Reflect for a moment on that uncomfy feeling inside. You know the one—the endless influx of emails without enough time to answer, the unhealthy habit that persists, or the pang of regret when thinking about the one who “got away”. As logic-driven, busy people, we have become quite adept at ignoring our “Inner Owl”, that hard-wired intuition we grow ourselves out of with age and a lot of societal “shoulds”.
Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey are among many successful entrepreneurs who cite intuition as a primary ingredient to their success. The Harvard Business Review even highlights the neuroscience behind using our body’s natural physiological cues to guide smarter business decisions. Uncovering our personal potential is as simple as listening to our Inner Owl’s intuition. It’s not something we have to create, it’s already there. All we have to do is leverage its presence. It’s like trusting that the flashlight will illuminate when you flip on the switch. The energy is already there, we just have to release it to guide the way.
My friend Beth grew up in a small Ohio town in a family that was large in happiness but limited in financial resources. Her beloved grandmother lived with them and It felt like an ideal place with family dinners in the evening, a tire swing in the tree out front, and the plump cat, Garfield, who came and went as he pleased. She recalled her childhood home with great fondness, except for two things.
The first was that without the money to build a ramp, Granny was jostled up and down the front porch steps each time the family needed to leave. Her frail frame rattled against the wheelchair as she bravely winced through the painful process. Beth recalls how badly she felt witnessing Granny’s transition in and out of the house—often noticing a few gentle tears streaming down her cheeks. But the hardship was necessary, the family could not afford to build a ramp.
The second nagging memory was the enormous mirror that hung at the end of the hallway. It was outside Beth’s room and looking at it always made her feel unsettled. Everyone in the family disliked the massive, gaudy mirror, but it was firmly attached to the wall when they moved into the home and was too heavy to be easily moved. Instead, they passed it numerous times each day, learning to ignore the irritating obstacle.
As the years passed, Granny passed away, and eventually the family relocated. Buyers for their home made the purchase contingent on one thing—remove that ridiculous mirror. Beth remembers the day the movers brought special tools to lift the heavy piece. Behind it was a door leading to the driveway. It was an undiscovered path, at ground level, that needed no uncomfortable steps for transition.
Untapped potential lies in each of us. We ignite it by reflecting on the often uncomfy messages from our Inner Owl and taking actions that lead to satisfying ourselves. Following this intuition leads to paths we cannot currently see, brings greater alignment, and creates a world of untapped possibilities to be discovered.