Trusting your inner voice

What is Intuition ?

Intuition, a phenomenon of the mind, describes the ability to acquire knowledge without inference or the use of reason. The word “intuition” comes from Latin verb intueri translated as consider or from late middle English word intuit, “to contemplate”. Intuition is often interpreted with varied meaning from intuition being glimpses of greater knowledge to only a function of mind; however, processes by which and why they happen typically remain mostly unknown to the thinker, as opposed to the view of rational thinking.
It is what is often called a “gut feeling”. It is a process of getting knowledge and understanding through other means than thinking, learning, or the five senses. It is rather a subconscious process of receiving information, finding solutions to problems, or knowing how to proceed in certain situations. It is knowledge stored in your subconscious mind. It appears through subconscious interpretation of body language .It is the product of very quick thinking and conclusion making.

Difference between Intuition and Instinct

Instinct comes from the word instinctus, or, “impulse,” meaning it’s a biological tendency. It’s the transient reaction that happens in our bodies, apropos of right now. Instinct is anything that comes across quite naturally out of us and it exists as humans possess personality which is a term used to define the unique characteristic traits that we are all born with. For example you feel hungry , you’ve the urge to eat so you do eat based on your instinct of survival , Instinct is our innate inclination toward a particular behavior (as opposed to a learned response). Instinct doesn’t involve thought – it’s automatic, unthinking response
Intuition is a process that gives us the ability to know something directly without analytic reasoning, bridging the gap between the conscious and nonconscious parts of our mind, and also between instinct and reason.
Instinct is a physiological element while Intuition is a psychological element.

Intuition Vs Sensing

Based on Personality test According to Carl G. Jung’s theory of psychological types [Jung, 1971] people can be characterized by their preference of general attitude:
Extraverted (E) vs. Introverted (I), Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F), Judging (J) vs. Perceiving (P)
Sensing-Intuition preference represents the method by which one perceives information: Sensing means an individual mainly relies on concrete, actual information – “in so far as objects release sensations, they matter” , where as Intuition means a person relies upon their conception about things based on their understanding of the world.
The “SN” preference refers to how we gather information. We all need data on which to base our decisions. We gather data through our five senses. Jung contended that there are two distinct ways of perceiving the data that we gather. The “Sensing” preference absorbs data in a literal, concrete fashion. The “Intuitive” preference generates abstract possibilities from information that is gathered. We all use both Sensing and Intuition in our lives, but to different degrees of effectiveness and with different levels of comfort.

The Conscious and The Subconscious Mind

Most of you are familiar with the “Right-Brain, Left-Brain” Theory. Briefly, the left side of your brain (for most people) processes language capability, thinks linearly, and is logical, whereas the right side of your brain is intuitive and senses the whole, rather than parts.
The conscious mind sees with the eyes. It perceives outside experiences that are taken into our minds. It is your conscious mind that sees this printed page.

The subconscious mind, on the other hand, has no contact with the outside world. It is blind. The subconscious mind does not see any more than a computer sees. Consequently, the subconscious mind does not know the difference between real and imagined. This last statement is important and will be repeated again and again. It is not conjecture; psychologists have verified it in laboratory experiments.

A recent article in the New York Times reported a scientific study that showed people cannot consciously drive and talk on their cell phone at the same time. In other words, you are doing one or the other consciously, but not both simultaneously. Using magnetic resonance images of brain activity, the scientists found the brain has a finite amount of space for tasks requiring attention.

Intuition is not a figment of a person’s imagination or is it literally coming from a person’s gut– it is the result of the activities within the different brain regions. Generally speaking, the area that paves the way for intuition is the right hemisphere. Not only does it govern creative thought, art, music, senses and emotion, it is also the area where intuitive thoughts are created.
It is rather a subconscious process of receiving information, finding solutions to problems, or knowing how to proceed in certain situations.

Explicit and Tacit Knowledge

To understand how you can benefit from intuition, we must first lay a foundation of where the knowledge comes that forms intuition. Your brain is constantly assessing and gathering information – some of which you do with conscious awareness and some is gathered completely unintentionally. The distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge is perhaps the most fundamental concept of knowledge management. Such a distinction was first made by Michael Polyani in the 1960s, but it forms one of the central planks of Nonaka and Takeuchi’s book The Knowledge-Creating Company. According to them, ‘explicit’ knowledge is formal and systematic.

“Explicit knowledge can be expressed in words and numbers and can be easily communicated and shared in the form of hard data, scientific formulae, codified procedures or universal principles.”
Such knowledge is seen as “only the tip of the iceberg”.

‘Tacit’ knowledge, on the other hand, is described as:

“something not easily visible and expressible. Tacit knowledge is highly personal and hard to formalise. Subjective insights, intuitions and hunches fall into this category of knowledge.”

“It is hard to formalize… difficult to communicate…deeply rooted in action and in an individual’s commitment to a specific context…captured in the term ‘know-how’. It consists of mental models, beliefs, and perspectives so ingrained that we take them for granted, and therefore cannot easily articulate them.”

