You are not your body and hair-style, but your capacity for choosing well. If your choices are beautiful, so too will you be.(Epictetus)
So many of us struggle with making a decision between two choices.
We don’t know which way to go in fear of not knowing what might of happen if we chose the other option, thinking there is a right or wrong option – a good or bad decision.
Uncertainty makes people uncomfortable so much so they might avoid opportunities or change. But uncertainty does not always mean risky. The biggest opportunities often have the most question marks. You neither want to make a decision based on 0% information, nor on 100% as this is impossible. There will always be uncertainty about changes (e.g. career opportunities, new relationships, moving to a new country). And if you wait for certainty, you will miss opportunities.
Human beings have a need for certainty. We need to know that everything will be fine.
But uncertainty is the only certainty in life! It’s time to stop letting that fear paralyze you and regain the power to “choose well”.
Discovering This One Human Superpower Will Enable You To Live, Work, Love, & Play Even More Intentionally
This natural attribute is in all of us. Not all of us recognize its enormous potential and fully take advantage of it in our professional and personal life. However, this “superpower” has served me many times.
That is the non-rational knowing.
Ever had a moment when you felt that something just wasn’t right? Like that day I cancel my dive during a holiday, without which I might not be here. Or choosing to answer one of the multiple-choice test questions when you are unsure between two options.
Or perhaps it was a moment when you felt that something was right? Like “clicking” straight away with someone, as if we had known each other forever whereas we just met. Or knowing my best friend was pregnant without her telling me before 3 months into her pregnancy.
Good intuition can also keep business leaders from making decisions that do not fit with organizational values or customer expectations, and career choices that do not fit with their core values or what they want in life.
The rationale is only one form of “knowing”
It is often said that 80% of success is due to psychology and only 20% is due to strategy – the specific steps needed to accomplish a result.
I would reframe this as – 80% is due to “holistic” forms of knowing: the rationale from the mind, the emotional from the heart, the intuition from the gut and the somatic knowing from the body.
These sources give us the ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence. A feeling (emotional, intuitive or somatic) can guide us to act in a certain way without fully understanding why.
Sometimes – what you feel in your heart, gut and body – these “inner voices” from deep down inside – are louder than the logic and rationale from the mind.
Yet, it is so hard to lean into it – especially for big professional or personal decisions (e.g. investing in a business, getting married, purchasing a house, buying a stock).
Steven Speilberg gave a commencement speech at Harvard, and credited following his intuition as the key to his success. He also encouraged the class of 2016 to find their intuition and follow it.
“Sometimes a dream almost whispers. And I’ve always said to my kids, the hardest thing to listen to – your instincts, your human personal intuition – always whispers; it never shouts. Very hard to hear. So you have to—every day of your lives—be ready to hear what whispers in your ear. And if you can listen to the whisper, and if it tickles your heart, and it’s something you think you want to do for the rest of your life, then that is going to be what you do for the rest of your life, and we will benefit from everything you do.”Steven Spielberg
In far too many cases, the rationale might point towards one thing, but your non-rational knowing might tell you the opposite. When that happens, pause to consider it before disregarding them.