“Suddenly it hits you. It all comes together in your mind. You connect the dots. It can be one big “Aha!” or a series of smaller ones that together show you the way ahead. The fog clears and you see what to do. It seems so obvious. A moment before you had no idea. Now you do.” – William Duggan
What author William Duggan describes here is not a vague hunch or gut instinct. What he’s describing is strategic intuition. “Ordinary intuition is a form of emotion: feeling, not thinking,” Duggan writes. “Strategic intuition is the opposite: It’s thinking, not feeling. A flash of insights cuts through the fog of your mind with a clear, shining thought. You might feel elated right after, but the thought itself is sharp in your mind. That’s why it excites you: at last you see clearly what to do.”
In his latest book “The Seventh Sense,” Duggan acknowledges the importance of intuition – what he calls the “sixth sense.” But he also notes that the intuition that comes from expertise and familiarity only allow us to create the same idea again, faster and better with each repetition. For new situations, for new ideas, we need something else.
We need the seventh sense.
The seventh sense is the mechanism of the human mind that produces new ideas. As Duggan explains, “ It’s the epiphany, the flash of insight, the Eureka moment – in the form of an idea you never had before. And in its highest, rarest form, it’s an idea that no one else had before either. The seventh sense is how new ideas are born. And not just new ideas, but useful ideas. Human achievement advances through flashes of insights that come from the seventh sense.”
We need intuition to cope with complicated situations and act almost automatically in emergencies. However, intuition would not have been able to create the iPhone, vaccinations or the automobile.
Sure, most of us will not change history forever with a revolutionary insight, but we owe it to ourselves to stimulate and develop a seventh sense. When we need it most, it will help us recognize what we need to know and do when all of our other senses can’t.