The master pianist can perform brilliantly, but if he begins to concentrate on the movements of his fingers instead of the music, he will not be able to play as a master. Knowing the explicit knowledge.

One of the most convincing examples of tacit knowledge is facial recognition. ‘‘We know a person’s face, and can recognize it among a thousand, indeed a million. Yet we usually cannot tell how we recognize a face we know, so most of this cannot be put into words.’’ When you see a face, you are not conscious about your knowledge of the individual features (eye, nose, mouth), but you see and recognize the face as a whole. Also you can know if a person close to you is sad or depressed even if they now showing it – Of course it doesn’t take a genius to tell that this person is sad if he or she frowning – but if I tell you how did you know they are sad . you won’t be able to find words to describe it . you just know it by your Tacit Knowledge.

Tacit knowledge is not easily shared. Although it is that which is used by all people, it is not necessarily able to be easily articulated. It consists of beliefs, ideals, values, schemata and mental models which are deeply ingrained in us and which we often take for granted. While difficult to articulate, this cognitive dimension of tacit knowledge shapes the way we perceive the world.

According to a team led by Professor Gerard Hodgkinson of the Centre for Organisational Strategy, Learning and Change at Leeds University Business School, intuition is the result of the way our brains store, process and retrieve information on a subconscious level and so is a real psychological phenomenon which needs further study to help us harness its potential. Which in other words our Intuition is based on our Tacit Knowledge.

Intuitive Decision Making

For centuries, scientists have studied how we go about the difficult task of choosing A or B, left or right, North or South — and how both instinct and intellect figure into the process.
In a behavioral experiment, Prof. Marius Usher of Tel Aviv University’s School of Psychological Sciences and his fellow researchers found that intuition was a surprisingly powerful and accurate tool. When forced to choose between two options based on instinct alone

The study demonstrates that humans have a remarkable ability to integrate value when they do so intuitively, pointing to the possibility that the brain has a system that specializes in averaging value,” Prof. Usher says. This could be the operational system on which common decision-making processes are built.

In order to get to the core of this system, Prof. Usher designed an experiment to put participants through a carefully controlled decision-making process. On a computer screen, participants were shown sequences of pairs of numbers in quick succession. All numbers that appeared on the right of the screen and all on the left were considered a group; each group represented returns on the stock market.

Participants were asked to choose which of the two groups of numbers had the highest average. Because the numbers changed so quickly — two to four pairs were shown every second — the participants were unable to memorize the numbers or do proper mathematical calculations, explains Prof. Usher. To determine the highest average of either group, they had to rely on “intuitive arithme

Doing the math

The participants were able to calculate the different values accurately at exceptional speed, the researchers found. They were also able to process large amounts of data — in fact, their accuracy increased in relation to the amount of data they were presented. When shown six pairs of numbers, for example, the participants chose accurately 65 percent of the time. But when they were shown 24 pairs, the accuracy rate grew to about 90 percent.

The results of their study were recently published in the journal PNAS

In more-recent psychology, intuition can encompass the ability to know valid solutions to problems and decision making. For example, the recognition primed decision (RPD) model explains how people can make relatively fast decisions without having to compare options. Gary Klein found that under time pressure, high stakes, and changing parameters, experts used their base of experience to identify similar situations and intuitively choose feasible solutions. Thus, model is a blend of intuition and analysis. The intuition is the pattern-matching process that quickly suggests feasible courses of action. The analysis is the mental simulation, a conscious and deliberate review of the courses of action.

Famous people who practice Intuition

Steve Jobs says in his biography says: “Coming back to America was, for me, much more of a culture shock than going to India. The people in the Indian countryside don’t use their intellect like we do, they use their intuition instead, and their intuition is far more developed than in the rest of the world. Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect in my opinion. That’s had a big impact on my work.

Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic; it is learned and is the great achievement of Western civilization. In the villages of India, they never learned it. They learned something else, which is in some ways just as valuable but in other ways is not. That’ the power of intuition and experiential wisdom.”

Later he says, “I began to realize that an intuitive understanding and consciousness was more significant than abstract thinking and intellectual logical analysis.”

Also he said this famous quote:
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Angelina Jolie said:
“When I get logical and I don’t trust my instincts – Thats when I get in trouble.”

Einstein said:
“The only valuable thing is Intuition”


It’s scientifically proven that trusting your inner voice can be really useful to you in your life . Learning to listen to your intuition can be challenging at first. Your intuition may tell you to take a turn that you do not understand. Listening to my intuition has taught me that there is a flow to allowing those waters to sweep you into a mysterious world in which things somehow work out in surprising ways. Intuition is a gift that many of us ignore. Yet, when life throws us challenges that we cannot work through with the logical mind, intuition can be a great friend, a tool to provide comfort, understanding, and clarity, and a support to our resiliency in times of trouble.

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