Some people seem to get it just right; their foresight and decision-making abilities allow them to get ahead of the pack. Making the right decisions at the right time and place is crucial for everyone. Life builds on itself one moment at a time. In each moment, there is a decision to be made—whether to accept or reject thoughts attempting to draw our attention one way or the other. Every thought or idea is a seed. Plant the wrong seed, and chances are that the fruits would not be something we would want. 

Every decision we make has its origins in a thought. These decision points present us with choices—yes, no, or maybe—and it is up to us to pick the one we want. We can, to an extent, logically deduce where a thought might lead and how it may manifest. Should we trust our logical inferences, or should we put faith in our gut feeling about something?

Coming to logical conclusions about what may happen in the future is, at best, a probability, which diminishes as the time horizon expands. Intuition may not necessarily tell us what may happen in the future, but it can help by “holding our hand” and assuring that a particular thought is the right one to follow. Intuition is a “soft voice,” not a command. It takes a degree of sensitivity and receptivity to recognize an intuition suggestion, while a logical conclusion is a “hard voice” that compels us to act. 

At this moment, no one can precisely say what may happen in the future, with so many variables outside our control or sphere of influence. It is hard to make decisions that impact us at an individual level; imagine the responsibility of leaders such as company CEOs, who must regularly take a call on issues that affect the lives of thousands. Divining destiny and making the right decisions may seem like the art of reading a crystal ball. Still, we can improve our odds of making the correct decisions by enhancing the faculties of logic and intuition. 

The crystal ball we all carry is the mind. It is the place where two disparate forces merge—logic and intuition. There are some critical differences between the two. Piecing together known inferences or knowledge, we may come to a logical conclusion. However, intuition involves unknown or unknowable factors. Through stepwise deductions, we can infer a logical conclusion. But intuition does not lend itself to such a stepwise approach. Often, it is a sudden flash of inspiration. The “aha” moment that randomly presents itself.

The logical mind closely tracks our attention, and we fail to notice these moments of intense clarity. Intuition isn’t some divine dispensation that comes only to a few. It is more likely happening to us all the time, but the tortious interference by the busy logical mind blunts our ability to pick up these pearls of wisdom that lie within ourselves. 

Logic and intuition need not be mutually exclusive. Both forces coexist in the mind and probably work closely together “behind the scenes” of our conscious attention. Sharpening one does not necessarily improve the other as they are independent forces requiring different approaches. 

Attention and awareness are the common ground where logic and intuition interact. Attention construed as concentration helps focus the mind on a task such as deriving logical conclusions based on a set of variables. The sharper the attention, the greater the engagement and the likelihood that we can think clearly and logically.

Awareness or generalized receptivity helps defocus the mind, helping generate “spontaneous” intuitions about any decision-related quandaries. The deeper the awareness, the greater the depth that our concentration can penetrate the mind space. The spatial depth of awareness creates

Concentrative attention is like the sharp edge of a kitchen knife, and receptive awareness is like a cutting board. To chop vegetables safely and hygienically, both are essential. Holding a carrot in one’s hand and cutting it with a sharp knife can be dangerous. A cutting board creates a safe, defined area for the knife edge to land.

Similarly, we can conceptualize a limited mental space, the “cutting board,” where we concentrate on specific thoughts and ideas, excluding the rest of the mind. Such a defined area of receptive awareness opens space in the mind for spontaneous ideas to well up from the subconscious mind.

One way to think of intuition is as a connection between the conscious and subconscious mind. Like ground soaking up water after rain, everything in the conscious mind drains into the subconscious reservoir. When we concentrate intensely on a specific thought, idea, or problem, the “mind space” around that sharp focus naturally quietens, and extraneous thoughts diminish. Along with such concentrative effort, if we intermittently defocus the mind, we become receptive to that quiet zone of awareness around the focus of our concentration. This exclusive zone of receptivity and awareness around a thought, problem, or idea we concentrate on creates the bed for spontaneous intuitions to sprout.

As a thought, problem, or idea sinks into the subconscious, new perspectives or a different way of looking at the same question may surface from that surrounding zone of receptivity and awareness. Being alert to the possibility that answers may arise spontaneously from within the mind allows intuition to do the rest. Working with logic on the surface of the mind and creating space for the undercurrent of intuition to surface will likely make decision-making more informed and less daunting.