One of the fascinating stories that came out of the recent East Coast earthquake was how the animals in the National Zoo in Washington seemed to sense danger. Five to ten seconds before the actual earthquake hit, orangutans and gorillas interrupted their foraging and ran to shelter; some shrieked, or raced to higher ground. Flamingos huddled together; even snakes started writhing wildly. Zookeepers could tell the animals reacted several seconds before anyone started feeling the shaking.
Animals have a sixth sense that protect them from danger and so do we. We use different terms to describe it: some call it intuition, or gut feeling or inner voice. Whatever you may call it, I believe we should trust our gut.
How do you know what IT is?
- A real gut feeling manifests itself physically: you get a feeling in your midsection, like a knot, or the hairs in the back or your neck prick up.
- You tend to be calm when you get this feeling. Unlike an an anxiety attack, there is no fear attached to intuition.
- After you make a decision after having trusted your instinct you feel even calmer and somehow lighter, like a weight is lifted off you.
How do you develop it?
I believe that experience has a lot to do with developing your gut instinct. Just like working out your muscles, you can strengthen it by using it. Pay attention to your surroundings, using your keen senses to experience what’s around you. When faced with a decision, even minor ones, pay attention to how you feel about your choices. Notice if your thoughts are negative or positive about certain things. We’ve all met people we’ve instantly like or disliked. Oftentimes, there is a good reason why these intense feelings come over you, and you prove yourself right.
In relation to survival, trusting your gut is a big part of the survival mindset. I am not saying blindly make an “on the spot” decision. I still believe you should consider all angles, make a knowledgeable choice
For example, you are about to walk in an elevator and someone walks in with you that you get that “funny feeling,” would you continue walking into that elevator? Or, based on the information at hand, you know you can walk away and catch the next elevator, no harm done. Many rape or crime victims who were interviewed after the fact admit that they later regret they did not listen to that “little voice” or they second guessed themselves. If you turn out to be wrong, then all you did was waste a little time or appeared to be paranoid. So what? The life you’re saving could be your own.
Whether it’s to make an important decision, such as changing jobs, or moving locations, or even deciding to bug out when the time comes, I think we should take into account all factors involved, review the pros and cons, then trust our own intuition to lead us to make the right choice.
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