How to Make a Difficult Decision Using Reason And Intuition

How to Make a Difficult Decision Using Reason And Intuition

“It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”  –Roy Disney

Your life is the result of your previous choices and decisions. Poor choices lead to bad decisions, which result in the mistakes we look back on and regret. The way to avoid making mistakes is to become a better decision maker.

But, how do you learn to apply proper decision making using both reason and intuition to your own life, to the little decisions and big decisions that ultimately shape your life? I was never taught this and the first half of my life was fraught with mistakes. Through trial and error and study I have learned how to handle challenging decisions. And, you can too.

The anatomy of a difficult decision

Say, you’re offered a job and it sounds great but, there’s a tiny niggling of doubt that holds you back from saying yes. You’re under pressure to give your decision – what do you do? Or perhaps you’re in a quandary over choosing the right life partner, business partner or whether to sell your home and move across country? How do you make these difficult decisions that affect the rest of your life?

Whatever the decision, there is a way to cut the stress, decipher the doubt and unearth the decision that is right for you using both reason and intuition in this intuitive decision making model.

Know thyself

You won’t make a proper decision unless you examine what makes you tick. Each of us is different and has a unique set of values and needs that our decisions must satisfy.

 What are your values?

What’s important to you? What do you need to be happy? Is financial security the most important thing to you? Is climbing the corporate ladder and increasing your status an important factor in your overall happiness? Are you motivated by fame and celebrity? Or, is it love and emotional intimacy? Do you need freedom and the call of adventure to be happy? Maybe spiritual growth tops your list?

(If you’re unclear what your values are The Self Improvement Blog has an enormous list of  400 that you can review. Pick out 20 top values and then whittle the list down to your top 5. These are the values that should motivate and guide your decisions.)

What vision for your life do you aspire to?

Each of us has a “vision” for our lives. My vision is to write, publish and teach people how to “speak intuition” so that they make the right decisions and live up to their full potential. Anything I do has to work toward upholding this overarching vision for my life.

What’s  your vision? Craft one sentence that encompasses your life’s vision.

Understanding your values and vision puts your decisions in context within this framework so, don’t skip this step. Your values and vision drive your decision-making and the trajectory your life takes. They should be the structure on which your life is built – in the same way that the skeleton is the framework to the body.

Follow these steps to come to a proper decision using reason & intuition:

1. Review whether the choice aligns with your values. Does it uphold them? If yes, fine. If not, go over your values. Did you choose the right values to begin with or are you making the wrong choice for the wrong reasons?

2. Ask yourself if this choice advances you in the direction of your vision? Or, does it take you away from it? If yes fine. If not, then why are you do it? Think hard about this.

3. Review the facts. What do you know? What don’t you know? Whom do you know with experience in this area? Can you speak to them about their experience? Would researching this issue reveal useful information that would help you to make a choice? Do your research.

4. Make a Pros and Cons list regarding this choice. Which is most convincing the pros or the cons list?

Decide if these four steps are enough to make the decision. If you feel completely confident and free of doubt go ahead and make your decision If not, go to the next steps where you will tap into your intuition.

5. “Live” both options. Imagine for a moment that you could fast forward to the future and review the outcome of your decision between two choices or, to either follow through with a particular decision or not.

Close your eyes and imagine that you see before you two doors; one has a sign with a large number “one” on it and the other a number “two” on it. Assign a choice to each door. Walk through door number one and imagine that you had taken that road.

Go through the entire sequence of events in your mind from start to finish. You chose this path, and then what? And, what comes after that and after that? And, how does it end up? What does your life look like after you’ve chosen “door number one.”

Do the same with the second door.  Step through the door and “live” out that decision in your imagination to it’s conclusion.

Which outcome affects your life most positively? Which outcome stands out most to you and “feels” right?

Still not sure about your decision? Go to Step 5.

5. Detach emotionally from the decision. Look from outside your own perspective. Ask yourself this, “If this weren’t my decision but, a close friend’s what would I tell them to do? How would I advise them? Does it benefit them? How?”

