At the “7 Pearl Living” retreat, which we did with my business partners in the Austrian Alps in September 2015, one of our clients asked us:
What is the difference between mindfulness and intuition?
This is a wonderful question to address, because there is so much excitement around mindfulness in the business world. Something amazing is happening! The business world is waking up. Innovative companies like Google, Apple, Unilever, eBay, HB School, World Economics Forum, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Nike, adapt mindful leadership.
My answer to our client was: “Mindfulness is all about experiencing life in the present moment. Mindfulness is all about paying attention with openness, curiosity, flexibility and accepting what is. And intuition works moment by moment. You can access it only when you are completely present in the moment, calm and open to what is. So without being mindful, you can’t access your intuition.”
I was delaying to write this article for quite a long time. Why? Because I wanted to feel the moment is right. While being at home, recovering after an operation I had a few days ago, I had an impulse to try to establish the link between mindfulness and intuition, intuition and logic and why we should care about intuition at all (once we were educated to be rational and follow our logic). I grabbed my computer and started writing down my thoughts on this topic, exciting for me.
I have to admit that it’s still quite a challenge for me to write about it. I will make an attempt to put everything I have learned so far in a meaningful sequence.
Intuition helps business leaders to make important decisions and experience the state of effortless high performance. As Bill Gates once said “Often you have to rely on your intuition.”
In his outstanding book “Breaking the Rules” Kurt Wright makes a wonderful comparison between the analytical and the intuitive mind and I am pleased to share a part of it:
Analytical Mind Intuitive Mind
Thinks and decides logically Feels and chooses intuitively
Dismantles wholes into parts Integrates parts into wholes
Rationalizes and judges Assimilates and differentiates
Focuses creative energy Generates creative energy
Accumulates knowledge Utilizes wisdom
The good news is that the intuitive mind can be trained. It is worth using it as a sacred gift in a time when we are loaded with information, distractions and fears. May I call them disturbances coming from “outside” and “inside,” and causing as a huge mental chatter? When we train our minds to access our inner wisdom, we can start intuitively making smart decisions. And believe me, this is a process which requires motivation and discipline.
Dr Michael Chaskalson gives a wonderful definition of mindfulness: “…the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”
The essence for me is in two key words: awareness and unconditional acceptance (accepting what is without judgment).
Kurt Wright also said, “gaining full and complete access to our intuitive power is paradoxical. It is entirely dependent on our ability to discipline our rational mindcorrectly. Only in this way we can become free of stress and enter the state of effortless high performance.”
I do believe I could make the link between intuition and mindfulness. Through living a mindful life, we can access our intuition to guide us through our exciting life journeys.