This “Sight Line” is provided as a supplement to Chapter 9 of 20/20 Mind Sight, “A Suspension Of Logic” – Trust Your Gut. For maximum benefit, please read the chapter prior to completing the exercise.
20/20 Sight Line: Unleash Your Intuition
Intuition is highly correlated to decision-making, so one of the easiest ways to exercise and strengthen your intuition is to force yourself to make the commonplace decisions of daily life faster and without second-guessing. How long does it take you to decide what to order for lunch in a restaurant? How many times do you change your mind between first getting the menu and placing your order? And how many times do you end up ordering the same thing you always have? It may sound silly, but we would like to challenge you to limit your decision-making process to 10 seconds when ordering from a menu, when deciding what color shirt to wear to work, when buying a new toothbrush, or when making any of the hundreds of other time-sucking decisions that have very little, if any, relevance to our happiness or fulfillment.
Humor us and try this 10-second routine for a full week. If it doesn’t work you can go back to agonizing over where to meet your friends on a Friday night or that everyday supermarket conundrum “paper or plastic?” If it does work you can pay it forward and recommend the exercise to friends and family.
Other writers and speakers recommend a variety of exercises to stoke your intuitive juices.
Here are three of our go-to favorites:
- Have a handwritten debate with yourself, using one hand to argue Perspective A and the other hand to argue Perspective B. In theory, your non-dominant hand will write more subconsciously intuitive assertions. In practice, the very act of trying to write with your non-dominant hand forces you to use parts of your brain that are rarely called upon.
- Go simple. Part of the reason we tend to be so rational, rigid and rules-based is that we’re inundated with information that is uniformly rational, rigid and rules-based. The trick is to distance yourself from the onslaught of data by doing something simple and absorbing – playing fetch with a dog, fishing, doing a jigsaw puzzle. Think about it this way, there is nothing in life simpler than taking a shower, yet that’s the place where most people are at their creative best.
- Meditation is the most commonly prescribed technique to boost intuition, but we’ve found that even the idea of meditation is off-putting to many people. It sounds too New Age or crunchy. So forget about forcing yourself to “officially” meditate. Instead, find yourself a comfy chair. Turn off all lights, televisions, cell phones and any other noise-emitting gadgetry. Then sit in the dark and let the quiet wash over you. It’s like a shower without the water.
The bottom line is that you have an intuitive genius hiding somewhere inside you. It’s eager to burst forth upon the scene but it’s been kicked down so many times that it’s understandably a little apprehensive. Treat it like a rescue puppy – give it love, respect, and a little space and it will return the favor many times over.