Albert Einstein once said, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
While cold, factual logic might appear foundational to a business, both Albert Einstein, possibly the most influential physicist of the 20th century, and Steve Jobs, the contemporary Apple co-founder and visionary, attributed their overwhelming success to the same personality trait: Intuition.
Jobs said intuition was “more powerful than intellect” and had a significant impact on his work.
A recap on Sensing vs Intuition
Sensing and Intuition are two ends of the Myers-Briggs personality preference scale and indicate the way people process incoming information. Sensors are practical, down-to-earth people who take in the world around them through the five physical senses. They are steady and detail-oriented, focused on the literal and tangible.
Intuitives are more on the abstract side. They interpret information by looking for the underlying meaning and logical patterns, and also consider future possibilities. They live in a world of "what if" and tend to focus on ideas over facts.
Benefits of honing your intuition
Following your gut. Getting in touch with the subconscious. These aren’t the way Sensors tend to move through their day, but if you want to maximize your personality potential, there are some surprisingly deep benefits to exercising your Intuition.
#1: Clarity on the bigger picture.
While Sensors tend to stay “in the weeds” manipulating their data and details, pushing back and quieting the static allows you to see a wider perspective. Try some version of sensory-deprivation and see if what you feel can inform as much as what you normally take in through touch, sight, sound, etc.
#2: Increased self-knowledge.
Meditation helps you identify and clarify your inner voice. Sensors can be so focused on the external that the internal is nearly obliterated. You can be hungry, tired, hurt, or scared without actually registering it. Clear the path for the voice of your inner self.
#3: Better health.
Stress levels will reduce as you become more mindful of yourself. If you become aware of negative or destructive self-talk and are able to diminish or replace it with positive affirmations, you will have better mental and emotional health. Listen to your body when it nudges or nags at you, especially about a physical health issue. It could save your life.
#4: Stronger relationships.
Intuition and empathy go hand in hand. Once you become familiar with your own emotional landscape, you will be better equipped to feel what others are feeling and more correctly interpret their subtle signals. This could be super helpful on first dates or job interviews. Learning compassion leads to smoother family interaction. You’ll sense when your partner is having a bad day and be a better guide to your children’s own internal self-exploration.
#5: Better decision-making.
Once you’ve practiced incorporating Intuition, you can reach conclusions and make decisions faster. If you can slow or stop the urge to overthink everything, you can get comfortable with making decisions without requiring a million analytical details first. This, in turn, expands your ability to arrive at new or innovative solutions to problems.
#6: The confidence to say NO.
You’ll learn to trust your gut and speak up when you know something is not right for you. If your head and your hand goes up and says yes but your heart slowly sinks into the pit of your stomach… If you find yourself silently screaming and you’re ignoring it… stop! Some decisions are simply not logical. But they are right.
#7: Possible becomes possible.
You gain an appreciation for possibility when you open up to intuition. “What if” questions don’t make you immediately cringe. If someone tries to explain something through theory or pure imagination, you won’t instantly tune them out or write them off. Instead of rationalizing your way through life, you leave the door respectfully open (even a small crack) for things that don’t make “sense”.
#8: You’ll learn who you can trust.
Your dog and your gut have something in common. If someone just doesn’t seem “right” and you can’t put your Sensoring finger on it, listening to that quivering radar might save you from ruin. It takes time to develop, but picking up on intangible nuances of character, setting, and mood can bring you a wealth of valuable information beyond your five senses.
#9: Enhanced creativity and callings.
You’ll be more creative once you remove the blocks and boundaries that were set in place as sensory buffers. Releasing some of your resistance opens you up to flow. Some of the tactile arts may resonate deeply with you. You might just find your calling. If you’ve been too busy living to think about what kind of life you want, slowing down and paying attention to subtle sparks of joy may be the ticket to finding your true purpose in a job you love. Following those little nudges could lead to professional success.
#10: The future becomes a fact.
Or at least an undeniable possibility. Sensors don’t spend energy on things that haven’t happened yet and focus on the here and now. One result is a fairly permanent mindset. They don’t like change! But stretching into Intuition incorporates the future into the present and challenges the way a Sensor see things. Intuitives don’t follow timelines, so just because you’ve never experienced true love doesn’t mean you never will. Just because you decorated in shabby chic doesn’t mean you’ll have an inexplicable yearning for art deco 10 years from now.
#11. You’ll get out of your rut.
Sensors fight to keep their external world “just so” and forget that there were multiple options before they settled on the one they chose. Tapping into Intuition opens those options up again in a non-threatening way. If you feel encouraged to try some experimentation, you may discover a new way to enjoy an old favorite. State-of-the-art turntables for your vinyl collection, for example.
#12. Joy. Gratitude. Grounding.
Once you start trusting your intuitive side and that new way of looking at things, your head and your heart work in harmony. You’ll attract people and situations that are on the same wave-length as your EQ improves. You might go so far as to consider changing the world, not just living in it. And what a wonderful world that would be.