The Macroeconomics of Intuition

This arti­cle is not for beginners.…

When I was still in my ear­ly teen years my school offered Eco­nom­ics as a sub­ject and I took it. The teacher was dread­ful and I want­ed to have noth­ing to do with Depre­ci­a­tion again in my life, ever again… How­ev­er, I was gen­tly coerced by my fam­i­ly to actu­al­ly read Eco­nom­ics at uni­ver­si­ty. Dur­ing the uni­ver­si­ty years, the sub­ject was more inter­est­ing and to this day I have kept many analo­gies and insights from that time. In my opin­ion, Eco­nom­ics is so abstract that the peo­ple who study it have had devel­op great skill at analo­gies. So I am going to make use of what I learned back in Uni and in the 8 years teach­ing the DeRose Method to dis­cuss a very inter­est­ing topic. 

In this arti­cle I am going to use this knowl­edge of eco­nom­ics to explain intuition. 

What do you understand by intuition?

A typ­i­cal dic­tio­nary def­i­n­i­tion of it is to under­stand some­thing imme­di­ate­ly with­out need for con­scious rea­son­ing. I real­ly like this definition.

Imag­ine…. What if you could have imme­di­ate under­stand­ing of the issues fac­ing you at your work? What if you had all the insights from this under­stand­ing? How would your per­for­mance at work improve? How would your rela­tion­ships change? How much more suc­cess­ful could you be?

As you answer the ques­tions above there is no doubt, intu­ition is a price­less superpower!

In the DeRose Method we have a tech­nique focused on teach­ing you to be able to access intu­ition and to be able to make use of its insights.  So how can you access this? (and inci­den­tal­ly, what the hell does this have to do with economics?!)

This is exact­ly where Eco­nom­ics can help! One of the sim­plest ways to describe Economies is to break it into two very broad areas: Macro and Micro Eco­nom­ics. Micro is the spe­cial­ty which deals with the details, with the indi­vid­ual agents of a sys­tem, with ratio­nal­i­ty, with sin­gle units. Macro is the oth­er side of the coin: look­ing at the very broad pat­terns, at the sys­tem itself, at how all the indi­vid­ual units make up and make the sys­tem behave. 

In a sense, Intu­ition is to you much the same way that Macro is to Eco­nom­ics. For an indi­vid­ual, intu­ition is a lay­er of infor­ma­tion which pro­vides instant under­stand­ing, but it has a much broad­er scale. As opposed to get­ting an insight into a spe­cif­ic prob­lem­at­ic client rela­tion­ship, you may get an insight into the types of clients that you attract or an insight into the types of ques­tions your clients may have. 

Many of my stu­dents at DeRose Method TriBeCa have start­ed expe­ri­enc­ing intu­ition since begin­ning to prac­tice, for exam­ple Marce­lo, a COO of an agri­cul­tur­al machine busi­ness has been chang­ing the process­es and the way that teams work based on what he has learned by apply­ing the DeRose Method and tap­ping into his intu­ition. Richard has been suc­ceed­ing at mak­ing more prof­itable deci­sions for the bank he works for. Roy has seen sig­nif­i­cant gain in his rac­ing per­for­mance over the com­pe­ti­tion and also out­side of the track, in his every day life. 

There is a con­sis­tent pat­tern: the peo­ple who prac­tice the DeRose Method are able to access and reap the ben­e­fits of their intuition. 

Yet, often times they are unaware that they are using their intu­ition and often will be frus­trat­ed that they do not feel like they had an insight about a spe­cif­ic issue such as deal­ing with a row­dy co-work­er. There­in lies the pow­er­ful anal­o­gy of Macro Eco­nom­ics and more. 

First­ly, to be able to observe the effects of intu­ition we need to bring the per­spec­tive high­er, to observe from afar so that we can become aware of the shift­ing pat­terns. Sec­ond­ly we have apper­cep­tion issue. This issue goes back to our very def­i­n­i­tion: an insight with­out con­scious rea­son­ing. As a result of this process becom­ing aware that you are hav­ing an intu­ition is at best a dis­tract­ing and waste­ful activ­i­ty. But we want to both feel we are hav­ing many insights and have them solve the small­est issues. 

Often­times our focus is mis­di­rect­ed by the desire to be able to expe­ri­ence the process of hav­ing an insight rather than to lis­ten to intu­ition, wast­ing the under­stand­ing. This is one of the key bar­ri­ers to actu­al­ly access­ing intu­ition. The solu­tion we have adopt­ed at the DeRose Method is to have a teacher, to have some­one who has trained to teach you the tech­niques and con­cepts but who is also walk­ing along­side you so that an addi­tion­al per­spec­tive can be brought in as well as expe­ri­ence to be able to iden­ti­fy the suc­cess. Final­ly the teacher is also there to be able to show the next steps.

When an econ­o­mist is able to see the pat­terns of ever chang­ing eco­nom­ic behav­iors and build more expe­ri­ence with the big­ger pic­ture, it is not pos­si­ble to start to iden­ti­fy more details and even­tu­al­ly detect such fine detail that it approach­es Micro eco­nom­ics. The same will hap­pen with your intuition.