Hunches vs. Logic

Adrian S. Potter
4 min readFeb 22, 2024

Is there a time when it is better to trust your gut instinct over logic, reason, and analysis?

Photo by Nadezhda Moryak: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brain-and-heart-symbols-on-white-background-9162030/

Being an engineer, a business school grad, and a group leader to a large portion of the firm I work at forces me to think logically about problems.

Decisions have real consequences. They impact the bottom line, client satisfaction, and others’ careers. I would be foolish to ignore the numbers and trends when making critical decisions.

Yet one of the strong suits that has helped me gain some modest success is knowing when to toss logic aside and go with my gut.

Ironically, a class during my MBA coursework helped me sharpen the part of me that sometimes absconds logic. That class focused on negotiations and it methodically taught me how to read the room, notice the flaws in other people’s logic, leverage advantages, and push for equitable or advantageous outcomes (depending on the scenario).

After taking what I learned from my negotiations class to heart, I recognize that I am a “wild card” at times — eager to play a hunch when I sense a weakness in competitors or see an opportunity that would be profitable or advantageous. I suppose I am not completely going off on a limb since I am still “poker reading” each situation, but ultimately I decide to take on risks that some of my peers avoid and that conservative logic would have me retreat from.

This all leads me to wonder — is there a time when it is better to trust your gut instinct over logic, reason, and analysis?

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There are certainly situations where trusting your gut instinct can be more advantageous than relying solely on your analytical tendencies. Here are a few scenarios where trusting intuition might be beneficial:

1. Emergency Situations:

In high-stress or time-sensitive situations, such as hazardous or crisis moments, your gut instinct can provide quick decision-making without the luxury of thorough analysis. Trusting your intuitions in these moments can be crucial for survival, loss of critical resources/money, or preventing further harm.

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Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity · www.adrianspotter.com