As we discussed earlier, emotions are the primary source of intuitive insight. They act as a sort of “intuitive compass”, pointing the way North. But unless we know how this works, we could be ignoring critical intuitive guidance.
Intuitive Compass vs Logical Facts
Everyone is intuitive. Some people call it a “gut feeling”, “a hunch” or “woman’s intuition“. Although we can get into a deep metaphysical discussion about this topic, let’s assume that intuition is information that is not based on logic. It’s something else.
Intuition can be a great source of information when facts alone cannot pin-point a decision. For example, would you rather have a glass of wine or a martini? Based on past experiences, you usually prefer wine. But today, you feel like having a martini.
This decision is not based on logic: it’s based on emotions. The martini just feels better.
Now let’s apply this to a more soul-deep decision. You’re wondering if you should quit your job to pursue your dream career in a different field. You’ve been thinking about it for a while. And you already know all the logical reasons why you should, or should not, make this change.
But is that enough information to make this decision confidently?
What ultimately makes us happy is not always just based logic. And this is where intuition comes in. Your intuitive compass will never replaces experience or facts. But it can augment the data available to help identify the best decision, thus ensuring success. We’re can stack the deck in our favor!
Where Are We Going?
Let’s assume that you’re searching for intuitive insight about your job decision. How can you tell if your compass is pointing North? What does North mean?
In my experience, intuition is a simple process: you tell it where you want to go and it tells you how to get there. That is North. Your intuition is always pointing toward where you want to go.
So the most important question you can ask yourself is: What do I want? What makes me happy?
In our example: I want to find a way to quit my job and pursue my dream job. Excellent, we have located our destination. Now let’s use our intuitive compass!
Your Intuitive Compass: The Instruction Manual
Now that you know where you want to go, how do you know if you’re going the right way? This is where paying attention to your emotions is important.
- An emotion that feels better means you are going towards what you want.
- An emotion that feels worse means you are going away from what you want.
Here’s a handy chart. I use green, yellow and red in the 3 Emotional Zones to represent our intuitive “traffic light”.
When we’re in Zone 1, our intuition is telling us “Full speed ahead”. Zone 3 usually means we’re heading the wrong way. But what about Zone 2? What does that one mean?
Keep in mind that this chart is directional : If you go from Zone 1 to Zone 2? If you’re feeling worse, that means you’re going in the wrong direction. But when you’re going from Zone 2 to Zone 3? Then you’re making progress. So feeling frustrated can be good news, if you just bubbled up from feeling depressed.
Let’s put it all together, continuing with our example. Last week, when thinking about quitting that job, we felt depressed. That corresponds to Zone 3 #12. Then a few days later, we suddenly felt angry! That’s in Zone 3 #9.
Although we were still drowning in an unpleasant negative emotions such as anger, our intuition was telling us that we had made progress. We’re going in the right direction, following our intuitive compass.
Then something comes up! A colleagues mentions that you new position opened up in another department. Still the same company, but we become really curious about this opportunity. Notice that we’re in Zone 1 #2.
Maybe this new position can lead to something new? Maybe investigating it can give us an idea on where to go next? We don’t know exactly. Because intuition cannot predict the future. But it can reach deep down into this pool of “other information” and come back with powerful guidance.
So are you ready to give up the belief that anger is bad? That you have to suppress and ignore frustration? Because every time you do this, you are ignoring the messages of your intuition. But when 1) clarify what you want 2) pay attention to how you feel about it over time, you can get an instant sense of direction.
And if you’ve been playing the “What Feels Better Game“, you also have a map telling you when it’s time to turn left, and pick a new path.