Instincts: Relying on what you cannot be taught

Instincts are innate in every animal, human beings off course included. Have you ever made a decision or acted in a certain way out of impulse or hunch, and at the end you found out that you were right? Though, your rational mind tells you to do otherwise, but there is a strong feeling inside you pushing or compelling you to do otherwise.

Sometimes, you will not have inner peace, if you go contrary. This hunch or gut feeling is called instinct. It’s like inner compass guiding us as we travel towards our destiny.

In as much as possible that we are inborn with instincts, so many people are yet to make use of it or rather experience it. Beside humans, other animals live and survive on instincts. It seems like their instincts are more developed than that of humans. In the wild life for instance, predators use their instincts to hunt their preys. In the same vein, other animals use it to survive from their predators. Their instincts tell them when in danger and how to avoid been seen by their predators. It equally provides them with defense mechanism to apply when attacked by their predators.

Read Also: Instincts: More powerful than intellect

Instincts: Relying on what you cannot be taught

Like other animals, we humans are gifted with instincts. However, our rationality to an extent inhibits us from trusting, using or even recognizing their presence. We rely so much on logic and common sense that we often disregard our instincts. But the truth is that logic and common sense fail us a lot of times.

A look at the lives of great leaders and entrepreneurs shows that they depend more on their instincts than logic. They act out of their gut feeling, irrespective of what common sense tells them. So many times, they are steered towards directions contrary to the popular opinion. Ironically enough, they always succeed.

The good news is that instincts can be honed. Below are practical insights on how you can hone your instincts.

Broaden your knowledge

One of the quickest ways to hone your instincts is through knowledge. You have to be versatile in different areas of life. The more knowledgeable you are in different areas of life, the better your chances of developing your instincts. At certain points in your life, you may find yourself applying what you learnt in geography in finance. Common sense will not even allow you to think or act in that direction, but instincts will. However, when you are deficient in knowledge, your instincts suffer it also.

Gain some experience

The key to mastery lies not in knowledge but experience. The more you practice the more proficient you become. The same applies to instincts. It is said that experience is the best teacher, yet a lot of people run away from experience in order not to be bruised. Experience will provide you with opportunity to fail or succeed, but each of them is a learning progression. Experience will teach you things knowledge alone will not. With knowledge, all things are possible; with experience, success and failure are options. Experience will teach you to succeed more than you fail.

If you are highly experienced, you find yourself taking certain decisions based on gut feelings which in the end turns out right. From the sound of a car, an experienced automobile mechanic can accurately know what’s faulty in a car. Some entrepreneurs don’t even need to read the details of a business plan or proposal to know whether it’s a good business or a bad one. Their instincts draw from their wealth of experiences to guide them in what to do or what not to do.

Learn from experts

Learning from experts is another way to sharpen your instincts. The good news is that they don’t necessarily have to lecture you in person in order to learn from them. You can easily watch them do the things they do. Learn what moves them or motivates them. Study them as they make day by day decisions. Not so long, you will begin to do the things that they do.

At some point in life, you may be faced with similar challenge that you watched them overcome, only to find yourself doing similar things they did. Consciously, you may not be aware of what you are doing, but your instincts will steer you in that direction.

Try out new things

As much as you can, try out new things that you have never done before. When you try out new things, you learn new things, meet new people, acquire new skills and so on. Am not suggesting that you become an expert in everything, but to learn a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The interesting thing about trying out new things is that it sharpens your instincts. You never know how it will be of use to your instincts, especially when faced with tough decisions.

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