Have a convincing imaginary conversation with your friend and clearly explain why or why they shouldn’t make this decision.

Can you make a decision now? No? Proceed to the next step.

6. Check directly with your gut instinct – emotional intelligence – intuition.

Review the advice you gave your “friend” and all the reasons for making or not making this choice.

Close your eyes and take five deep breaths through the nose and release through the mouth to clear your mind.

Ask yourself how you “feel” about this decision? Do not ask yourself if you are making the right decision.

What is the first thought, feeling, image or emotion that comes to your awareness?

Focus upon it. Ask “it” why it has surfaced at this time? What is the first response that comes to mind after this question? This response is the “truth” of how you feel regardless of all the facts, lists and pros and cons.

Does this process reveal that your feelings about the decision are congruent to the decision you made by using reason and data? If your feelings correspond with the decision you made previously then great – you’ve done it! You’ve made a proper decision using logic and reason followed up by your gut instinct – emotional intelligence – intuition.

If you there is discord between the two then, you need to investigate the feeling that is at odds with your logical decision further. Go to the next step.

7. Delve deeper within.

Place your palms on your abdomen in the area  of your solar plexus. The reason for placing your hands on your solar plexus is to remind you to connect with the intelligence of your body. Your body gives signals via feelings that communicate vital information to you. Most of you are too busy to notice them. This is why you need to slow down and go within in order to decode this important information.

Close your eyes and relax by taking five more deep breaths in through the nose and releasing them through the mouth.

Now visualize the outcome of the first decision and then the second just as you did when you stepped through each door.  This time you are going to focus on what physical sensations, feelings or emotions come up regarding each of the outcomes.

Pay attention to your breathing, is it constricted with either choice? Does your chest feel tight when you go to take a breath? Become aware of your neck and shoulders, do either of the decisions make you tense up in those areas of your body? Notice your abdomen and the area around your solar plexus, is there a “knot” in your stomach or butterflies? Do you feel nervous, anxious, are your palms sweating, does your heart speed up or is there a lump in your throat?

If you notice any discomfort regarding one choice over the other, your body is telling you that this is not the right choice.

Do you have your answer now? Not yet? Go to step eight.

8. Make sure you thoroughly understand your motivation and what you’re getting into.

If you’ve come through the process this far without an answer it’s time to step away and put it on a shelf for a while.  Don’t rush and never allow pressure from outside sources to influence you into making a decision before you are ready. Tell yourself that you want more clarity on this issue and that you expect to get it in X number of days (give yourself a time period).

Don’t make a decision and don’t think about it after that, live your life and focus on other things. Just because you’re not consciously thinking about this decision doesn’t mean it isn’t “percolating” in your subconscious. You may have a dream during this period or an insight will surface that clarifies the issue. You may come to the conclusion that this decision is unnecessary and drop the whole thing.

Have you ever found yourself struggling to make an important decision? What was the situation you were grappling with? What techniques did you use to help you make the decision?

 If you enjoyed this post share it with a friend on Twitter, FB or Google+. Thank you.

P.S. Learn to “speak intuition.” Click here.

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Intuition: Is There a Right Time to Access Your Inner Guidance?

Intuition: Is There a Right Time to Access Your Inner Guidance?

“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.” –Albert Einstein

Is there a right time to access your intuition?Did you know that there is a “right time” and “best time” to access your intuition?

Surprise – there is!

1. The best time to access your intuition

The best time to get intuitive guidance is when you’re relaxed and calm. If you have problem that you’d like an answer to the best thing to do is to sit in meditation or do something that relaxes you, such as gardening or walking. When your mind is calm you have more opportunity to hear your inner voice.

When you’re worried and can’t stop thinking about the problem your intuition will have a hard time getting through all the chatter.

Here’s a story about this:

I faced a big dilemma when I was writing, “The Intuition Principle.” I needed to decide whether I would self publish my book or try the traditional publishing route. I kept going round and round on what to do.

