Jeff Bezos Explains Why His Best Decisions Were Based Off Intuition, Not Analysis
Imagine you had a magic compass like Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean that tells you the truth, like in the series “his dark materials” used by Lyra Belacqua. What if I tell you this compass exists, and most of us ignore it?
I don’t know you, but I bet that you already had to make life-changing decisions:
- Should I stay in that relationship?
- Should I have a child now?
- Do I want to offer the new job 1,000 miles away?
- What am I supposed to study?
- Should I rent this apartment?
Some have a high buy-in, while others are easier because the chance of potential damage is negligible. There are several tools you can use to make your decisions easier:
- Pros and cons lists: You could write down the pros and cons of a potential decision.
- Cost-benefit analysis: Beneficial when you want to make a business or money decision. You are weighing your options against potential influences on cash flow and profit.
- Decision matrix: A decision matrix involves creating a table that compares different options based on criteria, allowing you to rank and compare them more easily.
- SWOT analysis: SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This analysis helps identify the internal and external factors affecting the decision and enables you to evaluate the potential outcomes.
- Brainstorming: Brainstorming can help generate a list of potential options or solutions, particularly in a group setting.
Those tools help us make decisions, but they differ from the superior compass I was talking about initially.
We love the narrative of being rational beings and making decisions based on rationality. But, I made the experience that all those tools can give us false safety. Since we are biased most of the time.
Lyra uses the alethiometer in “his dark materials” with the power of her intuition.
Decision-making techniques give us a false sense of safety.
Take the pros and cons list, for example: if you are already leaning into a direction — how neutral will your pros and cons list be? To make it more reliable, you must talk to a third person to avoid biases.
But what if this leaning in one direction is a good thing? You may have flipped a coin in the past, and while flipping the coin, you already knew which side you preferred.
And here, intuition comes into play. Intuition is the language of your subconscious mind. While your rational mind is like a laser and focuses on one point, your subconscious mind can process data simultaneously and is more like a floodlight.
And this floodlight behavior is a magic compass you can tap into.
Have you ever entered a new apartment and every cell in your body yelled? “That’s it!!” — that’s intuition at work.
Intuition communicates with you through subtle sensations, like goosebumps, gut feeling, a shiver, feeling sick, or energy exploding out of your solar plexus.
Intuition is our magic compass for decision-making
Usually, intuition is seen as something unreliable and fuzzy. How are you supposed to trust your gut with life-changing decisions?
All of us do. All the time. Always.
As humans, we never see the actual reality. All we see is a mental model of the real world. These mental models help us survive but were never meant to represent the real world.
So, even if we try to be as rational as possible, we can only consider some information. We always cut off at a certain point.
To profit from your intuition for decision-making, you have to accept that you are already relying on it. And it doesn’t matter how rational you are.
Business leaders have to rely on intuition all the time. It is impossible to gather all available data. And even if possible, it would take too much time and cripple you for a fast decision.
Jeff Bezos believes in the power of intuition:
“All of my best decisions in business and in life have been made with heart, intuition, guts… not analysis.” — Jeff Bezos
To make intuition-based decisions, you have to get back in touch with it
The good thing is: You already have all you need. The bad thing is that you may haven’t listened to your intuition for a long time and need some training.
Some tools to train your intuition you may already know:
- Pay attention to your feelings: Start paying attention to your gut feelings and instincts, and try to recognize when they guide you in a specific direction.
- Practice mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness meditation can help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, enhancing your intuition.
- Do Sports: You get back in touch with your bodily sensations during sports. This helps to feel them during the day.
If you want to know more tools on how to improve your intuition and find your inner compass: Try out my newsletter, “The Intuitive Edge” and be informed when I release my new book “Trust Your Gut — 6 Proven Tools to Improve Your Intuition, Make Better Decisions and Life with Ease”.