The benefits of countering ‘intuition’ and ‘logic’

In Change, Creativity, Inner Performance, Insight, Leadership, Understanding

A lot of store is placed on ‘intuition’ and ‘logical’, but sometimes ‘intuition’ runs counter to what we’re trying to achieve.

For example:

  • In skiing, people get stuck because they apply their intuitive model of walking to skiing. For example, leaning back to slow down in walking makes sense, but do this on a pair of skis and they accelerate!  And rotating your upper body to turn right actually turns a pair of skis to the left!
  • Mistaking correlation for cause and effect. Intuitively it feels like junk food causes obesity, but how does that explain the other 86% of people exposed to junk food that don’t get obese? That’s a correlation, not a cause.  Cause : effect = 100% of the time.  If you’re getting inconsistent and variable results from your actions, you’re basing them on correlation.
  • In baking bread, you allow the yeast to act and the dough expands to what looks like a great loaf and it seems intuitive to put this straight in the oven. However, without first beating the air out of the dough the loaf flops!
  • In seeing a complex problem it seems intuitive and logical that it would have an equally complex solution. In fact, the more complex the system or problem, the simpler the operating principles or solution.
  • In a recession it it seems intuitive that governments should cut back on spending as individuals do, when in fact this is the time for governments to lead and invest. Austerity in government is for when the economy is doing well.
  • To achieve well-being it seems intuitive that if we copy the activities that people who feel good do, we’d feel good too. So, for example, people who feel good connect with other people, so it makes sense that if you create opportunities for people to connect they’d feel good.  But have you ever felt alone in a group?
  • In leadership training it seems intuitive to teach the behaviours and skills of great leaders so that others would become better leaders. But teaching behaviour doesn’t create great leaders.
  • In meetings, it seems intuitive to dig around and get really analytical to find a solution, but the solution just seems further away. But when was the last time in a meeting anyone asked ‘has anyone got anything new or fresh to say on this?’

I can go on, but do you see in these cases, what seems intuitive and logical has the opposite effect?

If you want some indicators of this:

  • Are you consuming more rather than less energy (we use less energy and resources the more efficient we get, not more)
  • Are you feeling frustrated, stress, annoyed or worse?
  • Are you getting analytical?
  • Is the situation or problem getting worse rather than better?
  • Is seeking a solution to the problem consuming a lot of time and energy?

Whilst it looks like its the thing or situation that is causing the problem, invariably it’s not.  It’s just how were seeing it that’s the problem.

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