Intuition Is A Danger To Our Way Of Life

Intition Dangerous
Greetings and welcome once again to Steve's Paper-Based Planning Column Of Joy...I think. Uh, yeah, I think that's what it's called these days. Hard to say. It changes a lot. No, no, wait, it's Steve's Paper-Based Column Of Planning For Paper-Based, uh,, wait, that's not it either. Um, hmmm, let me see... Ah, I've got it. Steve's Irreverent Paper-Based Column Of Vole Control... ah, bugger. That's wrong too. This could take a while. I'll come back to it.

Today's column is about preparedness, being ready for an emergency. Now, the key to being ready for an emergency is to try and figure out what kind of emergency you might be faced with. The consequences of failing to plan for emergencies can be quite serious, as we have seen again and again this year with disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq and this got me to thinking: Am I prepared? Am I prepared to deal with the most likely threat to my person, to protect myself from the dangers I am most likely to face? Am I prepared to deal with the ongoing, never-ending disaster of my intuition?

See, the thing is, I'm an intuitive (for more information on intuition and personality type and how some people are just plain bonkers, see Da's post from last week and stay tuned for a new installment next week) and...what were we talking about? Oh right, intuition. Yeah, I'm an intuitive, a very strong intuitive, which means I'm a member of that small group in society who have visionary inspirations and change society in radical ways...if we can remember where we left our pants. Yes sir, like all aspects of personality type, intuition has it's positive and negative aspects, but they can be very strong negative aspects. Sensors are the other bunch and they deal with facts, process huge amounts of data and live in a huge, visceral, vibrant present. Consequently, the downside to their type is usually that they have little imagination and are too rigid and nitpicky. Intuitives, on the other hand, are imaginative, original outside the box thinkers who have an almost total inability to deal with facts, such that you flit from one thing to the next with little or no forethought, the result being that intuition can leave you performing on a stage in a chicken suit in a yodeling competition thinking, "I wonder where I left my glasses..."

O.k., no, no, wait, I think I've got it: Steve's Paper-Based Column of Budhist meditation and bricklaying. Damn! Don't worry, I'll get it.

First, a note for one particular person who visits this site every week. Doug stressed that we need to focus our columns on paper-based planning and efficiency, because he says that 99.9% of the audience of this site comes here expecting that... except for one guy who shows up every week thinking that he's found, which he believes to be a site on do it yourself woodworking. I imagine this man to be named Jed. Well, Jed, my friend, the secret is, to go with the grain. There, now nobody feels left out. Onward.

Anyway, intuition can change the world, but it can also be terribly dangerous. Some intuitives look at something and see incredible potential for innovation and change which other people simply wouldn't see, such as when James Watt looked at a boiling kettle and was inspired to invent the steam engine, or Thomas Edison, who ran electricity through a wire filament encased in a glass vacuum tube and invented the iPod. So intuition is by no means all bad, but, because of intuitive's rather pathetic inability to deal with pratical, day to day facts, they can get themselves and others into a lot of trouble, or at least make life very interesting. For example, I once accidentally sent a thoughtful, heartfelt thank-you letter to a bus. Don't ask.

Oh, oh, oh...okay, I've got it, I've really got it this time. Steve's Paper-Based Planning Column of Column Planning, with the Planning...on Paper...*sigh*. I should have written that down before I forgot.

What are the warning signs of intuition you ask? I have compiled an extensive annicdotal list.

Signs That You Might Be An Intuitive:

  • You spend approximately half your time loosing things and the other half looking for them

  • You carry out your searches with an archeologist's grid

  • Your organisational system works on the chaos principle

  • Your bookcase looks like a surrealist artwork

  • Time and money are fluid, like reality in a government office

  • You consider remembering to shower a substantial victory

  • If you also remember to shave, you figure you earned a little treat

  • You're only allowed to shave with a safety razor

  • You run out of paper a lot

  • You run out of gas a lot

  • You run into walls a lot

  • I cut this board twice already and it's still too short"

  • You very efficiently change the wrong tire

  • Nobody will let you use power tools

  • The floor is a shelf

  • Within the last week you have shown up a half-hour late for an appointment, on the wrong day, at the wrong place

