On Creating A Dream Life: The Power of Intuition, Trusting our Gut & Being Irrational

Every day, I get a quote from the world’s finest minds delivered to my inbox. On most days, I simply read the quote, reflect on it for a second, and move on.

But 2 weeks ago, when I saw this quote from Einstein, something different happened. As I read it, something switched on in my head.

I’d just had one of those awesome “Ah-ha” moments.

I started looking back on my life, reflecting on the best decisions I’ve ever made… and a clear pattern emerged.

My best decisions always come from following my intuition. I have an idea, feel it in my core, and go for it. No hesitation, no extensive analysis, just massive action.

A good example: it took me less than 48 hours between thinking  ”Hmm, going to Australia would be pretty cool” and clicking Submit on my online application to the University of Western Australia.

1 month later, I was on a plane and getting ready for the next chapter of my life.

It turned out to be the best decision I ever made.

But there are also times when I’ve had a great idea and instead of taking action, I decided to think about it for a while.

I made a list of pros & cons. I tried to come up with the perfect strategy. I asked my friends and family for their opinion. I went back & forth in my head.

I hesitated.

You know what generally happened then? I started thinking about all the things that could go wrong with this idea, got scared, and gave up on it. What a damn waste.

Sounds familiar?

Yes, we’ve all been there before…

***

Our intuition is an incredibly powerful tool. A sacred gift as Einstein calls it. But somehow, we’ve been conditioned to ignore it. We’ve been told not to make brash decisions, because… Hey, what if we’re wrong? What if we mess up?

Well… What IF we’re wrong??? What’s the big deal?

What are we so afraid of?

Very few decisions in life are irreversible, and every mistake we make is a stepping-stone towards something better.

The only way to learn and grow is to try new things. Not to sit at home and analyze everything.

That’s why, after reading the quote, I made a commitment to myself.

I decided to make my California adventure a journey lead by intuition. To really trust my gut, go for it, and see what happens.

***

A few days later, I flew to San Francisco to set up shop for the next 6 months… And something totally unexpected happened.

Something I couldn’t have seen coming.

My intuition was truly put to the test.

***

Since I’ve been in San Diego, everything has fallen into place perfectly.

I found a great place to live.

I have an awesome & like-minded roommate who helps me become the best version of myself.

The local grocery store has all the best superfoods in the world.

Every morning, I get to swim in an outdoor pool and do my morning yoga routine in the sun.

My dream life is materializing in front of me!

***

Take a second to think back on some of the best decisions you’ve ever made. The ones that gave you the greatest joy & lead you on the most extraordinary path.

What was the decision process behind them?

Did you sit there for days, weeks and months analyzing everything, using your rational mind, or did you trust your gut and go for it?

If you think long enough about something, there’ll *always* be a reason NOT to do it. Your rational mind will override your intuition, and kill the great idea you were excited about.

Follow your intuition my friend. If you have an idea, go for it… and let the magic unfold! 

Cheers from San Diego :)

Phil

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37 Comments

  • Amazing that I was faced with one of these ‘intuition or rational’ decisions to make today. An amazing opportunity was presented to me, needed to decide on the spot, decided to go for it. Any bit of doubt I was carrying was erased when I read your post. Thanks for that, great timing on this.

    • Niceee man, I’m sending out some good vibes your way to help it all work out! Cheers!

  • […] continue to read post… […]

  • HELL YESSSS!!! TOTALLY AGREE and thanks for the reminder, Phil…. good stuff and can’t wait to see what you’ll be up to in san diego (was there a few months ago).

    • Thanks Michelle :)

      I’m feeling AWESOME here like I’m in the perfect environment to learn new things, create great content, and make big things in the next few months.

      Cheers!!

  • Wicked awesome Phil. Yes, intuition is an amazing gift!

    • Thanks buddy! It is indeed.. let’s harness its power even more!

