As well-developed gifted adults, we tune in to our intuitions on a regular basis. We’ve learned that when we trust our instincts things tend to work out rather well for us. But if we tell other people that’s how we’ve made a decision or chosen a course of action they’re usually quick to dismiss both us and our ideas. So what if we found another way to express what we feel so that others would still take us seriously?
Malcolm Gladwell has written several books on why people do the things they do. And in his book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, he provides a new outlook on exactly what he believes intuition really is.
Intuition strikes me as a concept we use to describe emotional reactions, gut feelings — thoughts and impressions that don’t seem entirely rational.
“But I think that what goes on in that first two seconds is perfectly rational. It’s thinking — its just thinking that moves a little faster and operates a little more mysteriously than the kind of deliberate, conscious decision-making that we usually associate with ‘thinking.’
“In ‘Blink’ I’m trying to understand those two seconds. What is going on in inside our heads when we engage in rapid cognition? When are snap judgments good and when are they not? What kinds of things can we do to make our powers of rapid cognition better?
So if we consider our intuition to be rapid cognition – nearly instantaneous and virtually unconscious processing of an action or event – it makes it seem more like a skill instead of an unidentifiable ability. Since gifted adults tend to process their environments at an incredible rate of speed to begin with, developing an awareness of and using rapid cognition isn’t that far of a stretch.
As with anything else, practice makes perfect. So if you haven’t been noticing and acting upon your intuitive nudges, now is the time to start.
Try some of these activities:
1. Next time you travel somewhere let your intuition guide the direction you take. Before you come to a corner, ask yourself which way you should turn, or if you should remain going straight. Whatever answer you get, go with it and see where you end up. It could be a lot of fun!
2. If your friends or family suggest several different places to go on the weekend, let your intuition guide your decision. Assuming none of them are extremely dangerous or life threatening, go with your gut on which one to choose, and then notice if anything unique or interesting happens during your time out. Sometimes opportunities are waiting for us if we trust ourselves to find them.
3. Whenever a random thought pops into your head, listen to it. And, again, if it doesn’t hurt you or anyone else, follow what it says. (This one has been very beneficial for me time and time again, when I’ve chosen to listen. And when I haven’t, well, let’s just say that I wish that I had.)
So tune up those gifted sensitivities one more notch and tune in to your intuition. And then share your experiences with the rest of us!