I was feeling really stressed by all that was going on in my life at this time too. I was working full time, juggling a lot of family responsibilities, keeping up with writing for Powered by Intuition and corresponding with agents while writing the book. I thought I would crack!

I made lists of the pros and cons of each way to go but, I was still torn. I was afraid if I self-published it would hurt my chances of getting a publisher later on so, I kept pushing myself to find an agent.

I kept asking my intuition, “Please show me which is the right way to go; self-publishing or traditional publishing?” 

But, the answer never came. After nearly two months of this quandary, I stopped asking what to do and just focused on finishing the book. I literally gave up in exasperation. I decided to just write the “damn thing” and figure out what to do later.

And, then the answer came!

The answer came to me while I was in the shower – of all places. Showering is a calming experience for most people. There’s nothing like steaming hot water to relax you.

The problem was I had gotten so obsessed with finding an answer that I had blocked my intuition from coming through.

I wasn’t able to remain calm during meditation. I was worried about what to do. I hadn’t “let go” of the problem. And, even when I thought I had reached that “calm place” my mind always drifted back to “getting the answer” to this problem.

After I’d worked myself up into a lather and let go out of frustration the answer came to me. I decided to stop worrying and self-publish. I’d look for an agent/publisher with my next book and if I got one – fine – if I didn’t fine; I would self-publish that one too.

Right Time Action Step:

The best time to get intuitive guidance is when you’re calm and have let go of the problem. You need to be detached and free of fear and worry about the outcome. Asking over and over while you’re stressed is not going to bring you any answers.

Tell yourself that you want intuitive guidance about “XX” problem while in meditation. Picture yourself getting it and being elated by having solved this problem. Feel the joy of overcoming this obstacle. Then let go and get on with your day.

Your answer may come during meditation that day or the next. It may come when you are relaxed and doing something completely different, like it for me when I got my answer in the shower.

If any doubts or fears surface during the day close your eyes and replay the scene of getting the answer and feeling overjoyed. (You don’t have to know “the answer” to see this scene and feel overjoyed).

Affirmation for letting go

A great affirmation to use when you’re stressing over a problem is: “I now let go and let God.”

When you say this to yourself you’re letting go of the problem and the worry about the outcome. This doesn’t mean that you’re giving up. It means you take action and do whatever you can to solve the problem but, you don’t allow it to hijack your life with worry.

2. The right time to access your intuition is when environmental conditions are right

Conditions are right when the weather on Earth and in space is calm.

Scientific studies show that “spontaneous telepathic impressions were more frequent on days of quiet geomagnetic activity. There are suggestions that psi ability is related to changes in magnetic field strength (e.g.Persinger, 1989).

What is geomagnetic energy?

Geomagnetic energy is produced by the Sun and principally elevated during solar storms, flares and sun spot activity. This radiated energy enters the Earth’s atmosphere and literally “knocks heads” with the planet’s magnetic field. It can disrupt communications and electric grids.

How to get the “space weather report”

If there is a problem you’d like intuitive guidance on pick a day when the space weather report is showing low levels of EMF activity.

You can find out what the anticipated “space weather” will be by going to the NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center – here. The NOAA gives a three day forecast.

3. Avoid electrical storms too

Thunder and lightening storms on Earth can increase paranormal activity such as poltergeist activity and interactions with spirits, as negatively charged ions are released into the environment.

If you are trying to reach the other side an electrical storm will enhance your chances but, it may suppress your intuition. Wait until after the electrical storm has passed to work with your intuition.

Maybe this is why so many ghost stories begin with…..it was a dark and stormy night?

Have you noticed any correlation with the weather when trying to tune into your inner voice? 

If you enjoyed this post please share it with a friend on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. Thank you!

P.S. To learn more techniques for tapping into your intuition check out my books click here.

