What Steven Spielberg Can Teach Us: Listen to the Whispers of Your Intuition
Intuition: in a way, it’s like a super power. But unlike radioactive spider bites and magic hammers, this is one that is actually attainable to those willing to work to hone it. It can range from that prickle on the back of your neck that says “danger,” to that warm tingle that tells you you’re about to make the right decision. The ability to make split-second decisions based on your “gut feeling” can help guide you in everyday life, your career, tricky negotiations, and social situations alike.
Intuition is a hard thing for many people to peg down. Because it’s not very widely understood, many people make the mistake of believing that it is something that needs to be acquired, the way one would attend a class to acquire knowledge that they didn’t previously possess. This is a misconception, though that’s not to say that learning doesn’t come into the equation. The truth is that intuition is something that every person naturally possesses. To harness it, you must train your mind to listen to its own intuitive side.
Once you learn to listen to your intuition and use it to further your goals, you open up a whole world of possibilities. Problems that previously seemed not to have solutions are suddenly easily dealt with; options you never knew you had become obvious choices. How you perceive the world changes, and as a result you are empowered to change your life. But why take it from us? Let Steven Spielberg (yes, that Steven Spielberg) explain it himself:
In case you missed it, the whisper that Spielberg is describing is his intuition, which guides his creative process. And considering that he’s the most successful director in history, with two “best director” Oscars to his name and a plethora of spellbinding films in his repertoire, it clearly hasn’t steered him wrong. If you’ve been hesitant about developing your intuition, consider this an example of the kind of success a person can realise if only they listen to the whisper of their heart.
In the following clip, Spielberg describes his intuition in greater detail (it begins at the five-minute mark):
“[For] the first 25 years of our lives, we are trained to listen to voices that are not our own… And at first, the internal voice I needed to listen to was hardly audible, and it was hardly noticeable — kind of like me in high school. But then I started paying more attention, and my intuition kicked in. And I want to be clear that your intuition is different from your conscience. They work in tandem, but here’s the distinction: Your conscience shouts, ‘here’s what you should do,’ while your intuition whispers, ‘here’s what you could do.’ Listen to that voice that tells you what you could do. Nothing will define your character more than that. Because once I turned to my intuition, and I tuned into it, certain projects began to pull me into them, and others, I turned away from.”
What he describes here—the way that your intuition tells you what you could do—is essential to harnessing the gift that you already have. All you need to do is learn how to listen to that voice, and you’ll find that, just like Spielberg, you’ll be drawn down more lucrative paths, while being able to recognize that other paths will be fruitless for you.