Unlock Your Sixth Sense: Think Smarter, Not Harder
BY Dr Laurie Nadel & Giovanni Cozza
Dr Carl Jung, one of the fathers of modern psychoanalysis, described intuition as the ability to anticipate change and to see possibilities inherent in a situation. It is also the magic ingredient in new ideas and inventions.
Intuition and creativity are part of our biological make-up going back thousands of years. Archeologists have uncovered findings that prove our caveman ancestors possessed these abilities to “know something spontaneously, without the conscious use of reasoning”. The evidence shows that although they did not possess language skills and were primarily concerned with survival, primitive humans intuitively used ritual to connect with the mysterious realm of spirit.
In case you are wondering, everyone has a sixth sense. It is important to your creativity. The good news is that it works whether you believe it or not! It is a natural mental ability that you can strengthen with practice, much the same way that you can become fluent in a new language, play a musical instrument, or become a better golfer.
If you need to be able to think quickly in a variety of situations, overcome creative blocks and find innovative solutions, here are some tips for learning how to listen to your inner voice:
Go with the flow. Pay attention to ideas, insights, and impressions that seem to come out of nowhere. They are not “just imagination”. They are information that your brain is elaborating. Data can take many forms. Your brain is capable of receiving information in the form of feelings, sensations, taste, sight, smell, and sound. It synthesizes the data into a quick impression, often called a gut feeling or hunch. Too often we avoid listening to this inner source of information because we believe it is more efficient to be rational.
Respect those hunches. For example, your brain may say that it is time to return an important phone call or time to get off the phone. Or you may have a feeling of urgency about delivering a message in person instead of sending a text. Successful people from all walks of life report that paying attention and respecting their hunches dramatically improves their sense of timing and consequently, success in their life.
Follow that gut feeling. When a gut feeling or hunch presents itself, the most important step is to act on it as soon as possible. Write your gut feeling someplace immediately so that you can refer back to it later. Then make a choice: Act on it or ignore it. Observe the result and keep a record so that you can build your personal intuitive database for future reference.
Take time out to solve a problem. In order to make maximum use of your brain’s ability to solve problems intuitively, take a break. Do not try to solve it using logic. Do something else. Take a walk. Listen to music. Shower. Relax. This opens up access to the intuitive part of the brain that synthesizes information effortlessly. Allow your intuitive mind to work for your solutions. Later on, you will notice that you are thinking with clear vision. Do not be surprised as your intuition pops up more frequently from now on.
Ask your sixth sense for help. This one of the most important rules. It may seem strange but it is possible to speak to the part of your brain that knows how to receive and synthesize information at high speed. The easiest way to do this is to take a few moments to breathe deeply with eyes closed. When feeling relaxed, all that is needed is to ask the intuitive part of the brain which is within you for help when solving the problem. Strange but true: your brain will execute any command you input.
Look for the big picture. Instead of getting buried in details, take a deep breath, and shift your focus to a different task. At the same time, ask your intuitive mind to show you the big picture. For example, if you are working on an Excel spreadsheet and something does not look right, ask your intuitive mind to show you what is missing. You will be amazed when the missing piece of information pops into your mind all of a sudden, effortlessly. Just ask. Your intuitive voice speaks gently. Do not forget to listen to the subtle answers and write them down.
Acknowledge your intuitive mind. As you get more comfortable using these techniques every day, it will get easier to think faster when you under pressure. One way to wire in this new skill level is to thank your intuitive mind for helping you to solve a problem. It is probably easier for you to criticize yourself when you make a mistake. Instead take a moment to say to yourself, “Good work!” or “Not bad!” or “Thanks!” Your brain will learn that this effort to find a solution is well appreciated and this “thanking” will enhance your ability to come up with an answer more quickly next time. Noticing when your hunch or gut feeling is right on course will build your confidence.
Trust yourself. One of the Fathers of Reason, the French mathematician Blaise Pascal said, “There are two excesses: to exclude reason, and to admit only reason.” As you learn to see, hear, and feel your sixth sense, not only will you think fast on your feet, you will become a master of your mind. Success is inevitable.