Our brain makes a large number of decisions on a day to day basis and we may not even be aware of half of it ourselves. These decisions may be big or small and may require us to either use our rational thought or intuition. Although all humans are capable of using both these faculties to make decisions, some of us may be predisposed to use one over the other.
What Does Using One’s Intuition Mean?
Intuitive decisions are what is popularly referred to as “a gut feeling”. It’s the experience of knowing something without the knowledge of how exactly you know it. For example, have you ever looked at someone for the first time and instinctively felt that you would either like or dislike them? If you have, you may have experienced either of two things. That your gut was right (good for you!) or that your gut was grossly wrong. Because the process of trusting your gut is unreliable, psychologists often wonder if it’s really an intuitive knowledge or if it is perhaps just miscalculations made by the human brain that sometimes turn out for the best.
Good That Can Come From Using Intuition
There have been instances in the human experience where using intuitive knowledge may have been life-saving. Back in the days of early men, intuitive traits were said to be highly essential because our neanderthal ancestors had to decide if someone they came into contact with was friend or foe in the matter of a few seconds. This trait is used today by many professionals like air-traffic controllers, firemen, and emergency room surgeons who have to make life-and-death decisions in the matter of a few seconds. In situations where there is no time to mull over pros and cons are perhaps where our intuition helps us best. Many writers and scholars have acknowledged this trait have even written books on intuitive healing, learning, and spirituality among other related subjects.
Intuition Can Prove To Have Negative Consequences Too
As many positive examples exist when it comes to relying on intuition, there exists a large number of negative ones too. Although it’s a big part of how we make decisions, it can often go drastically wrong. Fatal accidents have taken place because people have trusted and relied on their intuition. Studies have even found that highly qualified professionals including athletes, coaches, investors all have made costly mistakes while relying on their gut. So what does this mean? Is what we regard to be our subconscious and spiritual connection with the universe just a bunch of inaccurate mental calculations? Studies have found that human decision making is largely influenced by many factors like our moods and emotions. Taking this into consideration, we may have to understand that trusting our gut isn’t really as reliable as some of us think it might be.
Verdict: Should You Trust Your Gut Feeling?
Relying on intuition works sometimes and doesn’t other times. People have made gut decisions about their life partners and some of them have had a long and wonderful marriage while for others, it ended shortly afterwards. Psychologists have come to the conclusion that while intuition works well in some situations, relying on practical, well thought out data works better in others. If we decide to completely rely on our gut we may just end up digging our own graves. But at the same time, if we completely rely on rational thought what happens to that spiritual and almost magical understanding of how things work? The key is to achieve a balance between both kinds of thinking. Coupling intuition and rationality might make them a stronger force to be reckoned with.