Nurturing intuition

During my childhood I often heard the story whose protagonist was a cat. Whenever this cat closed its eyes, it had the habit of assuming that the world ceased to exist. This story was used to point out instances where somebody denied the existence of whatever they are unaware or unconscious of.

Speaking about the unconscious, our intuition resides in our unconscious minds. Daniel Kahneman defines intuition as knowing how to do something without knowing how we know it. The very meaning of intuition has a sense of unawareness is built into.

Several experts harness their intuition to perform at the highest levels – like the fireman who pulls his crew out of a burning house just seconds before it collapses. Or the Grandmaster playing speed chess, whipping out moves in seconds that even experts would require hours to understand. Or that seasoned real-estate salesman who reads the subtle cues on her customer’s face, looks at her watch a couple of time and pushes them into a quick purchase.

Compared to the limited nature of our working memories, the power of our unconscious mind is extensive. And one could train it by making predictions and testing them with feedback in everyday situations. While cooking a meal, we all exercise our intuition by adding a new ingredient and simmering the dish for 10 minutes with the hope of improving its taste.

By opening our eyes to our intuition, we are training it to be a powerful force that aids us like a mysterious tailwind. By closing our eyes to it, like that cat in our story, we continue to deny its existence and limit its capabilities.

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