"A Comedian and an Economist walk into a bar ..."
It is not everyday I get to share a story with that lead in, but that’s exactly what happened while I was taking my family on a short cruise recently.
The evening before we had gone to hear the ship’s Comedian Al Katz, a nearly 40 year veteran of the comedy stage. He has been on Oprah, the Today show, as well as played all the classic comedy clubs around the U.S. at one time or another. My own intuition kicked in and I approached him to explore his interest in being interviewed for my new book GUT! What it is, How to trust, How to use it. Al said he uses intuition on stage and was excited by the prospect of talking about it, we agreed to meet at the lounge the next afternoon.
He shared how intuition has played a role all the way back to high school and dating girls. He shared that he felt he got that gift from his grandfather who was also very good at reading people and responding accordingly, typically with humour.
I learned that a comedian walks onto a stage into darkness. He cannot see more than a couple of rows in front of him, and must “feel” his audience and move his routine based on what he hears and the group’s energy. Al talked about the line he walks very night, that crossing it can ruin the show. Intuition he says, helps him not cross that line, especially with hecklers.
While writing the book GUT! my co-author (Sunil Godse) and I discovered that people typically use intuition in one of three ways: operationally (situation), strategically, or relationships (people). Al Katz is an excellent example of someone who uses his intuition with people.
After the interview, a person sat next to us whom Al seemed to already know. It turns out he is a Behavioural Economist, someone who recognizes that humans are not rational decision makers but use emotion and intuition when purchasing items - like for example a car.
The Economist went onto share that when he was a young man, he arrived home one day and his intuitive sense went into alarm mode. He noticed the front door ajar, and rather than listen to his gut and go for help, he entered his home to find a robbery in progress. He was able to bat the gun out of one robber’s hand, but ended up being tied to a chair with the house maid, and was roughed up a little. The robbers ended up leaving with many household goods. I never found out if they were caught. My mind was reeling from the story.
This second story illustrates that sometimes we fight or ignore our intuition to our detriment. That in-fact it isn’t enough to be aware of intuition, we also have to listen to it, trust it, and act on it. That is the beauty of the first story. The comedian has made a career out of listening, trusting, and acting on his intuition and uses it to bring laughter into people’s lives.
While writing GUT!, Sunil and I heard dozens of extraordinary stories of courage, love, and achievement where intuition played a role and we are excited to share them with you. You will read about the Military Helicopter Commander who saved his unit during the Afghan war, the mother who left a six figure job to raise two mentally and physically handicapped children, and the alcoholic who’s intuition kicked in to save him from ending up dead on the street.
But it was not enough just to share these stories, we also wanted to give you the steps on how to use your own intuition to its fullest so that you can successfully live your daily life by tapping into all of the resources you have been given.
For more information on our book GUT! and related programs/events