Most helpful positive review
Harness your hunches with this excellent book
on December 28, 2003
Capturing your Instincts
How many times have you looked back over a decision you made and said, "I knew better than to do that! Something in my gut told me not to do it." Oh, I've been there plenty of times. How do we harness that instinct, that gut feel that can guide us on a better path through life? Author Kathy Kolbe has a set of five rules to harness the hunch and a set of "think-ercises" to retrain your behavior. This is brilliant. In fact, this is one of the best self-improvement books I have ever read. I am serious!
The five rules are:
1. Act-before you think (scary!)
2. Self-provoke (stimulate your instincts)
3. Commit, but to very little
4. Be obstinate in overcoming obstacles
5. Do nothing when nothing works (stop beating that head against the wall.)
I am especially impressed with Kolbe's visualization chart of the Creative Process. This is quite different than the creative exercises I learned in the past. Kolbe's process involves charting first motivation, then your inner talents, drives and energy, then your will and its commitment to the goal, followed by the reasoning and rationalization process to justify the action, and finally the behavior. This is not acting WITHOUT thinking; instead it is acting with a follow-through of self-examination that combines your subconscious hunches with rational thought and experiential data.
I also like the question set about instinct when something "feels wrong":
1. Is it the way you are approaching a task?
2. Do you feel you've done something wrong?
3. Are you feeling sick or run-down?
4. Does the way another person responds to you make you uncomfortable?
5. Is there something physically unsafe about your situation?
6. Are you ill at east with the way things are happening?
Look at the above list and look how that applies to so many situations in life. Let's take the decision to ride home with a friend after a party. If your feeling is you shouldn't get in the car, examine if you feel something is unsafe. Perhaps the friend had a few too many drinks. This list would be a good exercise to train teenagers to act on their inner voice of conscience, something to harness their good sense and channel it to better decisions. And of course, this list is essential for looking at your daily work life and perhaps deciding to move on to find other opportunities before you are forced by the situation to do so. This list alone would help you stay ahead of the wave of circumstance.
I think nearly everyone could profit from "Powered by Instinct." If you know someone in the job market or going through a life-changing event, this would make a wonderful gift to him or her-or to yourself.