Book Review: “Decisive Intuition” by Rick Snyder
by Ricky Fishman, DC
Condition is a health news and information website. So why am I reviewing a book about business coaching? Rick Snyder’s Decisive Intuition: Use Your Gut Instincts to Make Smart Business Decisions would seem to belong squarely in the business section of the bookstore. But this book is about much more than business.
Rick Snyder is a business coach who uses his skills as a psychotherapist, martial artist, and entrepreneur to help others tap into their intuitive ways of knowing. In our contemporary society, Snyder argues, with its focus on data analysis and rational/scientific thinking, we have ignored other powerful ways of knowing. While we all have a sense of the world conveyed through other sensations–such as tightness in our guts or pressure in our chests–these feelings are generally relegated to “second fiddle.”
Snyder’s work is backed up by the latest research in neuroscience. He describes what he calls the “three brains.” The one we are most familiar with is that mass of soft tissue in our skulls that we simply call “the brain.” Yet we now know that there are full neural networks within our hearts and our digestive tracts. The poets who wrote about pains in the heart, and butterflies in the stomach, were describing real sensations–and with these sensations comes information. This is our intuition: an internal radar system that tells us about the world to which we are connected. When combined with the powerful cognitive abilities in our skulls, these brains tap into a deep well of wisdom from which we can draw clear understanding, and make better decisions about business and about life.
So what prevents us from accessing our intuition? Snyder talks about the five obstacles: the rational mind, doubt, busyness, fear, and ego. In clear, concise prose, he describes the internal processes that block our abilities to mine our sub- and unconscious ways of knowing. He then lays out the antidotes, suggesting how we can hurdle over those blocks: by slowing down, befriending one’s inner critic, listening to one’s body, and asking for inner guidance.
From, there, he describes how to use our intuition to take action.
Of course, this book is primarily about business. And Snyder peppers Decisive Intuition with examples of managers, business owners and entrepreneurs who tap into their intuition and take action. He describes how they sometimes ignore the more “rational” or “data driven” choices–those that others might have advised against them–going instead with their hearts and guts.
But as I said at the beginning of this review, Decisive Intuition is about more than business coaching. We spend so much of our lives worrying about the future and/or regretting things we’ve done in the past, that we often miss the right now. And intuition is only available to us in the now. Intuition, Snyder says, finds us, not the other way around. Through mindful relaxation, we can open up and allow intuitive knowledge/wisdom to flow into and through us.
The principles and practices Snyder describes apply to life as well as to building the “bottom line.” So I would say this book might fit in a variety of sections: business, psychology, self-help or even philosophy. Because what Snyder describes in Decisive Intuition is how to live fully, in the moment. Because all of life is better—deeper and richer–when we are living in tune with our intuition.
I recommend this book to anyone struggling to make an important business decision—or, for that matter, any life decision: where to live, if we should continue or end a relationship, which way to turn at the stop sign ahead to find our destination. Early in the book Snyder states, “At a time when adaptive leadership is more important than ever, intuition is the most important skill that we need to develop as leaders and human beings.” I agree.
Decisive Intuition lays out the myriad challenges that many of us face in business and in life. And it prescribes a path forward.
Copyright 2019 Ricky Fishman
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Dr. Ricky Fishman has been a San Francisco based chiropractor since 1986. In addition to the treatment of back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries, he works as a consultant in the field of health and wellness with companies dedicated to re-visioning health care for the 21st century.