Like this quote? Feel free to share it! Einstein quote on the answers coming from intuition

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3 Ways to Use Your Intuition to Rise From the Ashes of Your Life

3 Ways to Use Your Intuition to Rise From the Ashes of Your Life

Trusting our intuition often saves us from disaster. –Anne Wilson Schae

When you listen to your intuition you avoid many of the problems that are created by ignoring your intuition when making decisions.Living a problem free life

Are you healing from an accident that could have been avoided like my friend Sandi?

Did you ignore the signs of an unfaithful spouse?

Were you so attached to keeping up pretenses that you are now facing a bankruptcy?

Are you struggling to stay afloat, sane, grounded, focused and together enough to put the pieces of your life back together?

Often it’s our mistakes that call our attention to the fact that we’ve ignored our intuition. When we look back over the things that have gone wrong in our lives we remember that there was this little nagging voice at the back our mind telling us not to do what we did but, we chose to ignore it.

Recently a reader asked me if his life would always be problem-free if he followed his intuition.

I’ve written many times here on Powered by Intuition and in “The Intuition Principle” that allowing your intuition to guide you is the way to creating a life that “flows effortlessly toward your desires.”

When your life flows effortlessly toward your desires you encounter fortunate coincidences such as synchronicty and serendipity, that move you along the path toward your goals. A fortunate coincidence is the result of you being in the right place at the right time or taking action at the right time so that you are moving along a trajectory that intersects with another person or situation that turns out to be just the opportunity you need.

Why do fortunate coincidences occur?

The reason you meet with these fortunate coincidences is because you’ve followed your intuition when making decisions. Had you not listened to the impulse to pick up the phone and call “so and so” or gone to a certain place on this day at this time you would have never made this connection. Listening to your inner voice is listening to wisdom from within.

At the time the impulse to do this or that arises you cannot explain it. There is no “rational” reason for wanting to the thing you’re being prompted to do. It’s only after the event of being in the right place or having something you need fall into your lap that you understand why you were being “pulled” to do what you did. This is what I mean when I say, “your life will flow effortlessly toward your desires.”

Ignoring intuition is a lot like touching a hot stove: You need only get burned once to know that ignoring your intuition is NOT a good idea!

What about problems?

This doesn’t mean that your car won’t ever break down, your spouse announce that they want a divorce, a hacker steal your information, a broken pipe flood your basement, you won’t ever get laid off from your job…and on and on and on – essentially life will go on and **s__t** will still happen!

What you can expect if you follow your inner guidance is that you will avoid making wrong decisions that create more problems by going ahead with things when your intuition is warning you against it. By following your inner wisdom you will meet with fortunate coincidences that will propel your life forward toward your goals and desires. But, you have to realize that things will still go wrong at times and happen in your life that will be out of your control.

Intuition can be your silver lining

On the other hand, when you follow your intuition you will be able to solve your problems more elegantly. Your intuitive insight will inspire you with ideas about solutions you can take about your situation so that when you do have to deal with problems you will find your way back to normalcy faster and more easily.

We are here to learn life lessons

Unfortunately, most of us learn the hard way – me included – by making mistakes, some of them really, really big. Each time we make a mistake if we are enlightened we will look over what happened and honestly assess what role our behavior played in contributing to the situation and take steps to change what we do in the future. Most of us aren’t born perfect so our lives aren’t perfect either. Making mistakes is part our journey and how we acquire wisdom and experience.

Intuition is not magical but it sure does help~

When you are accustomed to listening to the wisdom of your inner voice you are also more open to being honest about your faults and to working at changing your behavior. This is a boon when it comes to dealing with problems. If you are not under the tight control of your ego you will see your part in what has happened and learn from it so that it doesn’t happen again. And you will be better able to manage the situation from this point forward to move toward a resolution. Listening to your inner voice will help you pick up the pieces of you life and put you back on the right path again.

So, while following your intuition does not guarantee that your life will be free of problems it is a very positive habit to cultivate overall, especially when you are down on your luck.

