Saturday, December 19, 2015

100 Things I Want to Tell My Children and Grandchildren: #16

(Random photo - NYC, 1982, with gal-friend, Lisa)

Listen to your “gut”.

We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know, and accept that - sometimes - we're better off that way. There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.
Malcolm Gladwell
Blink:  The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Malcolm Gladwell spends an entire book talking about it. I have spent a lifetime trying to overcome an irrational propensity to ignore it. Instinct, suspicion, premonition, gut feeling – call it what you want, but when it comes knocking, you better let it in.

Example: This morning I began making my usual Saturday morning French press coffee, and I noticed that it was very hard to push the plunger down, which sometimes happens when you use coffee ground for drip instead of French press. So I was hunkered down over the plunger using both hands, and practically my entire body, pushing, pushing, when a tiny little voice in the back of my mind said, “You know SueAnn, sometimes when you do this, the suction of the plunger against the glass releases and coffee spits out the pour hole.” So I pulled my face away from the top of the pot, and seconds later the suction released a huge squirt of very hot coffee that landed on the front of my pajama top, burning my chest pretty badly. If I hadn’t moved my head back, that lava-hot splash of coffee would have gone onto my face and possibly my eyes.

I used to never listen to that inner voice - instead rationalizing what I wanted to do. When I was younger, it was often about getting involved with guys I knew were not good for me, and getting "burned".

So when that little inner voice - the one smarter than you - taps on your shoulder and says “Be careful” or “Maybe this isn’t a good idea”, listen!

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