I recently wrote this post on how we need to rebrand the notion of a gut-instinct as being an individual’s “faster intelligence.” This gives gut reactions the credit they deserve (speed, accuracy, and moral astuteness). Rebranding the expression is only the first step, though. We need to develop mechanisms to make this faster intelligence louder, more lucid, and more pronounced. There are likely hundreds of ways that we can better listen to our more intuitive self. That said, to get the ball rolling, below are four examples of how to liberate your faster intelligence.

1. Flip a coin.

Need to make an extremely important decision that could change the course of your life for the months or years to come? An easy way to help make that decision is to simply flip a coin. Sound haphazard? Well, I’m serious. Teju Ravilochan, the fearless leader of the Unreasonable Institute, is the one who first led me to this decision making strategy. If you are torn between a binary decision (i.e. trying to decide whether or not to do something), flip a coin and assign tails to “yes” and heads to “no.” Then, when the coin lands on either side, listen to the immediate gut reaction you feel to the results of the coin toss. If you feel a sense of sadness or disappointment, then you know that you need to do the opposite of what the coin told you. Conversely, if you feel a sense of relief with the results of the coin toss, then you should go with what the coin demands. In short, that immediate internal reaction is your faster intelligence telling you which way to go.

We need to develop mechanism to make our intuition, louder, more lucid, and more pronounced.  Tweet This Quote

2. Drink beer.

The Foundry Group in Boulder has a simple value that I love. Before they will invest into a prospective startup, they ask themselves if the team they are going to invest in passes the “beer test.” In short, is it a team of individuals who they would enjoy having a beer with. If the answer is yes, then they move forward with looking at the deal; if the answer is no, they won’t place the investment and they discontinue exploring the opportunity. It’s a simple framework that I believe allows the partners at Foundry to easily listen to their faster intelligence when placing an investment.

3. Eat dinner.

An incredible team leader who I’ve became close friends with on Unreasonable at Sea, Caroline Whaley, once told me a simple framework for knowing if you are working with the right team or not. She asked me to consider that if I went to dinner with my team, are there people I’d rather sit next to and others who I’d hope I didn’t get sat next to? If the answer here is yes, that likely means you need to have a serious heart to heart conversation with the people you don’t want to sit next to as something is clearly off.

4. Surround yourself.

There’s a saying that you are the amalgamation of the five people who you spend the majority of your time with. If this is true, then I highly recommend ensuring that you spend a great deal of time with the type of people who will help give you permission to follow your intuition and listen to your faster intelligence. If none of the people you spend the majority of your time with encourage you along this trajectory, then I suggest seeking out a new friend or two, or immersing yourself into a new community, in addition to your current friends. Maybe you will even be able to find that community here, at UNREASONABLE.is.

If I can point to these four frameworks so quickly, there are likely many more out there. I’m excited to hear if you have any methods or have heard of any additional frameworks that help make your faster intelligence louder, clearer, and more grounded. Please feel free to brainstorm in the comments section below.

About the author

Daniel Epstein

Daniel Epstein

Daniel has an obsession. He believes to his core in the potential of entrepreneurship to solve the greatest challenges of this century and he has dedicated his life accordingly. Today, he is the founder of the Unreasonable Group, of the Unreasonable Institute and a number of other "Unreasonable" companies.