Follow your intuition | SHW #14
Last week was one of the worst weeks in my career. For those not aware, I work full time as a software engineer at Twitter. If you haven’t been keeping up, Elon Musk recently purchased the company and last week he laid off about 50% of us.
Some teams were impacted more than others. My team of 11 extremely talented, motivated, and inspiring engineers and leaders became 3, and for whatever reason I was one of the 3 chosen to stay behind.
It was a very emotional night as I watched my teammates lose access to their computers, dropping off one by one and leaving me behind. Even more, I feel empathy for them as they scramble for a new job so they can take care of themselves and their families.
This situation sucks but it wasn’t a surprise. We’ve known about the acquisition since April, we knew Elon didn’t think highly of how Twitter was currently managed, and we knew there would be lay offs. We didn’t know exactly to what extent or who would be impacted, but we all knew it was coming.
From speaking with my coworkers over the last several months, many of us have had a bad feeling about the situation all along. Our intuition was telling us to make a plan as soon as possible and to move forward with caution However, we ignored all those signals and rationalized why we should stay.
Recently I heard this proverb that says, “The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.” It hit me hard as I feel we fall victim to our minds on a regular basis.
Society has taught us to be logical and rational. To make decisions based on past evidence alone. To follow formulas. If you make a decision you need to make it through careful thought and reason.
But I’m starting to reject this way of being. I believe humanity is incredibly intuitive. We’re deeply connected to this universe we live in and to one another. We receive signals to act that often don’t make sense in the moment, but in hindsight we see they were right.
So many times I’ve made decisions based on fear and rationalization and later saw that the right path was laid out right in front of me. I just chose to ignore it.
This situation with my job is a prime example. As soon as it was announced that Elon would be purchasing Twitter, I felt a massive rift in my gut. A contraction. Something telling me, “Get out. Now.”
Leaving at that time was a terrifying thought, so instead of listening to my gut, I rationalized my decision to stay. I rationalized it for 7 months and here I am, dealing with the consequences my intuition was trying to protect me from.
Our minds are incredibly powerful. They help us process information, come up with new ideas, and dream about the future. We can use our minds to collect data and evidence and look at all of our options.
But even after collecting all of the data and evidence in the world, decisions aren’t always straightforward. Data provides an overview of what happened in the past, but it’s not always indicative of the future. Making decisions based on our past alone limits the solution space.
That’s why, at the end of the day, I believe decisions should be made from our gut. That’s not to say our gut will always lead us to our expected outcome. What it will do is lead us to new information, possibilities, and experiences. I’d rather rather that than stay frustrated, stuck, and disappointed.
What’s something your intuition has been telling you to pursue? I say you go for it, even if it seems illogical.
Our minds are great at rationalizing the past, but our intuition is what will guide us into a brighter future.
All my love,