Intuition is the Compass of the Soul
Karen and Jay share thoughts on trusting your intuition.
Have you ever had an experience when something just didn’t ‘feel’ right? Or perhaps you’ve experienced the opposite. Something just ‘felt’ like it was the right thing to do? You couldn’t really explain why it made sense, but in your gut, you just ‘knew.’ This is intuition. These are instances where you are tapping into an intelligence that transcends the normal senses. Where you are being guided by ‘feelings’ that often conflict with your conscious reasoning. As it turns out, it’s very important to ‘listen’ to these feelings because more often than not, your ‘gut’ is giving you the right answer.
A story was shared with me recently from the late ‘80s about an American car executive named Bob whose company was constantly being criticized for its lack of innovation, hurting the company’s share price and ultimately its sales. One day when on a weekend joy ride in a competitor's sports car, an idea struck him: the company needed an exciting new car that would change industry and consumer perception of his brand. So that next Monday, he brought the idea to his team, but he faced an immense amount of opposition. Many of his colleagues felt the money required for the development and production of the car would be better spent somewhere else. But the executive stuck with his intuition, even in the face of all the data from his team that said it wasn’t a good idea, without any real market research to support his idea. He trusted his gut, and the car, the Dodge Viper, would turn out to be a smash hit and dramatically helped Chrysler turn around its business over the course of the next decade.
It’s fair to say that every now and then, each of us is faced with an important decision that has the power to change the course of our lives. Though we may be presented with a series of facts or details that help us make our decision, there’s usually a great amount of uncertainty about what the outcomes will be once we’ve made up our minds. This is where our intuition plays a key role, that gut feeling instinctively telling us the best possible path for us to take, even if uncertainty lies ahead. It’s something we humans have developed over the course of time that protects us from unseen threats, but also lets us stay true to ourselves.
Sometimes though, we doubt that gut feeling. Whether because of an experience where our instinct has let us down, or we fear what lies beyond a decision we have to make, when we doubt our instinct, it’s generally a projection of not trusting ourselves to make the right decision. But, if we take a step back and look at our lives as a whole, we’ll likely find that every day, we have to make decisions big and small where we often have to trust our intuition. Sometimes we won’t always have all the data or information we need, similar to the story shared above, but when we feel strongly about something and trust ourselves, more often than not, we find ourselves happier in the end than if we had gone against our gut. This isn’t to say that we’ll always be happy or always get it right with what our instinct tells us. But, the odds are in our favor, and with practice, we can fine tune how we read our intuition, making better and better decisions over time. Similar to Bob, our instinct becomes a powerful tool we can regularly rely on, especially when the stakes are at their highest.
Blue Ear – A Superhero Created in Manchester, NH
A number of years ago, four-year old, Anthony Smith, who was hearing impaired, did not want to wear his hearing aid to school. In making his case, he explained to his parents, “Superheroes don’t wear blue ears!” His mother did not think that was a true statement. She had seemed to remember a comic book superhero from an earlier time that was actually wearing a device. So, here’s what happened.
Anthony’s mother is Christine D’Allesandro, daughter of my good friend New Hampshire State Senator Lou D’Allesandro of Manchester. She was determined to find out whether her memory was correct and whether in fact, superheroes have been known to wear hearing devices. So D’Allesandro emailed Marvel headquarters and ultimately was connected with Bill Rosemann, a Marvel Comics editor.
Rosemann told D’Allesandro there was, in fact, a superhero who wore hearing aids, and not just any superhero, but an Avenger. In a 1980’s comic, the Marvel Avenger Hawkeye was shown wearing a hearing aid after injuring his ears. Rosemann shared the cover of the comic book with Anthony and his parents. You can only imagine how excited Anthony must have been to see this – a superhero with a hearing aid! Rosemann explained that having a hearing aid was no different than having a suit of armor that helps enhance a superhero's power, such as Iron Man.
But the story does not end there. Rosemann passed the email around the Marvel office and illustrators created a new Marvel Comics character with a hearing aid inspired by Anthony. The hero, Blue Ear, is Pedro Perez, a scientist in Tony Stark's laboratory who has hearing aids that can sense people in trouble. In a special edition comic book, partnered with the Ear Institute at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, Blue Ear made his comic book debut in Iron Man: Sound Effects.
