• Sarah M.

Who knows Best; Logic or Intuition

I am an intuitive decision maker, which is probably why I have emotional tendencies when making most decisions. This approach has it’s ups and downs as does his friend; Logic.

Most of us like to think that we are capable of making rational decisions and every time you make a decision or solve a problem, you are either using intuition or logic or maybe it's a mix of both.

Logic is a way of using a set of concrete rules and formulas, whereas intuition is a way of using abstract information you have received from different aspects of your life.

Both processes have their own merits and demerits, and everyone has their own way of using them when making decisions.

There are times when we rely on our gut instinct, but we can also call on our powers of reason to make a logical decision. Arguably the best case for intuition is when a living being’s survival instinct kicks in; a life or death situation. In those situations our intuition is usually right and due to that, intuition evolved in living beings for that specific purpose, survival.

Logical reasoning is precise, it operates by applying an exact set of rules or instructions to produce a solution or reasoning. Logical methods have solved numerous important problems over centuries, and they have allowed hard science to be accurately predictive.

Unfortunately logical methods have their limits, one being that they require theory, logic requires idealized conditions and therefore cannot always handle everyday problems, the real world decision-making is not black and white, it’s a complex challenge.

Intuition doesn't require big picture understanding, it uses abstract information that you have in your memory to create a reasoning.

It's very powerful and only gets better the more you use it. For example, a soccer player will develop more intuition on how to handle the ball the more they practice it. Intuition is something you can learn; it grows and becomes more accurate through repetition. The collection of powerful intuitions is what we call “wisdom”; being wise simply means having better intuitions about things.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration; NASA wouldn't use intuition to find out what degrees to launch a rocket ship, and learning how to drive a car requires the understanding of science, data and logic, yet you also need intuition to drive safely in heavy traffic to guide you, this is a great example of intuition and logic working together to create decisions.

Now that we have looked into how both ways of decision making work, the big question still remains: What should I use? And the answer is; only you know what is right for you. There is no right or wrong way of making decisions (though the world will tell you if you made the wrong decision, don't let them influence it, what the hell do they know anyway?)

The reasons why one style might be overdeveloped than the other vary greatly. Genes have a strong influence, and our environment also plays a role. A teacher may have inspired you to learning science, causing you to foster to a certain thinking style. Or maybe you grew up socializing with your peers, causing you to navigate through social situations.

The thing is though, as human beings we are naturally intuitive. We gain insight from a number of areas; sight, sound, taste, touch, smell, and process information in ways that aren’t always logical. And now there’s a growing body of evidence that good decisions access intuitive processing.

For me, after making enough tough decisions in my life, I have learned to always trust my gut. But in times when you are truly torn between logic and intuition, this following tip might help you make the best decision for you; write it all out. When you collect all the pros and cons, the worst case scenarios, and who else your decision will impact, in writing, you are going to be able to evaluate more clearly and ultimately you will be more confidant in your decision.

At the end of the day, all of us humans are unique and everyone has a different way of doing things, including decision making. Just like most other things in life, balance is the key to making the right decisions. I would love to hear if you have any tips, experiences and comments on this topic. And join the community by subscribing to the tribe below.