How to invoke your instincts

"For me, travel has rarely been about escape; it's often not even about a particular destination. The motivation is to go--to meet life, and myself, head-on along the road...On the road I'm forced to rely on instinct and intuition, on the kindness of strangers, in ways that illuminate who I am, ways that shed light on my motivations, my fears. Because I spend so much time alone when I travel, those fears, my first companions in life, are confronted, resulting in a liberation that I'm convinced never would have happened had I not ventured out. Often, the farther afield I go, the more at home I feel."

Andrew McCarthy, The Longest Way Home

Steve Jobs on Your Inner Voice

“Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Steve Jobs


So...what are you waiting for?

Intuition: When Should You Trust Your Own Counsel?

This tweet started a twitter firestorm. It's awfully difficult to communicate complex thoughts in 140 characters so this blog post attempts to sort it out with a few more words. 532 to be exact.

There's a delicate balance in the listening to others vs. listening to yourself equation. I suspect that people who are ardently on either side of the equation are probably there because of an extreme experience. Perhaps they blindly followed someone else's advice to disastrous results. On the other side is the guy who didn't listen to anyone else's advice and failed. The problem with both sides is a lack of openness. It's a tricky thing to be open and yet follow the guidance your heart to make the decision that is most compelling for you.

The Role of Others' Opinions

When I was in my twenties and wanted to do something different with my life my dad would always advise me to run it by my siblings--particularly my older brother. Sadly it led me to make some poor decisions because the advice was taken cart blanche. The thing is--my brother is very wise--as is my dad--but they can only make decisions that are right for them. Other people see through a completely different set of eyes than the ones in your own skull. It would be folly not to recognize that. Gaining the perspective of others can help you see things that otherwise might have evaded your own gaze. The rub is that you have to take their context into account. This context may mesh well with yours but it may not. Perhaps you can take a nugget or two from them to mix in with your own dreams, hopes, fears and goals to find something that makes your heart say '"Yes!"

Don't Ignore Your Gut

Looking back I don't think my dad wanted me to take the advice without running it through my own counsel. If we could time travel back I'm certain he would say something like...Run it past someone who thinks differently than you to see if there are any ways to improve upon your idea or things you haven't thought about. Then listen to your gut. The context I ignored in my twenties was that my dad, while an engineer, is also an incredibly intuitive man who truly trusts his instincts. This was a guy who built incredibly innovative concept cars by using both his analytical and more instinctive sides of his brain.  He lived his life according to his own set of inner rules. I see now that he never would have advocated abdicating responsibility for your life and decisions to others.

It's Not An Either Or Game

These days I love to surround myself with people who are much more linear and analytical (accountants, lawyers and generally practical people) than myself because they always give me a different perspective. Their opinions show me new ways of thinking about a situation and often I end up listening mostly to my original idea tweaked a bit by their thoughts.  Be open and listening to yourself aren't mutually exclusive. 

You just need to keep the opinions of others in context while you grow your intuition.

Twinkly Lights & Intuition

This post is a personal appeal. A very good friend is in need.

Making a long story short. He was the roof trying to make the season lighter with twinkly lights. He fell. Hurt himself and now can't work. He's just about the kindest man I've ever met. So, the vendors of Coaching Toys are holding a fundraiser to support the family and their medical bills as he recovers. I am participating in the fundraiser and will be donating the proceeds from a few of my sales to the cause. So really it's a a two-fer. By buying the book you get some knowledge on intuition AND you get to help a family in need.

OK, go get it!