Thought #48. Follow your nose.

Learning how to be guided by natural instincts could help us thrive in life. Strangely enough, very few people are used to relying on intuition. By all accounts, rationality is synonymous with lacking faith in our sixth sense. Then, if both approaches, rational and instinctive, seem to be at odds, how can we marry them?

If we could go back to our origins, when the first life on earth struggled to survive, we would, in all likelihood, see how the inborn intuitive power of living creatures came into its own. Yet we cannot help but believe that it should have gone that way.

Besides ignoring the past, we have been taught to believe that human reason equals sanity. Can we make conscious decisions by following our gut instincts? Consciousness and normality is hardly ever used when talking about intuition.

However, we use it all the time. Every day, we make life-and-death decisions unconsciously. For example, we stop at a red light or let the soup cool. But, most commonly, we make thousands of wise decisions without even thinking about them: brush your teeth first thing in the morning, close the door when leaving home, buckle your seat belt when driving to work, answer your mum’s call, etc.

Going on automatic pilot prevents your brain from being overwhelmed, from crashing. If we had to consider every action separately, we would never leave home in the morning. Sometimes, it takes us too much time to come to a conclusion before deciding. It would be advisable to optimise this process.

Why we do not we learn to use our natural instincts more frequently? Why not use them when making conscious decisions? From my point of view, spontaneous people welcome change and that is the crux. In other words, fear of change could be tantamount to excess of rationality.  By acting instinctively, we save time and effort and that gives us the opportunity to concentrate on those tasks that really require such a concentration.

Let you hair down and if the opportunity presents itself, give a chance to your animal instinct.