As a result, superheroes who are hard of hearing are now prominent in the Marvel Universe. In the new live-action movies and miniseries, Hawkeye starts wearing hearing aids, and Eternals’ character Makkari teaches sign language.
What started as a simple email to help a mother get her child to put his hearing aids in turned into an inspirational character in the comic book universe!
Manchester’s Mills – Leading a Renaissance
Manchester, NH is at its core an industrial city. It was designed to be that from its inception and that industrial and hardworking nature shines in the city’s inhabitants today. Nothing personifies this more than the Amoskeag Mill buildings flanking the Merrimack River that runs through the heart of Manchester. At one point these buildings were the largest mill building complex in the country, processing cotton and other textiles and employing a large percentage of Manchester’s citizens all while attracting new immigrants and workers from across the country and world.
As with many Northeast industrial towns and cities, Manchester’s mills became less of an asset and more of a liability as the jobs changed and shifted to other parts of the country. For years the mill buildings sat empty, as a shell of their former selves until in the late 90’s something started happening. Residents and investors looked at the buildings with a new light and hope. They began to renovate these classic structures and turn them into modern day tech hubs. Moving from manual labor to tech development, the mills once again have brought good paying jobs to the city and today serve as the centerpiece for the city’s new industry.
Now the mill buildings are going through yet another transition. As work-from-home becomes more popular and residents seek the activities that downtown Manchester offers, the mills are transforming into mixed use space with luxury high-end apartments. These new mill homes overlook the old homes surrounding the mills where workers lived over a century ago which themselves in turn are also benefiting from the new redevelopment of the area. Manchester’s future is incredibly bright, and it is both curious and gratifying to see how everything has come full circle with the mills leading the city into a new age of prosperity and hope.
Positive Profile of the Week: David McGrath
This week we are delighted to highlight an inspirational business leader, David McGrath, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
David runs one of our state’s premier attractions. Located north of the capital city of Concord and south of the Lakes Region is a one-mile track (aka the Magic Mile) which every July attracts NASCAR’s top racing series and in effect once a year makes the town of Loudon, the largest populated community in NH. If you have never been to a race, it's exhilarating, a fun day, and really loud! The impact of this track on the state’s economy is second to none and since David McGrath took the leadership helm at the Magic Mile in 2016, he’s spearheaded new and exciting opportunities for the community and the speedway. And despite a global pandemic which dramatically affected sports facilities like NHMS, David’s tenacity, dedication, and ability to persevere has ensured the Magic Mile continues to make it happen for the 603.
Today, the Magic Mile hosts not just NASCAR events but other motorsport clubs. Just a few years back, David and his team created a dirt track next to the south entrance of the speedway which opened the door for rising stars in racing. This was a gamble, but David knew it would yield great things, trusted his intuition and it has. In addition to these new racing driver opportunities, David has created a whole new fan experience as well. A major upgrade in the final turn of the track has created a premier camping experience for fans. Spectators can now park their home-on-wheels right along the fence-line and for those who don't camp - they can enjoy a lounge deck experience just like major football and baseball venues offer. These creative and innovative ideas have attracted new racing fans while totally enhancing the fan experience, and via David’s extensive marketing and media background - accomplished something not easily done in this sport.
But it's not just David’s ideas for a better track experience that make him a force for good, it's his desire to give back. The New England native comes from a family of public servants. His brothers are firefighters and his family has been deeply involved in the local community. Despite the demanding schedule and heavy responsibilities in leading the Granite State’s largest sporting venue, David attends every Speedway Children’s Charity Board meeting and plays an active role. In just a few short years, the organization has tripled its contributions and has given away hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to area charities. David's passion to be a good neighbor and his leadership skills of leading by example are why everyone wants to be around this wonderful friendly man, with such a warm heart and such a big smile.
Quotes of the Week: Intuition
“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”- Albert Einstein
“Intuition is seeing with the soul.”― Dean Koontz
“The only real valuable thing is intuition.”- Albert Einstein
“Intuition is always right in at least two important ways; It is always in response to something. It always has your best interest at heart.” – Karen Whitaker
“The more you trust your intuition, the more empowered you become, the stronger you become, and the happier you become.”- Gisele Bundchen