Did Intuition Help Me Here?

By · July 3, 2009 · Filed in intuition · 2 Comments »

Today was an eventful day. I decided to do some yard work after I finished gathering up the recycling. I had some tree trimming to do and also planned to clean up the ‘presents’ that my faithful four-legged friend leaves behind. Did I mention that I am grateful he is not a very large dog?

When I realized that I needed a plastic bag to pick up the presents I remembered that I had just emptied them into the recycle bin. I went to the back of the alley, opened the bin and routed around for a plastic bag. We don’t get too many bags anymore, ever since investing in some cotton and nylon bags.

I found one bag with no holes and a handle that could be used for storage. All of a sudden my subconscious flashed me a picture of a chapters bag. I remember getting a bag like that recently from a friend of mine with a book inside as a gift. I searched around the recycle bin and retrieved the chapters bag.

To my surprise the bag was not empty! No I didn’t throw out my book if that is what you are thinking! I did spot a small little pin that I got recently as the “Past President” of my local Toastmasters club. My 1-year term was up at the end of June and as a parting gift I had received a pin that I put in this chapters bag.

I must have forgotten about it when I emptied the bag earlier and mistakenly put it in the recycle bin while the pin was still in there. I would have lost that special commemorative pin forever, and probably wondering where I lost it. But instead I was rewarded at the right time with the flash of the chapters bag in my mind.

If that picture didn’t come up, and I didn’t think “that small chapters bag would be perfect to use”, then I probably would have used one of the other plastic bags in the bin. Because of the picture I was magnetized to exploring further and putting in the effort to find it. You can imagine the smile on my face after I found it.

Later I was basking outside in the sunshine and appreciating my good fortunes. I suddenly got an urge to phone a friend that I haven’t seen or spoke to for a few months. Unfortunately I didn’t have my phone on me so I couldn’t honour this inclination. When I went inside I noticed that he had just called me moments ago.

Was this another coincidence or another example of how subtle intuition can be? My friend had phoned to invite me over for a Canada Day celebration. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it over because we already had plans, but of course you realize that my attendance was not the point of this story.

The point of the story is that you can have some pretty interesting, enlightening and rewarding experiences if you start to listen to your intuition and follow your instinct more. Intuition helps you figure out problems, guides you to know who to trust, senses danger, and alerts you about the things you believe are important.

Some call intuition your sixth sense. It is a powerful guide to help us interpret and understand the world we live in. If you are serious about your best interests, then it is in your best interest to get in touch with your subconscious. The best part about it is that anybody can get started and become good with practice.

Life is amazing. Life is meant to be lived amazing. Go out and experience synchronicity, divine-timing and see the perfection in everything. Practice listening to your heart, following your gut and keep finding out more about yourself. You are more powerful than you realize!

Why and How a Stranger Knows You Best…

Stranger knows best: Other people know more about what will make us happy than we do

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Want to know what will make you happy? Then ask a total stranger — or so says a new study from Harvard University, which shows that another person’s experience is often more informative than your own best guess.

The study, which appears in the current issue of Science, was led by Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard and author of the 2007 bestseller “Stumbling on Happiness,” along with Matthew Killingsworth and Rebecca Eyre, also of Harvard, and Timothy Wilson of the University of Virginia.

“If you want to know how much you will enjoy an experience, you are better off knowing how much someone else enjoyed it than knowing anything about the experience itself,” says Gilbert. “Rather than closing our eyes and imagining the future, we should examine the experience of those who have been there.”

Previous research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral economics has shown that people have difficulty predicting what they will like and how much they will like it, which leads them to make a wide variety of poor decisions. Interventions aimed at improving the accuracy with which people imagine future events have been generally unsuccessful.

So rather than trying to improve human imagination, Gilbert and his colleagues sought to eliminate it from the equation by asking people to predict how much they would enjoy a future event about which they knew absolutely nothing — except how much a total stranger had enjoyed it. Amazingly enough, those people made extremely accurate predictions.

In one experiment, women predicted how much they would enjoy a “speed date” with a man. Some women read the man’s personal profile and saw his photograph, and other women learned nothing whatsoever about the man, but did learn how much another woman (whom they had never met) had enjoyed dating him. Women who learned about a previous woman’s experience did a much better job of predicting their own enjoyment of the speed date than did woman who studied the man’s profile and photograph.

Interestingly, both groups of women mistakenly expected the profile and photo to lead to greater accuracy, and after the experiment was over both groups said they would strongly prefer to have the profile and photograph of their next date.

In the second experiment, two groups of participants were asked to predict how they would feel if they received negative personality feedback from a peer. Some participants were shown a complete written copy of the feedback. Other were shown nothing, and learned only how a total stranger had felt upon receiving the feedback. The latter group more accurately predicted their own reactions to the negative feedback. Once again, participants mistakenly guessed that a written copy of the feedback would be more informative than knowledge of a total stranger’s experience.

“People do not realize what a powerful source of information another person’s experience can be,” says Gilbert, “because they mistakenly believe that everyone is remarkably different from everyone else. But the fact is that an alien who knew all the likes and dislikes of a single human being would know a great deal about the species. People believe that the best way to predict how happy they will be in the future is to know what their future holds, but what they should really want to know is how happy those who’ve been to the future actually turned out to be.”

Gilbert’s research was funded by the National Science Foundation.