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Jun 9 2010

Trust Your Gut

I was thinking through some new ideas today, and a couple of them felt exactly right.  There was no quantitative analysis to back up my feeling, and I couldn't connect the dots of some line of reasoning that led to the conclusion that, yes, these particular ideas are good ones. It was my instincts that I was listening to.  I've learned to trust and appreciate my instincts more and more. 

It made me think about something I had read by John Hunt, an award-winning playwright and author. 

"In an age where everyone seeks certainty, instinct sounds like a concept that belongs to a bygone era.  It's too difficult to define.  Over time, the word has been repositioned to mean the opposite of intellectual.  If you are instinctive, you are somehow part animal and in the sophisticated human world, that's bad.

Fewer and fewer people pay any attention to what their gut is trying to tell them.  They shun the feeling because it is exactly that. . . a feeling.  And feelings are messier than facts.  So they're disregarded altogether.

Yet, when you're desperate for an idea, it's the most precious commodity on earth.  At the early stages of something new, that's often all you've got.  An instinct, an inner twitch in your gut, that says you might be on to something big.

Way before a thought can evolve into something we believe in, it floats in the primitive soup of instinct.  Those who come up with the best ideas are those who are comfortable with the fact that, sometimes, you just know before you know why.

Sadly, we have been taught that the opposite is true.

Nothing is more depressing than being in a room with people who have had their instincts beaten out of them.  The look at you with the doleful eyes of neutered cats."

There are times to simply "trust your gut" and forget about "running the numbers."

Your friend,

Jim Caruso