If you had to choose, is it better to always follow gut instinct or never follow gut instinct?

  1. I typically stay away from questions that force me to choose between one thing or another because my brain already has a tendency to split things into dichotomies and dichotomies don’t exist.

Whenever I feel the need to make a choice between two seemingly opposing things I want to train my brain to reconsider this notion and accept that I can be both angry and happy, both lost and found, both undecided and convinced.

Acknowledging that everything exists at once opens up the world for both me and my brain.

Back to your question.

I always “trust my gut”. Or, to be more precise, I trust my feelings, no matter where they come from.

Sometimes they come from my chest or my throat.

I have a friend who is really, really nice to me. On the surface I like her a lot. When I am with her my entire body wants to run. I can’t explain it, and I don’t spend time with her anymore, even though I have no rational way to articulate why.

I once went to a job interview. I was sitting at the reception desk and felt I couldn’t breathe. I kept my appointment but knew I would never work there, even though the opportunity was good and the people seemed perfectly nice.

When I met wife, intellectually I wasn’t sure we were right for each other. We are so very different. But I had a sturdy, solid feeling in my chest. Stay. Our relationship has not always been easy. We have worked hard to understand one another. We are really happy now and hardly ever fight.

I would never go against what my body is trying to tell me.

  1. I don’t think it would be wise to always follow your instincts just as it wouldn’t be wise to always ignore them. They may not always be right, but some people are more risk takers than others.

There’s an interesting duality here because one is willing to take the risk to possibly succeed first, deal with the possible failure later while the other is more content with dealing with their current success (or status) first and then if the time comes, realize later they should have acted when they didn’t.

I will often follow my instincts and while it’s not always correct, it certainly has opened more doors that would have otherwise been closed had I just ignored them completely and in some cases I really was flying blind. So I’d choose to simply keep it that way and when things don’t work out I can view it as a learning experience.

Like anything, there needs to be a balance and what that is exactly varies per person.

  1. Hindsight is a B**ch as they say. I mean, being rational / logical does not completely eliminate bad decisions – it’s just a way to compare between the available options with any information that supports each of them. One can be logical and still choose no better than the “lesser” of two evils. The more options, the more info to go through, time / energy spent to analyze, confusion sets in, and it is very easy to get caught in less important details.

Gut instinct, or rather acting on it alone, is simultaneously very brave and very stupid – depends on the main outcome and perspective of the person. All they have to go on are their emotions. Instinct is very energetic, drives behaviour, usually “sees” the bigger picture more clearly – though not the process, where things can become chaotic.

Bottom line, no one ever achieved anything worthwhile without both good reasoning and good instincts.

Without logic, we’re animals. Without emotion, we’re robots. Human beings need both.

  1. I don’t like either or options. That’s turning decision making into following a rule.

Better is to make a thoughtful choice each time. Sometimes that will mean following a gut instinct. Sometimes being more analytical about it.

Gut instinct is useful for when there are a lot of factors, especially emotional factors. Subconsciously we weigh dozens of minor factors we may be hardly aware of to come up with the answer that feels right.

Being analytical is helpful when the factors are clear and can be weighed thoughtfully.

Learning to tell when to use gut instinct and when to analyze is the sign of intelligent decision making, not rule-bound making one choice or the other. Using rules is the epitome of not thinking.

5. I do choose to never follow it. always following your gut instinct or psychic idea would be foolish and slightly insane. its very useful at times but not always. never following it would just be a severe form of cautiousness.

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