- Thoughts for inspired living

December 2, 2013

How Do You Know?

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 8:04 am

C559975 mHas someone ever made a statement to you to which you responded, “How do you know?”

There are so many voice inflections that can be made in that question. Here are a few:

How do YOU know?

How DO you know?

How do you KNOW?

HOW do you know?

The one I’m asking about is the last one – HOW do you know?

Stated like that, it’s a process question seeking the HOW of how you get to your information.

Some things that we know, we know without knowing. Reminds me of a story . . .

I was talking with a friend about stuttering and out of nowhere I said, “More boys than girls stutter.” My friend asked, “How do you know?” I really didn’t have a satisfactory answer. I just knew that I knew. Doing a bit of research after the phone call, I found what I said to be factually accurate. I hadn’t studied the subject but I did help a couple of clients who were stutterers outgrow their habit – one was male and the other female. So no real world statistics I could base my claim on.

The feeling I had when I made the statement to my friend was not one of cockiness, but certainty.

It got me curious. HOW did I know?

I wanted more information past what I learned from NLP (neuro-linguistic programming). NLP would have me model out what senses I employed to get to the answer – what combination of visual, auditory, kinesthetic did I use? That would make a nice graph of HOW, but it wouldn’t answer what I really wanted to know – How could I be certain without supporting information?

I wish I could tell you that I found the answer. I haven’t. Here is one suspicion: Best as I can tell, there is a deeper database that acts independently from our factual database and gives us our moments of “intuition.”

My experience is you won’t think your way to these intuitive moments; you just have to put yourself into position to let them happen. I find that they happen more often for me when I don’t have an agenda on the topic being discussed. Back to the stuttering conversation for a moment . . . I was not pontificating on the subject; we were just having a friendly conversation about nothing when the topic just popped up. I didn’t know anything about gender specific stuttering, yet I knew I knew.

This reminds me of an old Grasshopper maxim from years ago: “Know Less, Discover More.”

It seems that our knowing gets in the way of knowing. There is a lot of internal debate that goes along with traditional knowing; there is none with certainty. It arrives unannounced when we stop announcing what we know.

My Takeaway: You will have more moments of certainty when you know less.

All the best,


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