Earlier this week we talked about developing a new skill that helps you become a more connected entrepreneur. This skill is possessed by all the great leaders I know, but is not taught in many business schools. It has provided both monetary and personal success for many people who have been willing to change the world. After all, if you’re reading this you want to be fully empowered serving leader. I learned about this skill at a very young age from my father. He would have been 85 today. We spent a lot of time developing my intuition so I could help my clients and friends get what they really wanted out of life.
The first way my father taught me about intuition is he shared with me how it could transform your relationship with other people. He would say people trust you because you’re connected to them, but you must understand that to be connected to them; you must be willing to explore more deeply not only what they say, but more importantly what they do.
The second way my father taught me about intuition is he helped me develop my intuitive capabilities almost every time we talked. He asked me what I noticed when I met people. He would first ask about the way the person talked, about the way they looked and moved. He would then ask about their surroundings. Even at an early age he would ask me what were the surroundings, what they reading and what their plans were for the week. As I became more observant, he would ask me what wasn’t I seeing and what they might not be sharing that was on their mind. As a child, I sometimes felt it was a bit odd and I would become frustrated with his questions. He would remind me there were many things that you can’t see, only can feel. At the time, I assumed this was because he was blind one eye or because he was a pretty curious guy by nature. As we grew older together, I realized he was helping develop my intuition.
The third way he taught me intuition is he taught me how to go away. What does going away mean to you? For me, it meant spending a lot of time running track. Somehow my father taught me how to use my time running and hiking to process large amounts of information quickly. I didn’t realize how much information I processed on a single meeting or call with a person.
He used his ability to go away to spend hours walking alone in nature to work through the many challenges of his life. His life was very complex and he had to deal with things that would break almost any other man. My mother was mentally ill from the time I was born and he had to try to hold his family together while still maintaining his professional life. His prior military life did little to prepare him for the challenges he faced in civilian life. How do you raise a child with unusual gifts while allowing him to develop his own inner gifts?
Finally, he taught me intuition by asking me for my observations then monitoring our progress to help me better understand when things went the way I saw them. He had an incredible photographic memory and valued the truth higher than any other value. He would point out observations to me and then share how I might interpret what I saw. He would collect feedback from me and gently guide me through my decision making process. Okay, it wasn’t always so gently. He sometimes reminded me of the Zen Master Po in the TV series Kung Fu. I learned self-defense and boxing from him when I was ten. I can tell you I’ve spared with many great military warriors in my life and he was one of the toughest.
His ability to manage his physical pain came directly from the mental discipline he had developed over the years working with me. When he was dying of bone cancer, we walked several times a day. People in the hospice thought I was cruel because I would make him get up and walk. It was hard for them to understand that it kept him active and alive until the very end.
While bone cancer ravaged his body, he was able to maintain his mental capabilities. No matter how big the challenge that he faced, he would keep developing my intuition. He would drill me after meeting with doctors and after I worked with the President. He asked many questions and then would help me connect the dots.
The final lesson for me was that intuition was not born of the body, but a gift from beyond that can be developed through practice and observation. It’s a disciple that can take you to the top of your field and make you the greatest dad I in the universe. It was the best gift my father could have given me because it never leaves me. Like his love, I believe.
Happy Birthday Pops!