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10 Ways to Boost Your Intuition

Woman looking out window of nest tree house

Intuition literally means learning from within. Steve Jobs said, “Intuition is a very powerful thing, more powerful than intellect.” Many people think it’s a gift of the few, but it’s actually something that’s within each of us, though most of us were not taught how to use this sense. All of us know well that "gut" feeling when something is off, or when something is spot on. Like any other muscle in your body, you can learn to trust your inner feeling and it will become stronger.

In Start Right Where You Are: How Little Changes Make a Big Difference, Sam Bennett has written a book for “the overwhelmed procrastinators, the frustrated overachievers, and recovering perfectionists.” The handy book is filled with little changes that lead to big joy, small shifts that can change the world. In the chapter on cultivating your intuition, Bennett offers these ten tips.

1. Break Your Routine

Do something different. Do anything different. Take a different route to work, walk on the other side of the sidewalk, create a new sandwich for lunch from the ingredients in your fridge. Breaking up the monotony will help you to stay alert and aware in the moment, and this kind of vigilance helps you to notice when your intuition is tapping you on the shoulder.

2. At a Restaurant, Choose to Order the Very First Thing You See on the Menu

This one sounds scary to me, but I’m willing to give it a try. Bennett says that if nothing else, it’s nice to have more time for conversation and less time to silently obsess “about the calorie difference between the tuna salad and the Cobb.”

3. Take the Long Way Home

Skip the shortcuts. Let the car lead the way. Walk a different route. Take the train this time. Deliberately get lost, and see where you end up. Trust yourself and leave new footprints.

4. Keep a Notebook Beside Your Bed

When you wake up, record the images you can recall from your dream. Don’t try to remember the plot, Bennett says, since dream logic is too confusing to try to capture. But just a few images can be very telling about what is happening in your subconscious state. Get your thoughts out of your head and onto the page.

5. Try a Version of Automatic Writing

Set a timer, and get your hand moving. Write faster than your mind can think. Don’t worry about capitalization, punctuation, or paragraph structure. Don’t even worry about margins. Just write. Write everything that comes to your mind, and don’t tell yourself no.

6. Right-Hand/Left-Hand Exercises

If you are right-handed, try writing with your left hand and vice versa. In your notebook, let your dominant hand ask a question that you really want the answer to, and let your other hand write the answer, Bennett suggests. Ignore the bad handwriting; it’s part of the process. Keep the dialogue going until you feel satisfied.