Have you ever just gone with a hunch, a feeling? Something didn’t feel right about a decision, your energy had fallen, you felt edgy and disorientated, and so you just went with your ‘instinct’ or your ‘gut feeling’ as it is often called. And later, did you discover that your instinct was spot on? This wise voice within is called ‘intuition’ and it can be so powerful in making wise decisions that even the US Navy is cultivating what they call a “spidey sense”.
Intuition is thought to originate from the more mysterious and silent right side of the brain, the one that doesn’t have a voice, given speech and writing are functions of the brain’s left hemisphere. Without the gift of speech, the right side of the brain tries to connect with us in other ways – by giving us butterflies in the stomach, for example, or a tight face, or that queasy feeling. Some of us learn to trust this energy within, and it seems that the US Navy, too, is trying to harness its mysterious power. The Office of Naval Research hosted leading experts in cognitive and behavioural science to teach them about the power of intuition. “Ultimately,” noted Peter Squire, program officer at the Office of Naval Research, “this is about sailors and marines being able to harness their gut instincts in situations where they need to act quickly. But first,” he continued, “we have to understand what gives rise to this so-called ‘sixth sense’.”