It’s hard to believe ten years has passed since Steve Jobs gave his famous Stanford University Commencement Address (2005) where he advised students not to let the“noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice”, but rather “have the courage to follow your heart and intuition”. We often ignore our intuition or “gut feelings” and think the only way to reach a decision is through painstaking analysis. Although analysis is important so is acknowledging and trusting your intuition.

How many times did you change answers on a multiple choice test only to discover your first answer was the correct answer? We’ve all done that and yet, why is it hard for us to trust our intuition? Is it that we don’t trust ourselves?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines intuition as follows:

noun in·tu·i·tion \ˌin-tü-ˈi-shən, -tyü-\

: a natural ability or power that makes it possible to know something without any proof or evidence : a feeling that guides a person to act a certain way without fully understanding why

: quick and ready insight

There has been a lot written on the subject both pro and con. Twenty years ago I saw a book titled The Intuitive Manager by Roy Rowan who was a journalist with Fortune magazine. He defined intuition as “knowledge gained without rational thought” and his premise was it had a biological base. His belief was that the mind organizes previous experiences, relationships, encounters, etc. in ways that can help you make more effective decisions. He tells the story of several famous CEOs of the time including Mary Kay Ash (Mary Kay Cosmetics) and Ray Kroc (McDonalds) who attributed much of their success to intuitive decision making.

This book stuck with me and over the years I have learned when I trust my intuition and go with my gut, I’m more often pleased than not. How about you? Do you trust your intuition?