If you see your life circumstances in this article use the following suggestions to help you get your life back on track:

1. Take some time each day to get quiet. Close your eyes and go within. Ask for guidance and inner wisdom to show you how your underlying motivations may have contributed to creating the life circumstances you are dealing with now. Resist the urge to blame others and point fingers.

If any instances of ignoring your intuition in the past come to mind that may have also contributed to the problems you are now facing, use this knowledge of how your intuition sounded and felt to learn what to look for in the future.

We can only do better once we know better. This is the time to learn what we can do better next time.

2. Forgive yourself and anyone else that is involved. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that we absolve someone of wrong doing. It means that we let go and stop being tethered to this dark cloud of anger and seething emotions that follows us everywhere.

Refusing to forgive literally “clouds” your judgement and creates a huge shadow over your life. Everything appears dark and drab under the shadow of this cloud. If you could let go of it you would be engulfed in sunshine and feel better and positive enough to see that you can and will rise above your current circumstances.

3. Listen for your intuition. Tell yourself that you are open to hearing this wisdom. Ask that you be given answers and solutions to dealing with your current problem.

Ask to be intuitively inspired to contact the right people or to go to the right places at the right time to find the answers and solutions you need.

What is your intuition prompting you to do next? Keep a list of what your inner voice is saying. Review the list and see what speaks to you most and then do it.

If you have a nagging feeling at the back of your mind telling you to do something or not do something listen to it!

Your intuition is a marvelous shortcut to the answers and solutions  you seek and to getting over the mountain range of your obstacles. My friend Rob White says, “Intuition offers a short cut, like a tunnel through a mountain range,” and he is right.

You can and will rise from the ashes of your own life when you begin to tune into your intuition.

Can you see how ignoring your intuition in the past may have contributed to the struggles you are now facing? What have you learned about how your intuition speaks to you? Can you describe what to look for next time so you won’t have to hit another low point in your life?

If you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends on Facebook & Twitter.

P.S I have lots more to say about intuition and how to use it in your life. Check out my books here.

Have you been following the book tour for The Intuition Principle? Check out these marvelous articles by these awesome participating blogger here:

Day 22: Intuition is an Ability Natural to All

Day 23: How to Attract the Life You Dream Of Plus a Giveaway!

Day 24: Book Review: A Late Bloomer’s Most-Overlooked Resource

Day 25: How to Flow With the Current of Life

Day 25: Using Your Sacred Gift

Wanna “Pin” this quote? Go right ahead!

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25 Ways You Are Using Your Intuition in Daily Life (but may not know it!)

25 Ways You Are Using Your Intuition in Daily Life (but may not know it!)

There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.” Malcolm Gladwell

Developing and learning to follow your intuition has many practical applications in daily life.

Intuitive insight, intuitive mind, intuitive thinkingIt’s been well publicized that some of the world’s most renowned creative geniuses use their intuition when making decisions. Names like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates spring to mind immediately.

Learning to tap into your inner wisdom can save you from making a wrong business decision, picking the wrong business partner, save you money and time and so much more.

You are already checking in with your gut and following your hunches for all kinds of practical uses but, just don’t realize it. Check out this list of common ways your intuition assists you in making decisions and choices and supplies you with information in your daily life.

You’ve probably been relying on gut feelings more than you know to…..

1. To see which of two nurseries has the type of tomato plants you’re looking for so you don’t waste the time and gasoline driving to the wrong one.

2. To get a feel for which summer camp your child would enjoy most and not be struck by a severe case of home sickness. There is something about the counselors at the one camp you feel would make your son feel more secure.

3. You have a hunch that your sister and her boyfriend will show up at your summer home this weekend and so you buy two extra steaks while they are on sale. And, they do show up.

4. Know whether going in on a shore house with that couple a good idea or it will ruin your friendship?

5. Throw a pair of sneakers in the trunk so you can change out of your sandals. You have a suspicion it’s going to rain even though there is no rain in the forecast.

