Editor’s note: Calf SantasKnown as the “Mobility Maker,” is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and mind-body coach in professional sports, and author of “.Practical Solutions for Back Pain.”
Many high performers in sports, business, and the arts will tell you that they dress by their intuition. This allows them to make decisions, often in a split second, without overthinking or missing opportunities.
Look at baseball players. In Major League Baseball, when an average fastball is thrown faster than 90 mph, a hitter not exceeding 150 milliseconds, which is literally a blink of an eye, deciding to swing. Plus, the ball effectively invisible to the target for the last 10 feet of its travel and at a stroke interval of only 10 milliseconds. Never mind the added complexity of hitting a round ball with a round bat with the right power and accuracy.
Still, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge recently broke the American League baseball record with 62 home runs in a season. Of course, there is preparation and skill involved, but without intuitive sense, what would a judge look like against physics in this complex, lightning-fast set of steps?
For athletes as referees, It appears to know when and how to do the right things to come naturally and to some extent science also confirms that.
But science also confirms that intuition isn’t just a special feeling possessed by special people like record-breaking athletes. According to a 2016 study.
Intuition is something we all have and can leverage to make informed decisions on a daily basis. Read on to learn why and how.
According to Max Newlon, president of BrainCo, a Harvard Innovation Lab-incubated company that develops products based on brain-machine interface technology, the human brain has two distinct modes of thinking: analytical and intuitive. These are often referred to as left-brain and right-brain thinking, respectively, because research has shown that different ways of thinking occur, he said.
“Depending on the task, different thinking systems work more effectively. Intuitive right-brain thinking is characterized as more sensory-oriented, creative, and bigger-picture thinking.”
Newlon shared an example of someone deciding to buy a home: “An intuitive person will support their decision with statements about visualizing the sense of space, imagining themselves there, and imagining how their extended family will feel at home when they visit. Conversely, an analytical decision maker will focus on things like the quality of schools, the time and distance to work, and the overall financial deal.
But what about workplace decisions made by CEOs from the hot seat or the split-second actions of professional athletes?
“The ability to make quick, intuitive decisions is based on building and developing self-confidence,” said Dr. Dehra Harris, assistant director of applied performance research for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Harris noted that developing your inner voice is an ongoing process that requires two steps:
1. Learn to listen to yourself.
2. Engage in a regular reflection process.
Start with a moment of silence and observe the different voices in your head, says Harris, a former professor of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Petersburg. Louis.
“Generally you will hear two voices. One is associated with fear-based, racing, swirling thoughts, and the other is more calm and true to your nature,” Harris explained. “The best way to recognize them is to let them know how they feel. Your inner voice will always calm you down, even in the face of big tasks, fear-based. and your voice will increase the nervousness.
Second, Harris noted that listening to your inner voice is not a flawless system. He suggested thinking about the results weekly.
“It may seem counter-intuitive to consider an intuitive decision-making process, but if some results fail, there must be a change in strategy. Remember that intuition is drawn from a well of accumulated experience and knowledge.”
Albert Einstein once remarked: “Intuition is the result of prior intellectual experience.” Newlon agreed, but took it a step further, suggesting that intuition is not just the result of pattern recognition from your collection of experiences, but potentially the result of “millennial evolution.”
Having a daily practice of actively working on and trusting your intuition will strengthen it—even in the face of stress. “Stress reduces the brain’s resources for decision-making, so it helps you switch over to the skills you’re already actively applying and working on for a more reliable outcome,” he said.
As we consider the ability to enhance intuitive decision-making with practice, let’s take another look at Aaron Judge. Not only did he break the home run record, but he also broke his personal record by stealing 16 bases in the same season. In fact, through August 9th, he was 100% accurate, going 13-for-13 on base-stealing attempts, another improbable feat.
Was it a coincidence that Judge’s success in home and base stealing went up at the same time? Or was it partly due to regular practice and confidence in the ability to make accurate, split-second intuitive decisions?
While your analytical mind ponders this, consider that there is very little physical connection between hitting and base stealing.
Try these three exercises to see how regular practice can improve the power and accuracy of your intuitive “strokes”:
1. Breathe in your presence
As a mind-body coach in pro sports, I have the privilege work on breathing with the judge and help him integrate breathing practice into his exercise routine. Because your breath always happens in the present moment, it is your strongest connection to the here and now, freeing you from thoughts of the past or future. It’s easier to hear your inner voice in the present. Try this 5-7-3 breathing practice to quiet your own mind so you can better listen to your intuition.
This 90-second deep breathing exercise will help relieve stress
– Source: CNN
2. Practice right brain meditations
Instead of trying to keep your mind blank during meditation, try to focus on letting your creative right brain flow without the judgment of your analytical mind. A good exercise for this would be to consider a question or choice and let your meditative imagination lead you to a possible positive outcome. If it’s too difficult to make a decision without your analytical mind stepping in, Harris suggested focusing on a favorite song and letting your imagination lead you to the experiences it creates for you.
3. Play with creative tools
Don’t be afraid to be creative in your endeavors to be more creative. You don’t have to be an artist, writer, or psychic to play with tools that tap into your intuitive right brain. You can try free-form sketching, use story cards as creative writing prompts, or affirmation cards for intention building.
“Working with any practice that helps you actively use your intuitive brain can be very valuable, and sometimes even more valuable when we strip away the mystique and look at them rationally,” Newlon says.
Now that you have the understanding and tools to strengthen your intuition, why not start seeing where your inner voice leads you?
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