You Know When You Know
If I were to write a self help book it would bet titled, “You Know When You Know”
The premise of the book?
We are all naturally endowed with an innate sense of what is best for us. Call this “the inside voice.” The inside voice is pre-cognitive and immediate. It is closer to instinct than rational thought and the longer you deliberate the harder it gets to hear. However most of us do just that. We wait for our inside voice to be proven wrong. We wait because listening causes discomfort, anxiety or insecurity.
The inside voice challenges you to act. More often than not it is the voice of truth. Yet we wait weeks, months or years to decide.
I experience the phenomenon all around me. In friends that settle for a partner that clearly isn’t a fit because they are getting older and don’t want to be alone. In colleagues that remain in jobs that leave them cold and in business partners who wait for employees to rise to the occasion. In the meantime that failure to act leaves all parties locked-in, unable to move beyond the current situation.
I have come to believe that not listening to your inside voice is ultimately selfish. It not only deprives you of the future that you really want, it deprives others around you of the future that they deserve
You know when you know – and the sooner you act on what you know, the better.
The most successful people that I see in business all have a common characteristic; they are able to act quickly. Sometimes they are wrong but on balance their ability to be decisive and take action despite the discomfort that it causes is the root cause of their success.
The prescriptive part of the book would lie in exercises intended to close the gap between knowing and acting. So for the next 30 days I am making a small commitment. I am going to listen closely to the inside voice and try to close the gap between knowing and acting. I will report back here on the results.
Alternate titles for the book:
The world would be a better place if we acted more like cats than dogs