“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”–Albert Einstein
Acting rationally is viewed as the sane thing to do in our current society. With business and economics courses teaching students under the premise that humans always make rational decisions, and philosophers telling people to reason their way through everything, being rational seems like common sense. On the other hand, choosing something just because it feels right or just because you want to, seems reckless and impulsive.
This perception has led people to weigh their options and go over pros and cons in order to make the best decision. They have focused on increasing their chances of happiness and fulfillment by relying on statistics and logic to guide them to a potential goldmine. What people do not realize, however, is that, in many situations, being driven by emotions and one’s intuition may result in the most satisfaction.
Intuition, by definition, means “the ability to acquire knowledge without inference and/or the use of reason.” The reason rationalists are so reluctant to follow their intuition is because it means that they would have to take risks. They would have to trust themselves without solid grounds. Therefore, they tend to fear that it might be just a spur of the moment judgment. It is just safer and more reassuring to put aside their emotions and let the data speak for them
Unfortunately, deliberative decision-making individuals are walking out on an opportunity to take control in their lives and truly feel accomplished. Since most logical thinking ends up with talking themselves out of risk-taking tasks, they avoid hardships and rarely participate in anything big. One must know that, throughout history, those who followed their heart to do “irrational things” are the ones that have changed and bettered the world.
Even in less ambitious settings, it is undeniable that many decisions need an emotional, personal approach. For example, take the case of marriage. Imagine that the person you think is “the one” is very poor, while the man that your parents have set you up with has power, money, and a charming personality. Rationally thinking, the latter is a more suitable mate. Most would go for the latter, thinking that the former might just be a phase or a fling. Can one say that this "rational" decision will bring happiness? It might be the safest choice, but will they ever be emotionally pleased about their choice or would they always have feelings for "the one" and feel insecure?
Moreover, what the rationalists fail to acknowledge is that intuition is one of your resources. Ignoring it is the same as incapacitating a valuable means. Every impression a person gets, every feeling or instinct that one gets is not based on nothing. It is formed through the accumulation of information over the years. Intuition is the snap judgment that is affected by implicit knowledge. Since the human mind is so complex beyond consciousness, accessing the realms of the subconscious is actually taking full advantage of your powerful resources.
When your instincts tell you to try something, do not ignore them because you think it is too risky, or it seems too unconventional. Listen to your intuitive judgment and go with it. Use your analytical thinking only to double-check what you already feel is right. Your inner voices know what is best for you more often than you think.