How in touch with your intuition are you? Once upon a time, when I was in my mid-twenties, I bought a book called ‘How To Make Good Decisions’.  

(Around the same time, I bought a book called ‘How To Love A Difficult Man’ but that’s a whole other story for a very different day!)

I had no idea how to make business or life decisions in those days and the fact I bought the book means that I was a) desperate and b) wholly dissatisfied with the decisions I was making.  Being such a black and white thinker can’t have helped either.

I knew I was entrepreneurial but every time I started a business it failed miserably so I thought there was something wrong with me, my decision making, not realising it was a lack of good information and mentors.

The decision making book was not very satisfactory, as I recall. A bit wooly and waffly. Certainly not as good as the books available today.  I just did a quick Google search and there are many compilations of the best decision making books out there.

As a poker player, I particularly like the look of one called “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke”.

“Too often we base the “rightness” of our decisions based on the outcome (instead of the process we took to make the decision) and we think of our decisions as “right or wrong”.

Instead, Duke says we should think about decisions such as poker. Everything about poker is probability. Even bad hands win sometimes, and the best hands can lose as well.

What’s important is that you make the best decision based on what you have and know. A good decision is not based on if you won, but on the process you used to make that decision.”

Very true. Poker players will often show their cards after they lose a hand, to demonstrate to the other players that they made the right decision with the hands they had, and the cards on the board, but the outcome just went against them this time. 

Anyway, back to your decisions!

Do you ever get that feeling that you absolutely must do something?  Or, indeed, that you must NOT do something, that the something you were about to do or say is 100% wrong?

When I was writing my book ‘A Better Entrepreneur’ which chronicles my last 25 years of entrepreneurship, I was struck by how often the great decisions I made, while not obvious at the time, were however guided by a very strong physical feeling of ‘rightness’.

It almost feels like a physical ‘clunk’ sensation, of a reassuringly solid weight descending through my body to settle firmly in place. With me it settles around my lower gut area, where the ‘root’ chakra is, if you are into such things. It settles there, grounding me into the knowledge that I must do this.  

No wonder it’s called ‘gut instinct’

(I get the same sensation sometimes when I find a great domain name but it’s certainly not as strong and looking over my list of previously purchased terrible domains, it can lead me horribly astray sometimes!) .

The opposite feeling, that I must NOT do something, is more of a queasy shifting sensation. It's located higher up and under my ribcage, so perhaps it’s my actual stomach or even my heart?  Scientists are starting to say that the heart has it’s own intelligence and that your heart and brain work in tandem with each other.  In terms of chakras, the feeling sits more in the solar plexus chakra area while the heart chakra looks higher up.

I can only conclude that these strong physical sensations are what is called intuition. Along with the heart having it’s own intelligence, there’s some evidence emerging that gut also has it’s own intelligence.  It’s one of the biggest organs in the body after all!

Harvard Medical School says “The enteric nervous system that regulates our gut is often called the body’s “second brain. Although it can’t compose poetry or solve equations, this extensive network uses the same chemicals and cells as the brain to help us digest and to alert the brain when something is amiss. Gut and brain are in constant communication.”

When things have gone well in my life, it’s been when I’ve been aware of those sensations and have ‘followed my gut’.

The times things haven’t gone so well have been either been when I’ve been so confused by practical considerations or when overwhelmed by strong emotion like grief, to the point where I haven’t been able to think straight.

While writing this post, I questioned my business mentors about whether they feel intuition and whether they use it to guide them in making important decisions and, to a man (or woman) they said yes, they absolutely do.  In fact, over the years, I’ve been amazed at how often seemingly ‘hard bitten’ business folk are, once you scratch the surface, very much into the ‘woo’ as it’s called.

One said something very interesting, which was that in his early days in business, he developed a more logical system for making good decisions, but that his intuition was so honed nowadays, he often didn’t need to use his own system.

By using his ‘Ability To Discern Well Parts 1-5’ system for many years, he’d grown a ‘muscle memory’ for how to make good decisions alongside his well-honed intuition.  

We were all born with intuition, and we have all got this ability to develop muscle memory (I’m using my muscle memory ability to type directly from my thoughts to my fingers right now!).  

So the quicker we learn to feel, listen to and trust our intuition and the quicker we develop or find a system to make good decisions, the better off we’ll be.

In every area of our lives and businesses. 

Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash


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