06 Mar Discover “Why Listening to Your Intuition Pays Off
As a child and a young person, I paid close attention to that small voice inside me — my gut feeling. My intuition often paid off in terms of getting me opportunities as well as by keeping me safe. On my first date with my husband, my intuition told me that he was the One. On the surface that thought might have seemed a little crazy. After all, I was only 19 years old. But now here we are, soon to celebrate our 35th anniversary.
I’d learned from my entrepreneurial father to identify and make the most of connections — especially the unexpected ones that pop up and then evaporate. Somewhere along the way, though, as I got older, I began dismissing my gut brain’s messages — yes, science has shown that our hearts and our guts have an intelligence like our brains do. I’d doubt myself or fail to follow up on the hunches that had led to my early successes as a published author with a six-figure advance for my first book shortly after age 30. I took in the messages that intuition was somewhat akin to superstition and started to ignore those inklings that I’d get.
A few years ago a friend suggested I read a book called When God Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life by Squire Rushnell. Now I’ve embraced that gift again and understand that my intuition is there for a reason. For me, it’s a spiritual thing. For example, when I’m on a plane, I try to ascertain why I’m seated by a certain person. When you look for connections, you find them. Since I’ve learned to listen to this part of myself again, my travels have led me to some unexpected adventures and friendships. Positive psychology offers hundreds of studies about the power of our intuition. Many law enforcement agencies are now training their personnel to pay attention to their hunches. Clay Mathile, one of the smartest entrepreneurs I know and my mentor, often told me that listening to his gut was a key to his success with The Iams Company.
Sometimes on the surface your decision-making may look odd to your more analytical, conservative peers, but I’ve found throughout my career and my life that, like Clay says, following your heart and gut feeling can lead you to marvelous places beyond your wildest dreams.