  • Hey Phil,

    If you’re into intuition, you’ll really dig this article- http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/thinking-about-thinking/

    Keep rockin’!

    -Charles

    • Hey Charles,

      Thanks for the link man. Interesting read- goes a bit against what I wrote, but I stand by my words.

      While we definitely shouldn’t make big decisions in a strong emotional state, I think most often than not we know the right course of action in our heart right from the start…

      What do you think?

      • Phil,

        In all respect, I think you might be treading into hedonistic territory. Although hedonism can definitely be good in certain situations and lead to awesome outcomes, choosing it as a default mode of thinking might be a slippery slope. I imagine this isn’t the case for you, and I totally appreciate the gist of your article, but if it’s anything I’ve learned, science often (though not exclusively) knows more about me than my own heart does. Generally speaking, I think you’re going to have a hard time making a case for irrationality.

        Hope that didn’t come across too pompous or pretentiously. :) Keep writing, I dig the direction you’re headed in! :D

        • Good thoughts Charles. This is where having strong values comes into play.

          Living ONLY by intuition is like being a leaf in the wind. Wherever the hands of fate dictate, there you will follow. But having strong values and a clear compass of where you want to head, coupled with a trust in intuition can be a good combination.

          Maybe, in terms of the Einstein quote it’s not a “either/or” but a “both/and”.

  • Phil, intuition and serendipity can take us to some extraordinary places! Thanks for sharing your exciting journey! I came across this article: http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/thinking-about-thinking/
    today by Sam Harris. He interviews Daniel Kahneman who talks about reasoning, intuition, and self!

    • oops! Just realized Charles Phillips posted the same thing!

      • Hey Danielle thanks for sharing and it was pretty surreal that out of all the articles out there, you & Charles shared exactly the same one haha.

        As I told him, even though Kahneman’s wisdom goes a bit against what I wrote, I still think that most often than not we know right from the start what we should do, even for big decisions.

        What do you think?

  • Another great post Phil!
    Where do you get the daily quotes from? Interested in singing up for it.

    • Thanks buddy! I get them from http://www.finestquotes.com/ (there’s a sign up box on the right if you scroll down). It’s always cool to get a little shot of inspiration in our inbox everyday!

  • Phil, welcome to San Diego! I live in Pacific Beach and from your video you might be in OB/Sunset Cliffs? Hope your doing well! Kurt

    • Thanks Kurt! I’m loving it so far.. and yes good eye, it was in OB (although I’m living near Qualcom stadium at the moment.

      How’s life in PB?? Good I take it?

  • “I found a great place to live.

    I have an awesome & like-minded roommate who helps me become the best version of myself.

    The local grocery store has all the best superfoods in the world.

    Every morning, I get to swim in an outdoor pool and do my morning yoga routine in the sun.”

    That just got me all fired up! Your new life sounds as if it’s shaping up to be pretty damn amazing.

    You’ve really got me thinking about intuition. If I listened to my intuition, there’s a lot in my life that I wouldn’t be doing right now… Scary! My whole work life revolves around me being rational. Rationality is the reason I’m sticking it out, so I can save some money to make my big move. I guess in that case, being rational is the more sensible option. But I’m so excited to finally start letting my intuition take over!

    • Haha it really is coming together even better than I dreamed of. It’s crazy!

      How much longer do you figure you have to stay in the current job to save up?

      • I’m a teacher, and I can only leave at the end of a term (semester). So that leaves me with the choice of leaving at Easter or in the summer. Obviously, the sooner the better! But leaving at Easter would give me just two more months to save up. I could probably do with waiting a bit longer than that… We could survive on my boyfriend’s wage if I left at Easter and didn’t have any other income for a while, but we’d definitely have to move to a house that’s cheaper to rent than the one we’re in now. (Not that that’s a problem – we’d like to move to a new area anyway and we’d be happy to live somewhere smaller, more minimalistic.)

        • Ok ok .. Yeah that’s a tricky one! I think there can definitely some positive either way..

