“Often you have to rely on intuition.” — Bill Gates
In my previous post, I wrote about Balancing Your Intuition and Reason, but what if you aren’t very intuitive? Is there a way to develop your intuition? What if you just want to improve? Those are some of the questions I set out to answer. In the book, Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques (2nd Edition) , Michael Michalko provides exercises for improving your intuition.
You develop and improve your intuition through practice: Michalko writes:
“You cannot fly like an eagle with the wings of a wren. Strive to be aware of your intuition on a daily basis. How do your intuitive impulses feel? When do they occur? Practice your intuitive skills by making guesses before a situation is fully analyzed.”
I agree. If you don’t use it, you lose it, and the more you use it, the better it gets. The beauty is, there’s probably lots of little scenarios each day where you can put your intuition to the test, or at least ask what your gut says.
Two Ways to Develop Your Intuition
According to Michalko, here are two ways to build your intuition:
- Technique #1 – Ask yourself “Yes” and “No” question.
- Technique #2 – Remake old choices.
Technique #1 – Ask Yourself “Yes” and “No” Questions
“To condition your intuitive mind, try asking yourself some “yes” and “no” questions to which you already know the answer. For instance: birthdates, the name of the company where you work, the names of brothers and sisters, and so on. Observe how you get the answers. You may hear a yes or no in your mind, you may see a yes or no, or you may see flashes of color (green for yes, and red for now). However your answer comes, concentrate on getting future answers in the same way.”
Develop your intuition by asking yourself “yes” and “no” questions to recognize where your answers come from. According to Michalko, you can learn where your answers come from by asking yourself “yes” and “no” questions.
Technique #2 – Remake Old Choices
“Start by thinking about a choice you already made, and imagine the options you had when you made the choice. As you think of the choice you have already made, observe the word, phrase, image or symbol that represents the choice. Concentrate on how you got the answer, and focus on getting future answers in the same way. Continue to remake choices you have already made, and continue to concentrate on how the response appears. Try making a few simple choices you haven’t made before.”
The key here is that you can also develop your intuition by remaking choices you’ve already made and paying attention to where your responses come from. This exercise really surprised me. I’ve found it’s tough in many cases to pinpoint where my answers came from, but some are more of a feeling, while some are a definite voice. I’ve found that in the cases of a definite voice, it’s because I’ve asked the question, “What would so-and-so do?” This particular practice has been very effective for changing my perspective and opening up to more options.
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