Intuition is the ability to understand something immediately without needing conscious reasoning. Intuition is often called inner knowing, immediate cognition, gut feeling, sixth sense, or hunch. It is that voice that knows the answer before you even ask the question; it is that inner wisdom that guides and leads you to the right path. Your intuition is usually more critical than your intellect because it knows best. Our intuition is usually silent; it whispers and knows what is right for us to do. Most of us don’t get to listen to our inner voice as the noise from our childhood indoctrination, societal programming, and domestication has crowded our ability to listen to ourselves. Social Media even makes listening and following one’s intuition even more challenging as we are all locked into our tiny bubbles.
Our intuition always speaks to us, but we rarely listen as we usually have drowned out our inner voice due to the noise around us. Listening to your inner voice clearly requires being able to differentiate the signal from noise, prioritizing your life and focusing on what really matters. When you don’t listen to your inner voice, you stay in a toxic relationship or a draining job, fail to set healthy boundaries, and continuously live on autopilot. Trusting your intuition could save your life and save you the stress and drama of engaging with negative people and toxic environments.
American talk show host and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey, in one of her Oprah’s Lifeclass, advised Listening to Life’s Whispers. She notes that life first speaks to us in a whisper, and if we don’t listen to that whisper, life can get out of control.
In his 2016 Harvard University Commencement Speech, American film director and screenwriter Steven Spielberg 1 shared the same sentiment. Spielberg noted that “your intuition whispers”.
Now in a two-hour movie, you get a handful of character-defining moments, but in real life, you face them every day. Life is one strong, long string of character-defining moments. And I was lucky that at 18 I knew what I exactly wanted to do. But I didn’t know who I was. How could I? And how could any of us? Because for the first 25 years of our lives, we are trained to listen to voices that are not our own. Parents and professors fill our heads with wisdom and information, and then employers and mentors take their place and explain how this world really works.
And usually these voices of authority make sense, but sometimes, doubt starts to creep into our heads and into our hearts. And even when we think, ‘that’s not quite how I see the world,’ it’s kind of easier to just to nod in agreement and go along, and for a while, I let that going along define my character. Because I was repressing my own point of view, because like in that Nilsson song, ‘Everybody was talkin’ at me, so I couldn’t hear the echoes of my mind.
And at first, the internal voice I needed to listen to was hardly audible, and it was hardly noticeable — kind of like me in high school. But then I started paying more attention, and my intuition kicked in.
And I want to be clear that your intuition is different from your conscience. They work in tandem, but here’s the distinction: Your conscience shouts, ‘here’s what you should do,’ while your intuition whispers, ‘here’s what you could do.’ Listen to that voice that tells you what you could do. Nothing will define your character more than that. Because once I turned to my intuition, and I tuned into it, certain projects began to pull me into them, and others, I turned away from.
In his book, 12 Notes: On Life and Creativity 2, 80-time Grammy nominee and 8-time Grammy award winner Quincy Jones breaks down his principles, approach to life, and philosophies, along with standout stories from his journey in twelve chapters called “notes.” Jones advised listening to the whispers of our instinct and intuition. He writes:
When asked, “How are we to regard our instincts?” I turn to the author Malcolm Gladwell. He explained it best when he said,
It’s the perfect analogy because we so often dismiss our greatest ideas, thinking they’re supposed to make some type of grand entrance when, in reality, they may often just present themselves in the form of a whisper. This is why it is essential to quiet your conscious mind and, instead, tap into your subconscious mind—the part that guides your intuition and ability to hear those whispers.
It has been scientifically stated that humans either operate in “alpha” or “beta” mental states when awake, meaning that our brains are either in a state of calm or rest (alpha) or highly active (beta). Knowing this, I’ve decided that I don’t believe in writer’s block. It’s not a block; rather, it’s the need to move into an alpha state so you can hear what your heart is trying to tell you. Only then can you quiet your conscious mind and tap into your subconscious, which helps you think more clearly without internal judgment. Have you ever wondered why children speak their minds with no inhibition? It’s because their brain waves are at an alpha frequency!
In How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self 3, clinical psychologist, and creator of “The Holistic Psychologist “, Dr. Nicole LePer writes about our intuition and inner wisdom.
We all have an intuition, a psychological and spiritual concept that refers to innate and unconscious wisdom. It’s the evolutionarily driven gut instinct that helped keep us alive throughout human history and still speaks to us; it’s that feeling of the hair on the back of our neck standing up when we walk down a dark alley alone; it’s the deep belly feeling of distrust we get when we encounter someone we have no logical reason to doubt, it’s that spine tingle we get when we meet someone we know is special. This is your intuitive Self speaking from your soul through your physiology.
Trusting your instinct and seeing people for who they are is one of the lessons that Robert Reffkin, American Entrepreneur and CEO of online real estate company Compass, Inc., shares in his book No One Succeeds Alone: Learn Everything You Can from Everyone You Can 3. He asserted:
There are lots of things in life that only hardship can teach you. For me, one of the toughest lessons has been that not everyone can be trusted. I believe that the vast majority of people are good the vast majority of the time. But when I think about a huge number of people over the course of a lifetime, I know that at least a few of them will treat me poorly. Some people will lie to me. Others will lie about me. Of the thousands of people I deal with in business, a handful of folks will try to take advantage of me for their own financial gain.
By not letting this shock me, I can remove much of its negative power—and allow myself to focus on improving my intuition for the next time. Since I don’t always see these people coming, I try to take notice and make a significant change in how I deal with them when they first show me their true colors. And while being a bit more guarded makes me sad sometimes, I’ve learned that it’s the best way to protect all the good in my life.
- Daily Calm with Tamara Levitt – Sweeping
- We will often face unpleasantness when we slow down and direct our attention inward. It is an indication that we are connecting with our true state of being. Often our mind wants to escape because it is restless or bored. The mind prefers to lose itself in a fog of thoughts rather than focus on what is happening in our body in the present moment.
- Our mind is good at rationalizing. why we feel the way we do and imagine ways to make ourselves feel better, but what we are doing is we are clinging to comfort, which further distances us from the attainment of true peace. True peace can only be achieved through confronting and accepting our true nature.
- We often stumble onto the path of mindfulness when we are looking for peace. It is when we stay on the path that we are likely to find it.
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ralph Waldo Emerson on Self Reliance
- Daily Jay with Jay Shetty – Unlimited Toys
- We tend to focus more on what we lose than gain, to see the danger in something instead of the opportunity: negativity Bias/Loss Aversion. A scarcity mindset is often mirrored by tension in the body, a feeling like maybe you need to hold tight to everything.
- Abundance Mentality: It is about recognizing and internalizing that there is enough for everyone.
“In my life I’ve discovered that if I cling to the notion that something’s not possible, I’m arguing in favor of limitation. And if I argue for my limitations, I get to keep them.” ― Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level
- Vuori: Joe Kudla | How I Built This with Guy Raz
All the best in your quest to get better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.