Intuition and how to trust your gut

Rob Liu

Rob Liu,
Founder ContactOut

3 mins read

The best advice I’ve ever gotten in my life is to trust my intuition. I think of it like, there’s a guiding compass inside of me, that always knows which direction to go. An inner voice that knows what’s right. I just need to tune into it and trust my gut.

For example, right after university, I worked in investment banking and hated my life. I hated the lack of freedom, the repetitive tasks, the ass kissing. I knew I wanted to work on my own business. An online business that would let me travel and explore the world. But I didn’t trust my intuition. I’ve studied so hard to land this job. All my friends where in corporate. How could it possibly be the right move to leave when everyone else was happily working? Wasn’t I living the corporate dream? I kept looking to other people for career advice, when I already knew. It took me 6 months to find the courage to trust my gut. I decided to start my own business – it was the best decision of my life.

Elon Musk also trusts his intuition. He calls it: “thinking from first principles”. When asked how he came up with the ideas for Tesla, SpaceX and Paypal, Elon looked inside. He asked himself what are the biggest problems that humanity is currently facing? And thought about solutions to those problems. Meanwhile, most people are caught up with the crowd, trying to ride market trends. Let’s do cryptocurrency for dogs!

So I was at this personal development seminar, and I asked a barrage of questions:

“Shut up,” the seminar leader said

“You already know all the answers inside. You’re just asking me for permission to do what you already know is right. You’re looking for validation. Stop. You don’t need anyone’s permission. When you get an internal sense of what’s right, just go do it. Act, and then see what happens. Adjust your actions depending on the results that you get.

When you come across a problem, think for yourself how to solve it, trust in your own judgement. See the world with your own fresh pair of eyes and make your own conclusions from first hand experience. Don’t just listen to everything that other people tell you. Always question and think critically; other people are no smarter than you are. Listen to others, but think for yourself. Trust your gut.”

Ask yourself the following questions. Find the common denominators in the answers and you’ll have your first sense of were your intuition is leading you. The commonalities in your answers may point you towards your purpose, and give you some directions to explore.

What do you think is the biggest problem in the world right now?

If money and time weren’t limiting factors, what would you allow yourself to dream of doing?

What makes you feel angry, or rise up at the injustice you see?

What gets your emotions going? what brings tears to your eyes?

What makes you happy?

Questions adapted from Daniel Flyn founder of Thank You Water