          But whatever you do I encourage you to start working/learning on the side to prepare the next project and hit the ground running (btw, if there’s anything I can do to help please let me know).

          Whatever you do.. I’m sure it’ll all work out perfectly. :)

          • Thanks Phil. I’ll let you know if there’s anything you can help me with! And thanks for the good wishes. Sometimes I feel as if I need all the positive vibes I can get!

            I’m doing a business coaching course online at the moment, and I’m really beginning to develop my website into what I want it to be (working out exactly why I’m doing what I’m doing has been tougher than I thought it would be!). Hopefully I’ll be able to get things moving on the side before I finally take the plunge.

  • Great post!!! It seems you and I have a lot in common! I also had the dream of moving to Cali when I was younger, and now 15+ yrs later I’ve made that dream come true! I really believe that everything happens for a reason. We are lead down certain paths but it is up to us to hve the perseverance and desire to achieve our dreams.

    We should get together sometime when I get to LA!! Do you mountain bike or backpack?? :)

    Rock on and enjoy San Diego! 6 months til I get out that way!!

    Tina

    • Hey Tina!

      I absolutely agree. Things don’t always work out on the first go-round.. but it makes it even sweet when it does come together! I appreciate SD much more than I would have it I’d gotten here 2 years ago as planned!

      I mountain bike, run, hike.. everything I love it! Definitely keen to explore some of the cool spots around here!

  • Love it!

    Einstein has also said: “Anyone who has never failed has never tried anything new.” :)
    Also this book: http://www.gladwell.com/blink/ is all about intuition, I recommend to read it!

    • Thanks Roy! I read Blink a few years ago, very good read indeed. There’s something about Gladwell’s approach & style that’s incredibly compelling.

      Have a great day!

  • BOOOOOOM. Love it man. I thought there was some event or meeting that made you move but it was just gut. Nice bold move buddy. Good luck, big things are gonna happen this year I can tell. Keep it up!

    • Thanks buddy appreciate it! As they say… I just opened my heart ;)

  • I think that might be a captivating element, it made me assume a little. Thanks for sparking my pondering cap. Now and once more I get so considerably inside a rut that I basically really feel like a record.

  • It’s hard to come by educated people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • Hey Phil, great post and truly important topic. Tapping into and following intuition is the key for success. And interestingly we’ve found that wisdom and intuition come from the heart and gut.

    Informed by recent Neuroscience findings about the discovery of functional and complex neural networks or ‘brains’ in the heart and gut, we’ve completed 2.5 years of behavioral modeling research on the core competencies of these brains and how they communicate and integrate with the head brain. We’ve written about our findings and the models and techniques in our recently published book ‘mBraining’. See http://www.mbraining.com for more info.

    For example, one of the things we’ve uncovered in our work is that much of intuition is processed in both the heart and gut brains, and indeed the gut brain goes through a sleeping cycle each night that mimics and integrates with the equivalent of the head brain. When the head brain is dreaming during REM sleep, the gut brain is undergoing RGM (Rapid Gut Movement) sleep. The research indicates that it is during these periods, that intuitions are being communicated from the gut and heart, via the vagus channels, to the head. There are lots of distinctions and techniques that come out of these insights, and match completely what you’ve been writing and talking about in your online articles.

    I hope you find this backup to your own ideas as fascinating as we do.

  • Howdy very cool website!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I am happy to search out numerous helpful info right here in the post, we need work out extra strategies in this regard, thank you for sharing.

  • Yet another thing I would like to say is that as an alternative to trying to fit all your online degree training on days of the week that you conclude work (since most people are fatigued when they come home), try to have most of your instructional classes on the saturdays and sundays and only a couple of courses on weekdays, even if it means taking some time away from your weekend break. This is really good because on the saturdays and sundays, you will be far more rested and concentrated on school work. Thx for the different guidelines I have mastered from your website.

So, what do you think?