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Trusting Your Instincts And First Impressions

Mar 7, 2008
More often than not "going with a hunch" or "trusting your instincts" turns out to be exactly the right move to have made, a subject which is given more insight in two recently published books, namely Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Gut Feelings by Gerd Gigerenzer.

We very often know something without being aware that we know and without knowing exactly how we know. For example, you are standing in the medical aisle of your local store and you suddenly remember you are out of a particular type of medication. You were in that aisle to pick up some pain relief for your partner but you also buy the other medication you have run out of, just to have some in, as you never know when it may be needed.

Before the day is out, you end up having to take the "just in case" medication you bought. But what made you think about this medication when you were in the store earlier and feeling fine?

Maybe before you were actually aware of it, your brain knew you were not well. You didn't know, but some part of you actually did know!

Let's look at another example. You are having an interview for a job which on paper appears to be just what you are looking for. However, for some unexplained reason you do not take a liking to the person conducting the interview. You can't say exactly why you have this feeling but you are just not comfortable and feel that things are not quite what they seem.

Needless to say you are offered the job, but because of your feelings you turn it down. Only six months or so later you read in the newspaper that the interviewer has been sacked for fiddling the accounts.

These sorts of things happen all of the time. We know without knowing and on many occasions we do not go with our gut instincts and we do not trust our feelings.

We work on the theory that unless we know why we know, we can't possibly really know and we worry that our decisions are not made "consciously".

Our brains are extremely complex machines and we make decisions much more quickly than we think we do.

We have every faith in our computers, and make decisions in a flash using equipment which has a much lesser capacity than a human brain, yet we have difficulty accepting decisions from our brain unless we understand completely how such a decision has come about.

It is second nature to need to understand but as humans we continually make decisions which we cannot always explain.

At the scene of an accident when the paramedics arrive, there is no time to think about what they are doing, they just get on with it based on their training and their instincts.

On a more day to day level, a qualified member of the press can write an excellent column in less than half an hour, while it would take someone who does not write very often a lot longer to struggle through the same project.

Our brains know things, especially in areas where we have received training and experience. Without our conscious interference we can most certainly rely on our brains to make many decisions. Okay, there may be the odd occasion when the decisions are wrong, but more often than not, the decisions our brains make will be spot on.
About the Author
Kevin Sinclair is the publisher and editor of Be Successful News , a site that provides information and articles on how to succeed in your own home or small business.
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