6. Which tree service will the best job and not add on extra charges for cutting a few extra limbs while on the job.

7. The next two weeks are going to be crazy as your son is getting married. Your gut says that the leak under the sink is not serious enough for a plumber so taping it up with plumber’s tape is going to be fine for now. After the wedding you have the plumber out and he says had you waited any longer to call him you would have had a flood in your kitchen.

8. You refuse to open the door to the unannounced visitor from the gas company and later find out that it was a scam to rob people’s homes.

9. You always seem to “know” where to find for lost items in the house.

10. Seeing an expensive patio set at Lowe’s prompts you to call an old friend who had a similar set. When you tell the friend what prompted you to call the friend gifts you their patio set because they just bought a new one!

11. Suddenly think to ask the dealership to check the spare tire during a routine oil change just prior to your family’s annual vacation by car. Thank goodness you did because it turned out the spare was defective.

12. You insist that your husband move the grill from the wood deck to the flagstone patio because you feel uneasy about it being there. He tries to tell you there’s no reason to move it and that millions of people grill on their decks. You wonder if you’re being paranoid? The next time he is grilling the entire grill falls off the stand.

1 3. Something tells you to go to the local hardware store in your town even though it’s more expensive than to Home Depot out on the highway. Later you hear on the evening news that there was a water main break that flooded that stretch of highway.

14. You go with a friend to see a condo she wants to bid on and meet the next door neighbor in the parking lot – who creeps you out totally. She buys the apartment and it turns out the police are called regularly to break up domestic violence between he and his wife.

15. A friend tells you about a new department opening up at his company that you would be perfect for and sends your resume to his director. You immediately know that you’re going to be offered this job so you stop sending out resumes. Two months later you are offered the job and take it.

16. A colleague in a similar business is discussing developing a product or service that is similar to one you’ve been working on. A little voice in your head says it would be good idea to join forces. You bring it up and it turns out to be very successful.

17. Tell your nephew to consider it a a lucky break that he was let go from his job as something is “fishy” is going on there. The next month there is an article in the paper and the company is under investigation from the FBI.

18. You sense something is wrong in a friend’s marriage and have a strange foreboding even though your friend has said nothing to you. Two years later they are separated and getting divorced.

20. You are taking a walk and see one of your friend’s ex-husband’s contracting trucks drive by. This reminds you that he has been ill and you wonder how he is doing? The next day you read his obituary in the paper.

21. You are walking around past the window in your apartment in your nightgown when you suddenly get the feeling you are being watched. You look up and there is your neighbor from across the courtyard watching you!

22. You have a dream that you are at your doctor’s and she says you need to have a tumor removed. Three months later you find out that you have a nodule on your thyroid and schedule surgery to have it removed.

23. You are stopping at the grocery store after work and for some inexplicable reason pick up brownie mix even though you wife didn’t have that on the list. When you get home your daughter says that she had been in the mood to make brownies.

24. You attend a seminar and see a person from across the room and smile at them. You know at that very moment that you are going to like this person and become friends and you do.

25. You’ve become interested in a new hobby. While out for lunch you are drawn to stop in at a new gift shop that opened up. You meet the owner and she tells you that she teaches this hobby and will offering classes in her shop soon.

Intuition is so subtle that many times we don’t even realize it is working for us. I hope this list gives you a better idea of how you are already using intuition in your life.

Can you see how some of these examples may be similar to things you’ve experienced in your life? What experiences have you had with your intuition? Share with us or ask a question.

If you learned from this article please share it with friends on Twitter, FB & G+ so they benefit too!

Want to learn more about how intuition works? Pick up any of  my books here.

