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Research suggests that the brain is a large predictive machine, constantly comparing incoming sensory information and current experiences against stored knowledge and memories of previous experiences, and predicting what will come next. This is described in what scientists call the “predictive processing framework”.
This ensures that the brain is always as prepared to deal with the current situation as optimally as possible.
Even groundbreaking scientific research may start with intuitive knowledge that enables scientists to formulate innovative ideas and hypotheses, which later can be validated through rigorous testing and analysis.
Because intuition relies on automatic and fast processing, it also falls prey to misguidances, such as cognitive biases. Despite this, familiarizing yourself with common cognitive biases can help you spot them in future occasions.
For every situation that involves a decision based on your assessment, consider whether your intuition has correctly assessed the situation.
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Our gut instinct or intuition can come in many forms, like detecting patterns in places where other people only see randomness or having a sudden flash of brilliance which goes against the grain but feels right.
Gathering enough data to make a rational decision also takes up a lot of time, and in today's fast-paced world, by the time one procures all data, the decision becomes antiquated.
Our subconsious mind continuously processes information, even when we sleep, which our conscious mind finally learns or infers, lighting a bulb inside us.
We know the gut feeling is true because our 'right brain'(intuition and emotion-based) already knew the revelation that our left brain (logic and consciousness-based) now has come to know.
The main function of System 1 is to maintain and update a model of your personal world, which represents what is normal in it.
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If you feel a gut reaction after meeting a hire, it's probably System 1 thinking.
But you can mitigate the risk of hiring the wrong person by engaging System 2 thinking. Check their references. Ask probing questions. Validate your gut reaction with other members of your team.
The trick is to be aware of switching from one system to the other. It’s useful to understand when you are thinking on autopilot, when you are paying attention and what's inside your mental toolbox.
What we are doing today, how we master the present day and how good we are in living each day, is the key to master your weeks, months, years and your entire life.
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Most people keep planning, visualizing and imagining their future life as if they are watching some other person live it. That person is you. If you intentionally live each day, perfecting and maximising your vision of the future, instead of killing time or just living a bread and butter, day-to-day existence, you steer your life towards the direction you want.
We need to act like the person we wish to become, as we are what we do all day.