ways to turn short-term memory into long-term memory: write it down, repeatedly speak it out, and relate it to something we can remember. Do these 3 ways before the intuitions fade out from our mind, or else they will never come back.
- Choice. Feeling first, then choosing. When we have a few intuitions, do not make a decision right away. Because it is subconscious, we need to feel which intuition is more suitable for our situation. Pick the one that we feel particularly strong, then think consciously about its feasibility.
- Timeout. Breaking state helps us to reactivate our subconscious mind. We can do something different when we are stuck, like go for a glass of water, do some stretching, chat with people and the like. My personal example is taking an elevator to the lobby and return to my floor. The purpose is to break my state and let my subconscious mind active. An active subconsciousness facilitates the creation of intuitions.
- Rest and sleep. Resting or sleeping can reinstate us. If a breaking state cannot help us to get insights, taking a rest or a nap is much suggested. A rest of 10-15 minutes helps our brain to generate Alpha brain waves. The Alpha brain waves promote creativity and problem-solving. Sleeping makes our brains go deeper into the rest. Dreaming helps our subconsciousness to integrate all kinds of hidden information in our mind. When we wake up, we will notice a lot of inspirations and ideas coming out. Since they are instantaneous, we have to take the time to record them.
- Mindfulness. Thousands of research reports have shown that mindfulness can bring us countless benefits. Practicing mindfulness can offset the disastrous impact of excessive using of electronic products on intuition by restoring our internal attention and focus. Mindfulness is very easy to practice: find a time and place to calm down, and feel our five senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste) on what we are doing. We can even do quiet mindfulness in a few minutes of brushing teeth, drinking water, walking, and all the like. The more we zoom-in the feeling of our 5 senses, the more the zoom-out our consciousness, and end up the more active and sharper of our intuitiveness. A daily practice of 10-20 minutes mindfulness already brings us this obvious benefits.
With the development of technological advancement and artificial intelligence, human life will become more comfortable. However, the opportunity for using intuition in our daily lives will be less and less. Can future robots replace humans one final day? I think it only happens if the robots develop to a stage that they can generate human-like intuition itself. Otherwise, our brains are still the most invincible creature in the universe.
The Destiny Team