P.S. The 3rd week of the book tour for, “The Intuition Principle” starts today. Check out these fabulous articles by these great bloggers:

Day 14: http://shakeoffthegrind.com/interviews/how-to-discover-and-develop-your-intuition-an-interview-with-author-angela-artemis

Day 15: http://suziecheel.com/the-intuition-principle-interview-with-angela-artemis/

Day 16: http://10stepstofindingyourhappyplace.blogspot.com/2012/05/fabulousity-factor.html

Day 17: http://www.celebrate-success-2012.com/the-intuition-principle-an-interview-with-angela-artemis/

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The 5 Traits of Creative Genius (You Cannot Afford to Be Without)

The 5 Traits of Creative Genius (You Cannot Afford to Be Without)

“The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it intuition or what you will, and the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.” –Albert Einstein

Have you ever wondered what sets the creative genius apart from the rest of us?

Creative geniusThe innovative thinker has 5 character traits that contribute to their creative genius.

Being a bit of a rebel

The rebellious individual is always asking, “Why? Why do we do it this way? Why don’t we try it that way? Why does this work and that doesn’t?” Constantly asking questions that shake up the status quo is one of the key strengths of the creative rebel.

Open to many different types of people

The like interacting with many different types of people from a variety of socioeconomic, career and cultural backgrounds. They are sometimes a bit odd themselves but, are okay with that. Never feeling as if they fit in anywhere they seek out many different types of people in an effort to find out where they belong. Exposing themselves to many different types of people creates a lot of raw material for innovation.

Keen interest in events and trends

The person with an interest in what is going on in the world is exposed to many new ideas and trends. Their keen skills of observation and will spur them to seek the meaning behind the trends that shape events.The information they gather from observing and seeking to understand world events will come into play when they are coming up with an innovative solution.

Put themselves into uncomfortable situations

They will take the public speaking class even though they have been afraid of public speaking all their lives. Every time they push themselves to do something they overcome some fear and a limiting belief that held them back. In doing so they gain valuable experiences that will someday help them to come up with a creative solution.

The common thread connecting these four traits is “associational thinking,” which is the ability to draw connections between things that appear to be totally unrelated. (Fast Company)

I would add one more trait to this list and this is – being intuitive.

Intuition is the supra-logic that cuts out all the routine processes of thought and leaps straight from the problem to the answer. Robert Graves

“Intuition is the intersection of creativity and genius,” –Angela Artemis

Intuition is the ultimate “associational thinking” process. It is the intersection of creativity and genius. It illuminates the mind with a brilliant idea that feels as if it came from “left field.” When creative inspiration strikes it appears in your awareness quite suddenly.

How “Eureka” moments happen.

The “aha” moment occurs after an exhaustive search of all the memory banks of your brain. Your brain has gone on a mission to seek and find the answers by looking in every file in your brain. When it finds the answer it brings it up from the depths of your memory banks where it has been safely stored for years and perhaps decades and flings it upon the screen of your awareness. That is why if feels like it “popped” into your mind. You had forgotten about this information until the brain searched and found it and brought it to the surface of your awareness very quickly.

To incubate ideas like a creative genius you will need to develop these five traits.

1. Speak up and ask questions. Bring out your inner rebel and ask, “Why?”

2. Expand your horizons beyond the group of friends you’ve had all your life. Expose yourself to different people and cultures.

3. Take an interest in world events. Seek to understand why things happen as they do on the stage of the world.

4. Push yourself past your limitations and fears. Constantly seek new experiences.

5. Develop your intuition. Set aside time every day to meditate, get quiet and allow it to percolate. Honor these flashes of genius.

These five traits are critical to associational thinking. The person who can take unrelated ideas and put them together in an entirely new concept is an innovator.  But innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You’ve got to come out of your shell and place yourself in different environments and around stimulating people or you’re not going to come up with new and creative ideas. You’ve also got to stop trying to fit in and be like everyone else. If you’re a little a “different,” celebrate this characteristic.

Chances are you probably already possess some of these traits. The more you work on developing all of  them and feeding your mind new and stimulating experiences the more of an innovative thinker you will become.

Can you see how these traits contribute to being an innovative thinker? Which do you already possess and which ones do you need to work on?

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