On Intuition

posted on: Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Overlooking Tasmania... have I forgotten something?

During high school I worked some weeknights in a small, suburban corner store by myself. One night, a little car pulled up outside and immediately the hairs on my arms stood up and my pulse quickened and my body was shaking. So I did what any standard teenager would do, and picked up the phone and called my mum.

'Are you okay?' she asked, concerned by my unusual call. 
Oh yep, I just got a really weird feeling about some people that pulled up outside.
'What are they doing?' 
Well one is just on the phone in the phone booth outside, but I just had a weird feeling.
'Do you want me to come down early to pick you up?' mum offered. 
Oh no thanks, I said starting to feel like I was overreacting, they've just driven away.

In fact, they drove around the back, parked and came back to rob the store a few minutes later. Not the best experience, but one thing was clear, my intuition had been giving me a very strong signal. 

Intuition came to the fore again recently because I was reading about one of the world's most in-demand trend forecasters. 64 year old Li Edelkoort has had Fortune 500 companies across the globe clamouring for her insights in food, travel, interiors and wellbeing for the last 20 years. Asked how she remained on trend for so many years, she said she bases her forecasts on her intuition and has done forever. She believes that intuition 'can be trained, like a muscle'.

This caught my attention because planning for my current trip in Tasmania I was reminded again of following intuition. I organised to stay at a gorgeous AirBNB house in West Hobart. As I was packing I had a strong sense to pack a towel - in fact, a couple of times. Why would I need to pack a big towel into my luggage? I was perplexed by this random thought. I knew my accommodation would be providing this for me. 

Fast forward a day and I arrive at my accommodation to find a mix-up with dates and my hosts outside of Hobart. At the late hour, the only accommodation I can get is at a (quite lovely) hostel, where, would you believe it...I need my own towel!

I've always believed in the concept of intuition, but as Li Edelkoort suggests, learning to tune in and pay attention to your intuition takes consistent practice and belief as things often don't make immediate sense. I have spoken with friends and family about a number of 'predictions' or 'trends' that I think will occur in the way we love and work in the future. They might seem a little crackpot but my intuition says that I am right on all of these. I will come back to check this list in a year!

1. I think that the role of religion or spirituality will make a comeback in mainstream society even though it is currently viewed as very uncool and uneducated to be overly religious or spiritual. Already leading entrepreneurs such Scott Harrison who founded charity:water and is supported by almost every celebrity in New York City makes his religious preference a feature of his profile and something he doesn't hide from his large, secular network. 

2. I think that there will be 'intuition schools' or learning where people start to focus heavily on different senses and abilities beyond the scientific and rational. Already people like Helen Jacobs from The Little Sage are offering these niche services. 

3. I think that there will be a backlash against the 24/7 connected work culture that has been made possible by the internet and that there will be a move to recreating/going back to how life was like before computers such as kids playing in the streets and neighbours chatting to each other. This will be afforded by people having a lot more time following stricter 'non-work' times. Arianna Huffington is already leading the charge on recalibrating work expectations and markers of success in her book The Third Metric

4. My sister predicts that in the future people will be known for their one specific skill that they barter or leverage with others, rather than working for large companies. Everyone will be a personal brand and it will be important to offer something useful to others. 

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