  • You drive to work, walk home and report the car missing

  • Like a man in my father's old parish, 'Humpy Bill,' you buy hay for the horse and then sell the horse to pay for the hay

  • No one will let you play with matches

  • When on a group trip, you follow the wrong car to the wrong place

  • Your partner's idea of a romantic evening is strawberries, wine, candles and bubble bath. You show up with a kiddie pool, strobe lights, Survivor The Home Game and hot dogs

If you think you answered 'yes' 5 or more times, but can't actually remember because your mind wandered, you're probably an intuitive. Clearly, one needs a practical way to deal with the enormous practical handicap of intuition and I myself use the D*I*Y Planner...when I can find it, which is rarely. Anyone have any other suggestions on how to overcome disasterous intuition?

Until next week, keep your pen on the page and your intuition in check.

Steve Sharam
For more information on personality type, check out our every-expanding personality type workshop on

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N or P?

As an INTP myself I thought about the pros and cons of intuition, but put my own, unquestionable, clumsiness down to the P more than to the N... does it make sense? I also got convinced that only wonderful J fellows can really plan their days and go through it. I write excellent plans, only to dig them out after months and admire their logical quality. Plans are a source of esthetic, contemplative pleasure to me: it's nice to see how life should work, in theory.

Great site,

Sounds good in theory

Yeah, I think that's the intuitive perceptive's theme-song: "I like to see how it works, in theory:) It can be kind of confusing, but all the different elements of your type (introversion, intuition, thinking, perception) work together in interesting ways, and it's often hard to say that I am a certain way because I'm an X". In general, you would tend to be forgetful and not really fully aware of what's going on around you because of your intuition ('where are my pants?!'), but your perception would make it seem much nicer to dwell in intuitive theory, rather than make a decision. If Columbus had been a Perceptive, he'd still be sitting on the dock trying to deside between East and West:P

Steve Sharam


I am an IN?P and I find the only way I end up doing anything consistantly is to train the part of my brain that works on autopilot while I am doing other things.

I think that habit is far more important for N's then S's because S's will remeber the next step on their own. I only remeber if I always do X after eating lunch, then I find myself doing it without much thought.

I also note that I like shiny new things so I don't have to worry about remebering to check for inputs (like email) but that it is the output I have to "force".

Yeah, that sounds familiar

Yeah, that sounds very familiar. I've got a little place for everything important for day to day functioning (keys, wallet, insulin) and if everything's not in it's place, I totally panic. My girlfriend Meghan, an extremely strong sensor, hardly ever forgets where anything is, knows exactly how much time things will take and knows her bank balance within about 5 dollars at all times. Occasionally I will try to organise myself and I'll put things where I think they logically should go. This invariably leads me to tear my life apart later on, because I'll forget and it will never occur to me to check in a logical place. I once found my passport in a box of old bicycle repair tools, in the back of my closet. I don't know, seemed like a good place to file it at the time, I guess:S

Steve Sharam

I'm in complete agreement

I'm in complete agreement about the importance of habits for Ns. I had a coworker once who simply could not understand how I could be "smart" enough to troubleshoot the database, but too "dumb" to be able to do the same mundane tasks the same way every time.

On the earlier post by Steve's dad, someone mentioned learning preferences, such as visual-spatial or auditory-sequential. I would imagine intuitives tend to be more visual spatial, and if so, I wonder if it's a chicken-or-the-egg situation. In fact, it seems like there are a whole host of traits that seem to be commonly found together: intuition, creativity, visual-spatial orientation, high sensitivity, attention problems.

What a hoot would it be to find out someday that I'm a complete weirdo because my hearing stunk as an infant compared to my eyesight?

Those ae very interesting

Those ae very interesting questions to which I have no answers. You are getting into an area about which there has been no research that I know of.

Jung was convinced that type is partially, at least genetic in origin. My experience is that Dyslecic's tend to be more visual-spacial but that is not what you are talking about. A completly intuitive reaction on my part!

My experience is that children are already showing their first function before they are able to talk. Things are set very early. This convinces me that Jung was right and that much of our type is genetic in origin and not learned from our parents, though we often learn to go against our type to fit into our families as children. Jung called this one of the leading causes of mental illness. It is my feeling that this is therefore bad.

Henry Sharam