Monday, November 27, 2006

"Spirit" -> Intuition

Richard Wiseman, which is a great name, has declared himself the father of luck.

Specifically, he has been studying what differentiates lucky from unlucky people.

The answer really doesn't have to do with being lucky.

Lucky people are "lucky" because they have some unique characteristics that distinguish their behaviors. In other words, they set themselves up to be lucky.

Gary Player, who also has a great name, has said the self obvious, ""The harder you work, the luckier you get." However, it is more than just hard work that is involved in luck. And Wiseman has identified four characteristics of lucky people. I want to look at one of them in this post:


Wiseman has found out that lucky people listen to their hunches. As my grandfather told my Dad, who told me, "Boy, when you have a gut feeling and you go against it, watch out."

The brain and our spirit process things on multiple levels, and this often comes out as a hunch or intuition.

But there are three basic ways that we screw up the intuitive voice as humans.

1. We miss the intuitive voice altogether:
a. By listening to things which are not actually intuition
b. By not listening at all to our intuition

2. We misinterpret the intuitive voice<

Let's dig into this a bit more.

Intuition is the thoughts that sit inside of our brain that gently nudge us in a particular fashion regardless of the "logical" information that exists.

1a. Missing the Intuitive Voice: "Listening to things which are not actually intuition."

For example, I knew a friend that was dating a wonderful girl. He thought his intuition was speaking to him became uneasy about the relationship. So he decided to split with her. I could see from the side that the split was simply from getting his wires crossed, and he misread his own internal signals.

What happened? The uneasy feeling came because he was falling out of love, and he didn't have the maturity to understand that a long term relationship wasn't built on "being in love" but loving. So, as soon as the "in love" feeling went away he thought that it was intuition saying "don't see this girl anymore."

The opposite of this happens all the time. When you are in love, you will be sorely tempted to assume that intuitively you "should" marry the girl that you are in love with. Many people follow this path, and they will end up miserable. Being in love is not a good source for intuition. You must be careful to separate the intuition from the emotion that lies underneath the intuition.

I had something like that this week. I was not feeling good. I am pretty sure that I had a bit of a cold. Everything at work seemed to irritate me. I had a shorter fuse. Was my intuition telling me that everything was wrong? The answer was no. I wasn't feeling good, therefore I was grumpy.

This is the first point: Intuition is intuition. Make sure intuition is not other things like being sick or have other emotions from non-related projects.

1b. Missing the Intuitive Voice: "Not Listening To Intuition At All"

You might think, therefore, that you shouldn't trust intuition at all. If it can run the risk of being offset by something as minor as being sick, doesn't this mean it is unrealizable?

The answer is "yes and no." Intuition is not completely reliable, otherwise it wouldn't be called intuition. However, it does play the odds. While you intuition is not right 100% of the time, it is going to be right more than 50% of the time. The more that you use your intuition about an area, the more you'll recognize failures in the area, and modify your intuition to be better in the future.

2. We misinterpret the intuitive voice

It is good to consider the following scripture:

I Kings 19

11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

This is such a great passage, and one that all of us should know. The still small voice can be found in our day to day walk. The LORD is whispering to us every day. I am not saying that God is in us. God is on the outside.

I am saying that on a consistent basis, God does talk to us. We need to test this intuitive voice against scripture and what is right.

It is up to us to listen.

Thus it brings me back to my previous posts on ear training. I beg you. I plead with you to go to my links and download the software on ear training and try it for a while. Ear training is the perfect analogy for intuition.

Almost everybody can sing a song, but few people can name the notes. If I play two notes on the piano, you may hum them back to me, but I bet it will be very difficult to say "oh, that was a perfect fourth" or say "oh, that was Fa then Do." By studying ear training, you can learn to do just that.

However, as you start to ear train, you will find out that identifying the notes is just maddening. You will think that you hear a note, but you'll be stumped as to what note it was. You will even be able to hum or sing the note, but attaching a name to that note is difficult enough to make you almost cry.

However, by working at it, bit by bit, you will find out that the notes almost start to name themselves. What was formerly a jumble of sound will start to say say "Do, Ti, Re, Fa" and other wonderful names.

The whole secret, in both ear training and intuition, is to make up your mind that you can hear and name the notes, start listening, and follow-up on what you believe was the direction of the music note (or inner voice).

Pretty soon, you'll be able to pick out themes and directions.

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