For years I have tried to make decisions using logic and reason, and I have developed the habit of ignoring my intuition. By intuition I mean thoughts that pop up, seemingly out of thin air and in an unpredictable way.
Recent experiences have helped me realize that ignoring this voice is a mistake, and I think the main reason I developed that habit is that I have spent the last twenty years writing software. For those unfamiliar with it, when you write software, you have to be mathematically precise, think logically, and pay attention to every step. Intuitive thoughts are different, they appear to float in the air, and you can’t trace them back to data or assumptions. In my craft, that’s a red flag, so I guess I unconsciously applied the way of thinking I used during work hours everywhere else.
On top of that, I’ve also been reading about decision-making and making and periodically reviewing checklists with the large list of cognitive biases that can derail us, even if we’re aware of them. That didn’t make me listen to my intuition more.
Recently I have been spending more and more time meditating, observing nature, and, essentially, trying to quieten my mind. I noticed that these activities, besides bringing me calm and serenity, they also increase the number and quality of intuitive ideas I become aware of, and they also make it more likely that I pause to grab them when they come. Sometimes they are small things like going out for a short walk to enjoy the sun with no specific goal in mind, but other times they are major life-changing ideas that I will probably write about in the future.
In the past, I would have laughed at the idea of favoring intuition over logic. Not anymore.