Every decision we make is informed by our intuition, whether we like it or not. But how reliable is our intuition as an instrument?
I recently ran the same distance twice while measuring my speed, once with earphones that told me my running speed every kilometer, and once without these updates. During both runs, I felt as though I was going fast and pushing hard. But when I looked at the measured speeds, I had clocked 9.64 km/hr without periodic updates, and 12.07 km/hr with a voice telling me how fast I was going. My intuition, in both cases, told me that I was doing well. But the mere act of having immediate feedback improved my performance by 25%.
Our intuition is a versatile, but unreliable instrument that requires constant calibration – one that keeps us within our comfort zone but gives us the illusion that we are pushing ahead.