The Algebra of Intuition

Sometimes, being an intuition-based thinker really sucks. Yes, it’s nice to be able to leap ahead of people who are following chains of logic, but when you have to communicate your reasoning, that’s when things get difficult.

To wit, there are times when I look at a problem, and just in that outward glance, I see that yes, Virginia, 1 + 1 = 3. Over the decades of my life, I’ve gotten very good at telling when my subconscious is two steps ahead, and when I’m engaging in wishful thinking — thus, when 1 + 1 = 3, and I know I’m not engaging in wishful thinking, I know that there’s a factor in there that I’m not seeing consciously that creates that result. That factor is x. And there might be a y or z in there, too.

The upsides to this are the ability to reach not-so-obvious conclusions faster than some people do, and the joy of the ah-ha! moment. The downsides are issues of communicating and patience. The thing that’s been hardest for me to learn is that people take different routes to an end solution — they’re not stupid, they’re not being obtuse, they just need to come at it from a different angle. When I realized that, I began to realize that as someone who sees the result already, I have a certain degree of responsibility to lead connnect the dots for people who think in a more logical fashion.